The cancer pandemic has extended even to our furry friends, making most dogs susceptible to canine cancer.
The good news is there are many treatment options available. But the best cure is to take steps to prevent cancer in your dog.
Once carcinogens have damaged the dog’s DNA, it only needs the right opportunity to become cancerous and spread to organs or all over the body.
Your dog, luckily, has an inbuilt mechanism to kill canine cancer cells through the p53 gene.
The bad news is that exposure to viruses and toxins can damage the gene and limit the dog’s ability to guard against cancer.
Here are six steps you can take to protect your dog and help prevent canine cancer in the first place.
Minimize the use of tick and flea products
The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that some pesticides in flea and tick products can penetrate the skin and cause thyroid cancer. Other active ingredients like permethrin have been implicated in cases of liver and lung cancer. This exposure occurs many years before you see the signs of cancer developing.
Keep your dog at a healthy weight
Some studies have shown that when you restrict calorie intake, you delay tumor progression across many species including dogs.
The body is better able to block tumor growth when there are fewer calories. There is a strong link between canine cancer to excess blood glucose, inflammation, an increase in insulin sensitivity, and oxidation stress. To help reduce risk, keep your dog at a healthy weight.
Put your dog on an anti-inflammatory diet
Whatever creates inflammation in the body also increases canine cancer risk because cancer is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the inflammation creates an environment that allows abnormal cells to proliferate. Feeding your dog on a diet that limits inflammation can significantly help reduce the chances of developing canine cancer.
Cancer cells use glucose as a source of energy so feeding your dog dietary fat and adequate amounts of omega 3 fats to help keep your pup healthy. Avoid processed foods that are full of carbohydrates, omega 6 fats and low in omega 3 fatty acids.
Some people think feeding your dog a raw diet high in protein with moderate quantities of fat and omega 3 sources boosts health and reduces cancer risk. Some fresh fruits and vegetables can also be good for your dog. You can also consider adding vitamin and mineral supplements including a dog digestive enzyme, probiotics and other super foods.
Know the ingredients of your cleansers and detergents
Check the chemical composition of all cleansers, soaps, deodorizers, and other detergents used in the house. Research each product and if it has any potential to cause cancer, stop using it immediately to protect both you and your dog.
Even those labeled green, not-toxic or animal-safe can contain harmful ingredients. If you cannot find household cleaners you can trust, make your own with selected ingredients.
Minimize or eliminate exposure to toxins
Your dog can be exposed to too many sources of toxins if you aren’t cautious. If you want to prevent canine cancer, monitor each source of toxic exposure including flame retardants, chemical pesticides, weed killers, and household cleaners. It may be impossible to eliminate exposure to all toxins, but you can reduce it significantly.
Good vet care
Talk with your vet, but some believe that delaying spaying or neutering pets until they are up to 2 years old can play a major role in preventing cancer. Research also has shown some dogs have a higher risk of developing bone cancer if they are neutered before age 1.
Although vaccines do not cause canine cancer, a study has shown that dogs can develop cancer at the rabies vaccine injection site. Talk to your vet about running a titer test to ensure you’re not over-vaccinating your dog.
In addition to reducing cancer threats, be sure to continually monitor your dog’s overall health. Be sure to investigate any changes in habits, water consumption, weight, and problems like vomiting. Keep your home safe by using non-toxic household cleaners, garden chemicals, and deodorants, and you will help protect your dog from canine cancer. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Cancer develops over time. By taking steps to prevent cancer, you may never have to feel the pain of losing your beloved dog to cancer.
– By Evelyn Valdez
Evelyn Valdez is the creator of PlaywithMeow! I love all pets (especially cats) because they always make me happy and healthy. I want to connect with other pet lovers in the world to share experiences keeping our pets happy and healthy.