How to Feed a Dog with a Canine Cancer?
7 min read
Being the greatest health concern of present days, cancer strikes not only humans. Many dog owners know that it’s the scariest disease for canine species which often leads to fatal outcomes. No matter how young or old your dog is, cancer can still threaten its life and wellbeing.
So, can you as your dog’s owner do anything to ease the pain of your loyal companion? In fact, there are many things you can do to improve your pet’s quality of life. And feeding your dog with the right foods is one of the major considerations you should think of.
Want to know what foods to choose and which ones to avoid if your dog has cancer? Below you’ll find everything on this matter.
Why sticking to a good diet is important
Giving your dog healthy food is a great way to show your care.
Dog-oriented types of cancer treatment don’t differ much from standard therapies prescribed to people. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation – these are perhaps the most popular ways to minimize the sufferings of cancer-stricken dogs.
But even all these things won’t guarantee that your dog gets cured so it’s your task as its owner to improve your dog’s life quality in all possible meanings.
Can you think of a better way to do this than to take good care of your dog as much as you can and provide it with healthy foods every day? In fact, the primary way to ensure a better life for your dog is to help it maintain a proper diet.
As your dog’s favorite human, one critical thing you can do for your pet is to feed it in the right way so that it gets sufficient nutrition and fights cancer by all possible means. That’s not to mention that feeding your dog with good foods will ease its sufferings and help it live a more enjoyable life despite all the pain it has to put up with.
Direct link between cancer and diet: How cancer changes a dog’s metabolism
To prevent loss of weight, there should be a special diet.
Cancerous cells can greatly change the way the dog’s body system works. One of the major problems here is related to the changes in metabolism. In fact, canines affected by cancer tend to use carbohydrates, proteins and fats differently in contrast to healthy dogs.
What’s more, in many cases, the animal doesn’t get an adequate amount of nutrients due to the problems with metabolism. As a result, it starts losing weight and the disease keeps progressing. In the end, it can lead to poor response to treatment and may eventually speed up the fatal outcomes.
That’s why there is a direct connection between canine cancer and diet which is explained by a simple fact – cancer is a complex disease provoked by a number of unfavorable factors where poor dietary habits also have a role to play.
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Other negative factors may include the improper environment, stress and the lack of physical activity among others. Exactly due to this reason, a good feeding regime can play a critical role in minimizing the impact of the disease on canines.
Best foods for dogs with cancer: What to include in your dog’s diet?
Cooking food for a dog is preferable than buying ready-made products.
Before you even start planning a proper diet for your pet, it’s essential to first consult a vet doctor to find out everything necessary about your dog’s specific needs. And if your dog is already going through chemotherapy, it’s especially important to ask a certified specialist for professional guidance on how you should feed your dog correctly.
As a general rule, any vet practitioner would suggest making certain changes in your dog’s daily diet. The main requirement here is to try to prepare meals for your pet at home rather than buy commercial food products.
The list of recommended foods for canines with cancer usually includes meals that are full of fatty proteins and are easy to digest. Such kind of products can provide your dog with a sufficient amount of nutrients.
They may include:
- Turkey, etc.
Moreover, any veterinarian would tell you that human foods for fighting cancer differ much from those recommended for dogs. But the most important rule here is to feed your dog with only organic and nutritional foods that would be high in vitamins and natural ingredients to produce the right cancer-fighting effects.
The most common choices of this kind include:
- Fresh meats (raw or cooked)
- Distilled water
- Garlic in small amounts.
Note: The key to keeping your dog’s diet healthy is to provide it with 100% organic and easy-to-digest foods that are fresh-made and have a good taste and smell.
Vital food ingredients for dogs with cancer
It's good to have supplements to the diet to get all the necessary nutrients.
Do you consider adding some supplements to your dog’s diet? That’s what most vet doctors would tell you to do. In fact, specialists often recommend dog owners to buy high-quality supplements for dogs suffering from cancer. This will guarantee that your pet gets all the necessary nutrients from its daily diet.
What are the most useful ingredients for dogs with canine cancer? The list of critical components that your dog can get from supplements usually consists of:
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Omega-3 fatty acids
They are known for an ability to prevent the growth of cancerous cells and they can also produce positive effects on your dog’s immune system and general state of health. Omega-3 is most often found in fish-oil supplements.
Many studies show that this vitamin reduces further development of cancerous cells and may even encourage their destruction. As a result, it should become a vital ingredient of your dog’s anti-cancer diet. The only rule is to avoid giving too much of this vitamin to your pet because this is a fat-soluble compound that can produce toxic effects on dogs when given in high doses.
This vitamin is mainly known for its antioxidant properties and your dog can easily get it from pills. It’s recommended to give supplements with vitamin C together with Omega-3 to achieve maximum benefit.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA can be found in many dairy products like butter or milk. It’s also known for its potential to prevent cancer cells from growing. Although this compound has not been fully researched yet and is not always prescribed to dogs, its usage has already shown promising health effects among canines affected by cancer.
These are essential for keeping your dog’s digestive function in good order. And they are also very useful for the immune system of canines with cancer.
On the whole, if you consider switching over to supplements to help your pet fight the effects of cancer, be sure it’s a great idea. There is evidence that vitamins and supplements can bring good results if used on a regular basis.
Note: Many vet doctors suggest that dog owners should also give appetite stimulants to their pets to encourage them to eat properly and overcome the problems of weight loss and anorexia.
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Limits of your dog’s diet: Are there any foods you should avoid?
It's better to reduce high-carb products to eliminate problems with metabolism.
Surely, there isn’t only one diet that would suit all dogs without exceptions. A good idea would be to make food choices based on your pet’s medical record, type of cancer it suffers from and other diseases that your dog might have.
What you should definitely avoid at all costs is grains and other high carb products as it’s important to reduce their consumption if your dog has cancer. Once again, all this is related to the changes in metabolism that usually happen after cancer starts growing.
Remember that cancer has a sweet tooth that loves carbohydrates, harmful sugars and processed proteins among many other risky products. That’s why it’s important to restrict the amount of these and other ingredients in your dog’s diet.
As a rule, it’s better to exclude the next foods if you want to improve your dog’s quality of life:
- Potatoes (plus sweet potatoes)
- Pineapples and mangos
- Beets, etc.
The last thing you want is to give harmful foods to your dog so make sure you stick to the right diet and choose only healthy products that wouldn’t pose any risks in your dog’s situation.
Note: Healthy homemade foods are always a more preferable choice than processed commercial products. Besides, feeding your dog with foods that you cook at home will also guarantee that your pet’s diet doesn’t consist of any dangerous ingredients.
Let’s face it – cancer is a terrifying and life-threatening disease that claims the lives of not just humans but also our beloved pets. Unfortunately, even the healthiest diet cannot do miracles to your dog’s state of health when you’re dealing with such a serious disorder as cancer.
A good diet is just one part of a complex process that can only be used as an addition to the standard cancer treatment plan prescribed by your dog’s vet doctor.
That’s mainly because the goal of a proper feeding regime is not to cure your dog completely with the help of the right foods which, in most cases, is not possible. Instead, your task is to help your pet cope with the troubling signs of disease making it feel better and giving it an opportunity to live a more enjoyable life all along.
And finally, you should remember that your dog is a completely unique creature – the diet that suits other dogs may not necessarily be suitable for your pet. Just make sure you consider your dog’s personal needs when you develop a dietary plan for it. This will give your pet good chances to live a longer and happier life.