Cancer is a word that quickly catches a person’s attention and their fears as well.
Nearly every person has been touched by cancer to some degree- either they are fighting some form of cancer themselves and/or they have lost a relative or close friend from this dreadful disease.
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According to the American Cancer Society’s annual report “In 2017 there will be 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the U.S.”
Do Dogs Get Cancer?
Cancer is indiscriminate in that it affects all races, ages, and social demographics. Cancer also strikes all animals and is very common for dogs. In fact, according to Web-MD fifty percent of dogs over the age of ten develop cancer at some point.
“50% of all dogs over the age of 10 will contract some form of cancer- and the number is rising. Plus, more and more younger dogs are contracting cancer as well. As pet parents, we have to wonder, why?”
Research has shown that what we’re feeding our dogs may very well be to blame for the recent rise in canine cancer, leading to a “dog food revolution” of epic proportions, calling for healthier, smarter options in dog food other than the high-heat processed, 4D protein laden, carbohydrate based dog foods most often provided in dog kibbles and canned foods.
If your dog is one of those afflicted with cancer all hope is definitely not lost, as there are options. One such option is a ketogenic diet.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet For Dogs With Cancer?
What is a ketogenic diet? When is this diet needed? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing a ketogenic diet on your dog?
The Ketogenic Diet is not new. It’s been recorded as in use as far back as 1920. While other popular diets like Paleo and Mediterranean diets have grown in popularity, these as well are very similar to a ketogenic protocol and are often easily adapted.
The Ketogenic diet for dogs has recently garnered renewed interest as research shows that sugar affects cancer cells. While researchers are still exploring this link, canine advocates are looking at diets that specifically control glucose in the body- like the Ketogenic Diet.
The Ketogenic Diet essentially forces the body to convert fat and protein into glucose for energy and eliminates readily available glucose sources such as carbohydrates and sugar. This forces the body to use either stored fat or dietary fat as an energy source. The Keto Diet can produce weight loss, a reduction in inflammation in the body, and a strengthened immune system- all of which can contribute to fighting cancer in dogs. The diet’s affect on pet obesity alone is an advocate for it’s use in restoring to health to the 50% of U.S. pets who are obese.
As stated in Modern Dog magazine this diet is:
“… predicated on the Warburg theory, put forth by Otto Warburg in 1924. Warburg hypothesized that cancer feeds on sugar (which is what carbohydrates break down to) but that it doesn’t process fats well. The takeaway: cut out the sugars/carbs and you’ll slow or stop the cancer.”
The ketogenic diet previously went unnoticed until recently, when Ron and Shannon Penna (the founders of Quest Nutrition, which is famous for making Quest protein bars) first created the Epigenix Foundation to fund research on how to reverse metabolic disease. This then led to their creation of the KetoPet Sanctuary in Georgetown Texas, where the ketogenic diet is being used on dogs with terminal cancer and the results are being studied and thus far seem to be yielding positive results. (Nosek, Jennifer- Modern Dog Magazine).
The results: a Ketogenic Diet can help dogs with cancer live longer, and even reach remission.
What a Ketogenic Diet for Dogs Does NOT Include
Feeding your best furry friend a ketogenic diet means you won’t be including certain ingredients in his diet. These ingredients include rendered products, high heat processed fats, high heat processed proteins, fruits, starches, sugar, corn, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, grains, or wheat. excluding these ingredients from your dog’s diet eliminates the possibility of feeding most commercially prepared dog foods you find in your local supermarket or feed store.
What You CAN Feed Your Dog on a Ketogenic Diet
When starting a ketogenic diet for your dog, you can feed them:
- raw and organic meats
- ground beef
- Healthy fats
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- olive oil
- red palm oil
- red cabbage
- Brussel sprouts
- green beans
TruDog’s FEED ME and BOOST ME are both Keto-friendly, ready-made raw dog foods. Just add an additional healthy fat, such as coconut oil or use these products in your own Ketogenic dog food recipes as the primary raw protein source.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet for Dogs
The potential benefits are the possibility of controlling or possibly eliminating the cancer in dogs. The potential short term side effects of a prolonged ketogenic diet could include vomiting, general gastrointestinal discomfort and pancreatitis. New research publish in the book The Cancer Cure Diet for Dogs cites a study performed in the U.S. at the KetoPet Sanctuary that effectively shows a Ketogenic Diet can cure cancer in some dogs.
“While not a cure, KetoPet has found the ketogenic diet to be effective in improving outcomes when treating canines with cancer. In fact, 55% of the dogs who graduated from the KPS program are still going for long walks, enjoying belly rubs, playing catch, and experiencing a quality of life far beyond their original prognosis. Some of these sanctuary dogs are even living cancer-free.”
Potential long-term problems could include kidney damage, development of kidney stones and bone mineral loss. A Ketogenic diet may not be suitable for dogs with diabetes. Always check with a trusted veterinarian before starting any new treatment for your dog.
Ketogenic Diet and Cancer in Dogs
A ketogenic diet for dogs with cancer is also supported by popular holistic veterinarians like Mercola Pet’s Dr. Karen Becker.
This was a book I most definitely had to write,” says Dr. Billinghurst. “I had no choice. We, as veterinarians and as medical doctors, are losing this war against cancer. This is a war that we’ve been fighting for hundreds of years, but very specifically, since Richard Nixon began that first battle against cancer in the 1970s, when he initiated all that research. That research, unfortunately, has done very little to defeat cancer.”
“This whole problem became very personal to me when members of my own family developed cancer,” he continued. “I watched them pass away under the current standard of care. I knew this didn’t have to be.
As a veterinary practitioner for many years, and as someone who advocates raw feeding and evolutionary nutrition, I also watched my own patients who had developed cancer. I watched them become free of cancer. I watched my patients who didn’t eat processed food not develop cancer. If they did develop cancer, it happened later in life. I knew this was a problem that had a lot to do with nutrition.”
“Now, as it happens, that process of fermentation is the same process that occurs in embryonic stem cells,” says Dr. Billinghurst. “It’s an ancient process. When fermentation is turned on in this way, it turns on the same process that happens in early embryonic stem cells of constant reproduction and growth. This is the beginning of cancer.
When our mitochondria turn on fermentation, this also turns on, within the cell, within the nucleus, all the reproductive machinery of that cell. And it turns off gene repair programs. This is where all the mutational mayhem that occurs in cancer cells begins. This then promotes the ongoing process of cancer.”
“This is a long and difficult story,” says Dr. Billinghurst. “It’s a complex story. It’s one that our oncologists currently either don’t know about or don’t want to know about, because there’s a lot of money tied up in using chemotherapy and radiotherapy. If we can harness what we know about cancer, its true origins, we get a way to defeat it. That way is through nutrition.
This is what ‘Pointing the Bone at Cancer’ is all about — how we can defeat cancer through nutrition. Because once a cancer cell starts, it’s using only fermentation for energy. That includes sugar. This is cancer’s Achilles’ heel. If we can starve it of sugar, it can actually be killed. This is where ketogenic diets come into play.”
Rates Of Cancer In Dogs By Breed
Rates of Cancer by Dog Breed provided by Embrace Pet Insurance. Is your dog’s breed at a higher risk? Some dog breeds are know to be predisposed to developing cancer, researchers just aren’t sure why.
|Breed||Number Registered||Rank by Number Registered||Percent of Total Registered||Number with Cancer||Rank by Number with Cancer||Percent of Total with Cancer|
|German Shepherd Dogs||46,963||3||5.30%||197||3||3.45%|
|German Shorthaired Pointers||12,174||22||1.37%||25||33||0.44%|
|Welsh Corgis (Pembroke)||9,921||25||1.12%||26||31||0.45%|
|English Springer Spaniel||9,128||27||1.03%||24||36||0.42%|
|West Highland Terriers||7,814||31||0.88%||55||19||0.96%|
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||4,028||40||0.45%||6||48||0.10%|
|Chesapeake Bay Retriever||3,829||42||0.43%||15||39||0.26%|
If you’re considering starting your dog on Ketogenic diet to help treat cancer, give us a call to talk about the options TruDog has that can help. (800) 476-8808 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.