Reduce Your Dog’s Risk of Getting Cancer
According to the most recent data about 50% of humans over the age of 70 and dogs over age 10 are diagnosed with cancer.
In terms of mortality, cancer accounts for about 23% of human deaths, and up 60% of dog deaths, depending on breed.
The smaller the dog, the lower the risk of cancer.
The rate of cancer in small dogs like the Chihuahua and Maltese is less than 10%. Scientists believe a hormone that influences bone and tissue growth (IGF-1), which exists at lower levels in small breeds, may be a Key factor. Serious research is underway.
Below is a list of some ways to prevent your dog from getting cancer, as follows:
- Do not allow your dog to become overweight: Studies show that restricting the amount of calories an animal eats prevents and/or delays the progression of tumor development across species, including canines.
- Fewer calories cause the cells of the body to block tumor growth, whereas too many calories can lead to obesity, and obesity is closely linked to increased cancer risk in humans: There is a connection between too much glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and oxidative stress and cancer. It is important to understand that fat does not just sit on your pet’s body harmlessly. It produces inflammation that can promote tumor development.
- Feed an anti-inflammatory diet: Anything that creates or promotes inflammation in the body increases the risk for cancer. Current research suggests cancer is actually a chronic inflammatory disease, fueled by carbohydrates. The inflammatory process creates an environment in which abnormal cells proliferate. Cancer cells require the glucose in carbohydrates to grow and multiply, so you want to eliminate that cancer energy source. Carbs to remove from your pet’s diet include processed grains, fruits with fructose, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Keep in mind that all dry pet food contains some form of starch. It may be grain-free, but it cannot be starch-free because it’s not possible to manufacture kibble without using some type of starch. Cancer cells generally cannot use dietary fats for energy, so high amounts of good quality fats are nutritionally beneficial for dogs fighting cancer, along with a reduced amount of protein and no carbs. Recently I learned that dogs fighting cancer can do a better job addressing this sugar-crazed disease if their protein intake is limited for 120 days, more on that later. Omega-6s increase inflammation while the omega-3’s do the reverse. Processed pet food is typically loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3’s.
- A healthy diet for your pet consists of Real Food preferably raw. It should include high-quality protein, including muscle meat, organs and bone. It should also include high amounts of animal fat, high levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids), and a few fresh cut, low glycemic veggies. This species-appropriate diet is high in moisture content and contains no grains or starches. Experts recommend making sure the diet is balanced following the ancestral diet recommendations, which have much more rigorous standards (higher amounts of minerals and vitamins) than our current dietary recommendations for pets (AAFCO).
- A few beneficial supplements like probiotics, medicinal mushrooms, digestive enzymes, and super green foods can also be very beneficial to enhance immune function.
- Reduce or eliminate your dog’s exposure to toxins. These include chemical pesticides like flea and tick preventives, lawn chemicals like weed killers, herbicides, etc., tobacco smoke, flame retardants, and household cleaners like detergents, soaps, cleansers, dryer sheets, room deodorizers.
- Because we live in a toxic world and avoiding all chemical exposure is impossible, Experts recommend a periodic detoxification protocol to your pet.
- Allow your dog to remain intact meaning not neutered or spayed, at least until the age of 18 months to 2 years. Studies have linked spaying and neutering to increasing cancer rates in dogs. Even better, investigate alternative ways to sterilize your pet without upsetting the important hormone balance.
- Refuse unnecessary vaccinations: Vaccine protocols should be tailored to minimize risk and maximize protection, taking into account the breed, background, nutritional status and overall vitality of the dog. The protocol experts recommend is to follow with healthy puppies is to provide a single parvo and distemper vaccine at or before 12 weeks, and a 2nd set after 14 weeks, then titer (ask your vet to run titers at a lab that uses the IFA method) 2 weeks after the last set and if the dog has been successfully immunized, it is protected for life. The experts do not use or recommend combination vaccines meaning 5 to 7 viruses in one injection, which is the standard yearly booster at many veterinary practices, this method is completely unnecessary and risky.
It is very difficult to grasp the enormous complexity and potential of lifetime studies on animals, but given the number of lifestyle and genetic factors under investigation, dog lovers are hopeful the results will help understand how to better care for our dogs.
Related Story: Lawn Chemicals Linked to 2 Types of Cancer in Dogs
For more information go to:The Morris Animal Foundation
Have a terrific weekend