Pay Attention To Diet
Many dog parents buy the same old kibble every day for their dogs’ entire lives. New studies and research seem to indicate that this may not be the best dietary option when it comes to our dogs’ health, and there is also a link between what our dogs eat and cancer.
Traditional dog food is sometimes full of grains that can be contaminated with toxins such as aflatoxin B1 that cause cancer. Additionally, carbohydrates from grains and corn are converted into sugar in the body, which fuels cancer cells.
Even good foods, like fresh vegetables and fruits, can have traces of pesticides or herbicides on them that are carcinogenic. It’s important to be mindful not only of what your dog is eating, but where the food is sourced from and how it’s prepared.
On the other hand, there are several foods that are full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that can give dogs’ immune systems a major boost, prevent cancer, and help in the treatment of cancer. Many vets prescribe specific diets for dogs who have cancer.
Do some research, talk to your veterinarian, and consider making your dog’s food from scratch on your own. Do NOT make any changes to your dog’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian.
Here are a few resources about food and canine cancer that can help you begin your research:
Learn The Different Types Of Cancer
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Cancer can refer to such a wide variety of conditions that it may be hard to pinpoint exactly what symptoms and signs to expect or look out for. These symptoms can also mimic those of other medical conditions.
Even lumps are not necessarily malignant tumors to worry about, though they should always be checked out by a vet. Additionally, some forms of cancer are more common than others, and some cancers are extremely aggressive while others are able to be treated somewhat easily. A cancer diagnosis isn’t always a death sentence.
Learning about the types of cancer will also help you avoid environmental factors that can contribute to their development.
For example, unprotected exposure to sunlight can lead to skin cancer, especially in dogs with lighter coats. Exposure to chemicals, especially pesticides or herbicides, can contribute to certain forms of cancer. Medical conditions like cryptorchidism can increase the risk of cancer in dogs.
Here are a few resources about common types of cancer in dogs that you may find helpful:
Talk To Your Veterinarian
There are several symptoms of cancer, though these can vary greatly depending on the type and stage of the cancer. These symptoms can also be similar to those of other medical conditions.
If you see any of the following signs that may be symptoms of cancer in your dog, talk to your veterinarian right away:
- Unusual swelling or lumps
- Sores that don’t heal
- Weight loss
- Appetite loss
- Bleeding or discharge from the mouth or other orifices
- Unusual odor, especially from the breath
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Exercise aversion
- Lameness or stiffness
- Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
Even if you do not notice any signs or symptoms of cancer in your dog, you should still maintain a schedule of regular vet visits every six months to a year. A routine check-up can sometimes detect cancer before it becomes a major problem, and early detection is very beneficial for successful treatment of cancer.
Your vet can also give you advice on environmental factors to avoid that can contribute to cancer development.
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