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How to Help Your Dog Fight Cancer
Nothing scares a pet owner like the dreaded “c” word. Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis awaits many dogs. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over age two, and half of all adult dogs will die from cancer. But, cancer doesn’t have to mean the loss of a quality of life. As a loving guardian of your canine companion, you can do a few simple things to help your dog fight cancer and improve his quality of life for as long as possible.
Improve the Diet
All dogs should eat the best food possible, but dogs fighting cancer should definitely eat a high-quality diet. First, look for a low carbohydrate and low glycemic food. Cancer cells need sugar to grow and can efficiently take glucose from your dog’s bloodstream. Eliminating starchy foods like corn, wheat, soy and rice and sugary foods like peas and sweet potatoes will help starve the cancer cells. Instead, feed foods with high-quality proteins and fats and very low carbohydrates. Raw diets and home cooked diets are the best options, but some commercial kibbles will also have a better blend of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Talk to your vet or pet nutritionist about a low-carb diet or consult The Dog Cancer Survival Guide diet recommendations.
Supplement the Immune System
Cancer takes a huge toll on the immune system. Your dog’s body will be working overtime to try to fight off the invading cancer cells. Supporting your pet’s immune system will help him combat cancer and keep up his general health level. At a minimum, add a high-quality multivitamin to your dog’s diet. You might also consider adding more specific supplements to help your dog, including turmeric, fish oil and medicinal mushrooms, especially turkey tail. Use the PetHero veterinarian locator to find a veterinarian near you who can help you develop a supplement protocol.
Toxins can cause, but can also aggravate cancer. As your dog’s body filters out toxins from cleaning products, pesticides, and other carcinogens, existing cancer cells can take advantage of your dog’s attention to these new invaders. Toxins can also prompt new cancers to develop while the body’s immune system is weakened. Check around your home for products that may be toxic to your dog. Consider stopping pesticide treatments in your home and lawn. Don’t use flea prevention or other pesticides unless you absolutely need them. Instead, consider safer, natural treatment options. Try to avoid exposing your dog to cigarette smoke, too, especially if your dog is fighting cancer that has spread to his lungs, nose or mouth.
Cancer can be a devastating and scary diagnosis for any dog owner. Many advances in cancer treatment have been made and cancer is not always a death sentence. But, even when the cancer is terminal, your dog’s quality of life can still be improved with just a few simple changes that you can make at home.