There is a lot to learn about the correlation between nutrition and disease prevention. Cancer is an immense threat to our own health as well as the health of our furry friends. Prevention is the key to mitigating cancer in ourselves and out pets.
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What Types of Cancer Can Dogs Get?
The following five types of cancer are the ones that have shown to be most prevalent in a wide range of dog breeds:
- Hemangiosarcoma: This form of cancer is very common in dogs. It originates in the blood vessels and spreads to the heart, liver, spleen, and other organs. This cancer remains undetected until it is very advanced.
- Lymphoma: This form of cancer affects the immune system. It originates in the lymph nodes and bone marrow. It will progress rapidly if left untreated.
- Mast Cell Tumors: This form of cancer is common in mixed-breed and older dogs. It affects parts of the body that have high levels of enzymes and histamines, including the intestines, respiratory system, and skin.
- Melanoma: This is a form of skin cancer. It originated in the dog’s mouth and lips for the most part, but can also occur in the eyes, foot pads, and even the nail beds. It then spreads through the deep tissue of the skin and to other organs.
- Osteosarcoma: This is a form of bone cancer. It is most common in larger dog breeds. It can occur in any bone, but most commonly will be seen in the limbs. It is very aggressive, and spreads rapidly.
What is the Main Cause for Cancer in Dogs?
It has been said that roughly 30 to 40 percent of human cancers can be prevented through dietary and lifestyle decisions alone. It can be surmised that it is a similar percentage for dogs. Obviously, your dog’s diet and activity level will impact their overall health and wellness, including their ability to prevent dangerous diseases and ailments such as cancer.
Cancerous tumors feed off of compounds such as sugary carbohydrates and other toxins. Choose packaged foods without harmful toxins that contain high levels of real, wholesome, low-sugar ingredients for starters. Additionally, you can include healthy people-food into your puppy’s diet to help prevent cancer early on.
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Cancer?
There is no way to entirely prevent your dog from getting cancer, however there are things you can do to give your dog the best chance at avoiding this detrimental disease. Just like with people, prevention is the key, and the foods you choose to eat play a vital role in your overall health. It is the same for our furry friends. Dogs are at high risk for getting cancer too. Stats will vary depending on the breed, but it is likely that between 10 and 60 percent of all dogs will die because of cancer. For some breeds, such as the Golden Retriever, the risk for getting cancer is 60 percent.
Superfoods to Prevent Cancer in Dogs
Providing healthy food for your pet is one of the most important things you can do for them that may help in preventing cancer. Adding the following foods into your dog’s daily diet and you are one step closer to preventing cancer as well as keeping your dog healthier in general.
Blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries are all considered superfoods that can help prevent cancer in your dog. All of these berries have high levels of cancer fighting antioxidants. They also have a lot of vitamins and fiber and are often associated with improved cardiovascular health and memory. If your dog likes them raw, you can use them as treats. If not, try juicing or mixing them with other, yummier ingredients.
Broccoli is a superfood at the top of almost every list of cancer fighting foods for dogs. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain rich antioxidants, which are known to be the main players in fighting cancer.
Antioxidants circulate through your system eliminating new cancer cells before they can grow and spread. Broccoli also contains a ton of immune boosting vitamins and minerals that provide relief from allergies, inflammation, and are antimicrobial too.
It should be noted that the tops of the broccoli can be irritating to your dog’s system and can cause gas so it is recommended to feed them the stems only.
Other cruciferous veggie that are safe to feed your dog and are just as good for cancer prevention include bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and turnips. Try lightly steaming them to make them easier on your dog’s digestion.
Coconut Oil, Flax Oil, and Olive Oil
Commercial dog food usually does not usually contain the amount of good fats your dog needs. Good fats provide your dog with the healthy fatty acids and fuel they need. Good fats help with the absorption of vitamins without the bad cholesterol that can clog your dog’s arteries.
Coconut oil, flax oil, and olive oil are all preferred choices by dogs because they typically enjoy the taste of them. Moreover, these oils are easy to administer. Just add some to anything your dog is eating. Mixing an appropriate amount over kibble is an excellent way to boost the nutritional value of your dog’s meal as well as its yumminess.
The recommended serving size for coconut oil is one teaspoon for every ten pounds of food per day. For flax oil and olive oil the recommended serving size is one teaspoon for every twenty pounds of food per day. For olive oil the recommended serving size is one teaspoon for every day.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens such as kale are great for smoothies, but can also be eaten raw, or cooked with some fat for better vitamin absorption. In addition to kale, beet greens, collard greens, swiss chard, and spinach are all super healthy dark, leafy greens. They contain isothiocyanate, which has been known to lower the risk of cancer.
Dark, leafy greens also contain chlorophyll, which has a special cancer preventing benefit for dogs. It blocks the absorption of intensely carcinogenic aflatoxins, which a lot of commercial dog foods contain, especially those that are made from corn. Greens in general should be used sparingly with dogs because they often cause gastric upset.
It should be noted that if your dog is prone to kidney or bladder stones, dark greens with high levels of calcium oxalate should be avoided all together. Seek advice from your vet if you are unsure what is safe to feed your pup.
Eggs are another great superfood that provide a source of complete protein. They are low in calories, are high in vitamin D3, which is known to contribute to cancer prevention as well.
Dogs typically love eggs in most forms. You can feed them eggs that are raw, fried, or boiled. Cook them in olive, flax, or coconut oil with good fat and get a double dose of cancer prevention and a great tasting meal.
Fish (and/or fish oil) has very healthy levels of good fat. Like eggs, fish also contains vitamin D3, making it an even stronger force against cancer. Dogs enjoy fish like cod, salmon, sardines, and shrimp.
Palm Fruit Oil
Palm fruit oil has a form of vitamin E called tocotrienol. There have been several studies completed that show tocotrienols can block the spread and even cause the death of cancer cells.
Palm fruit oil helps with many things including the absorption of vitamins and minerals, boost in immunity, improved eye health, and balanced blood sugar.
Parsnips are a root vegetable that look similar to a carrot but are white in color and are not as sweet. A lot of dogs love to eat carrots and will eat them raw. Parsnips can also be fed raw, preferably cut up in manageable chunks or cooked if your dog swallows food without chewing.
Parsnips contain the all powerful cancer fighting antioxidants as well as vitamin K which promotes healthy bones. They also contain a load of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for a healthy digestive system, immune system, and nervous system. Parsnips even contain metabolism-boosting ingredients!
Peaches and Plums
Peaches and plums are both rich in antioxidants and are also highly effective at removing toxins. The more toxins that get removed from the body, the higher the likelihood of preventing cancer. Peaches are also great at fighting skin infections and keeping skin healthy in general. Plums also contain a lot of vitamin C and iron.
Make sure to remove the pit before feeding peaches or plums to your dog because the pits are toxic and your furry friend could also could choke on them.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which stops the growth and spread of cancer cells, making it extremely useful for fighting cancer. Turmeric is safe for both you and your dog to eat.
The challenge with turmeric is making sure your body absorbs it. Adding some loose Turmeric straight to your pet’s food will likely result in the spice going directly through their system without being absorbed. To make sure you get the proper absorption you can opt for a supplement.
It’s also good to give your dogs daily supplements like Zesty Paws Multivitamin for dogs if you’re not able to give him or her all these cancer fighting foods.
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