Cancer doesn’t only affect humans, but your beloved dogs are at risk too. About 6 million dogs diet from cancer every year. About half of all dogs get cancer at one point in their lives.
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However, there is a way to reduce your dog’s risk from cancer. Let’s see how.
According to a report called The Causes of Cancer by Richard Doll and Richard Peto, ⅓ of human cancer is caused by smoking, ⅓ by diet, and the rest is by genetics, viruses, the environment, and unknown causes. Researchers also believe that cancer is largely preventable through nutrition and other lifestyle changes.
But what does it tell us about dogs and cancer?
There Are Carcinogens in Dog Food
Many dog food, just like many human foods is very processed and may include toxins and carcinogens.
The most common carcinogenic ingredient you may find in commercial dog food are aflatoxins, which is a form of mycotoxin that comes from the Aspergillus fungus. It is a type of mold that can cause cancer.
Many commercial dog foods contain ingredients that can grow mold quickly when stored poorly or too long. Unfortunately, even cooking doesn’t kill these mold.
Some foods that are commonly contaminated with aflatoxins and may be found in dog food as well:
- Wheat cereals
- Brazil nuts
Unfortunately, aflatoxins are a serious problem and even a small amount can increase your dog’s risk of cancer. In 2005, 76 dogs died as a result of aflatoxin-contaminated dog food, which led to a large recall nationwide. Yet, commercial dog food is still not safe from aflatoxins, and your dog may be at risk.
Is Cost a Factor?
You would think that aflatoxins only appear in low-quality and low-cost dog food, however, this is not the case. According to a recent study, aflatoxins were found in 100% of standard and premium dog foods tested, and 69.2% of super premium foods tested.
More Than Just Mold
While aflatoxins are an issue when it comes to cancer in dogs, it is not only about that. They can lead to inflammation. Cancer feed on carbs in humans and dogs alike. High-protein and low-carb diets are the best, especially for carnivores like dogs. The problem is that since carbs are cheaper than meat, dog food companies like to add starches to dog food instead of giving high-protein food and raw meat dogs are designed to eat. Some dog owner may also sneak it starchy left-overs on their dog’s plate not thinking much about it. But carbs are pro-inflammatory and can lead to health issues, including cancer in your dog. Dogs are also not designed to live on carbs, they need their protein from meat.
Other Risk Factors Besides Food
Besides genetics and food, the environment can lead to cancer in dogs as well. Chemicals and toxins may be just as harmful to dogs as for humans increasing their risk of cancer.
Hidden Carcinogens that Can Cause Cancer in Dogs
- Lawn chemicals
- Plastic water bottles
- Pressed wood furniture
- Household items with chemicals and toxins, such as Teflon coated non-stick pans contain Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs), as do microwave popcorn bags, some pizza boxes, some dental floss, Gore-Tex clothing, and even some shampoos
- Building materials, such as walls, floors, carpets, and paint may contain Phthalates, a known carcinogen
- Second-hand smoke
- Anything with chemicals or other toxins
Signs of Cancer in Dogs
- Abnormal lumps
- Abnormal bumps
- Unusual odor
- Decreased appetite or not eating
- Digestive troubles (diarrhea, vomiting etc)
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Behavior changes
Cancer Prevention in Dogs
Diet is a huge factor when it comes to health and cancer prevention for dogs. Better food equals better health and a lower risk of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer can be prevented by appropriate dietary and lifestyle choices. This is the same food dogs. By changing your diet, you can prevent their risk of cancer.
Switching to a raw, whole food diet that is rich in meat, bones, and organs, with some vegetables and fruits can provide plenty of nutrients to keep your dogs healthy and keep cancer away. Organic food is free from pesticides and chemicals, which can also increase the risk of cancer in dogs. Even if your dog is genetically predisposed to a certain form of cancer, the right diet can reduce their risk greatly.
Giving your dog an organic, raw diet is key, however, you can enhance their health and reduce their risk of cancer through some powerful supplements as well.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants fight free radicals. Adding them to your dog’s diet can help their body to destroy abnormal cells and repair cell damage. Some natural sources of antioxidants for dogs include
- green lipped muscles, which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, essential enzymes, minerals, and vitamins
- phytoplankton that can help remove toxins and protect your dog’s cells,
- Blueberries and raspberries
- certain veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussel sprouts.
- Supplements to boost your dog’s immune system: There are certain supplements that can boost your dog’s immune system and help fight cancer. Some of these supplements may include:
- Echinacea and astragalus: They are powerful immune-boosting and antiviral supplements. The dosage on the bottle assumes a 150 lbs human, so adjust accordingly to your dog’s weight.
- CBD oil: CBD oil in cannabis supports your dog’s immune system, prevent tumor grown, lower inflammation, fight cancer, and reduce pain. It is rich in vitamin C and E as well.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a great supplement to boost the immune system, fight cancer, decrease cell growth and metastasis in cancer, reduce inflammation, and fight pain. Add ¼ tsp per every 10 lbs of body weight to your dog’s food or make a paste mixing it with coconut oil.
Cancer doesn’t happen overnight. Not in human, not in dogs. It is important to take preventative measures, and your most powerful weapon lies in nutrition: food and supplements. If your dog has cancer, food can also aid their recovery.
Q. Is cancer curable in dogs?
Experts say that about half of cancer can be cured in dogs when caught early.
Q. What are the most common signs of cancer in dogs?
Signs of cancer in dogs may include weight loss, loss of appetite, bleeding, abnormal discharge, abnormal odor, abnormal swelling, sores that don’t heal, and difficulty eating or swallowing.
Q. What are the most common cancers in dogs?
Most common types of cancer in dogs include lymphoma, osteosarcoma, lipoma, mammary gland carcoma, thyroid cacinoma, lipoma, and hemangiosarcoma.
Q. Do dogs survive cancer?
When caught early, dogs can survive cancer.
Q. Can blood test tell if my dog has cancer?
Blood tests may indicate a problem, but don’t tell the whole story. Further testing is needed to diagnose cancer for certain.
Q. How much does it cost to treat a dog with cancer?
Treatment is expensive. Each round can cost up to $1000, and the entire treatment can cost $6,000 – 10,000 or more.
Q. What are the signs of a dog is dying?
The following symptoms may indicate that a dog is seriously sick and possibly dying: lack of coordination, extreme fatigue, vomiting, incontinence, twitching, loss of appetite, and no interest in surroundings.
Q. What causes cancer in dogs?
In some breeds, the cause may be genetic. Other factors may include diet, lifestyle, and the environment. There is no one exact cause of cancer in dogs, however.
Q. How to tell that my dog is in pain?
They may cry, growl, or yelp, may be agitated, may be less active, may be quieter, may hide, may not want to walk, may stop eating, may seem more depressed, or may seem unusual otherwise.
Q. How does a tumor feel like in dogs?
They may be an irregular shape, they may be fixed and solid.
Q. Can dogs pass cancer to humans?
No, dogs cannot pass cancer to humans?
Q. Can dogs pass cancer to other dogs?
Most cancer cannot be spread, however, a special form of dog cancer, Sticker’s sarcoma, can spread by tumor cells getting passed from dog to dog through sex or them biting or licking each other.
As a result of genetics, diet, lifestyle, and the environment, dogs are at the risk of developing cancer just like humans are. It is important to watch your dog’s symptoms. Early detection can help treat and enhance the chances of successful recovery. However, it is also important to take preventative measures, and your most powerful weapon lies in nutrition: food and supplements. If your dog has cancer, good nutrition can also aid their recovery. Choose an organic raw diet for your dog and shop only high-quality dog food to enhance their health and keep cancer away from them.
What food do you feed your fur babies to ensure the best health possible? What is their favorite healthy treat? Share your answers in the comment, we want to hear from you.