A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying for a dog owner. The worry and the expenses can be incredibly stressful. However, with modern veterinarian technology, cancer can be a manageable illness for your dog. The best thing you can do is to learn more about the illness, what you can do to help your dog live a happy and full life, and find the best nutrition to support their health during this difficult time.
What To Expect After A Cancer Diagnosis
Once the shock has worn off, you need to make a plan to ensure the health and longevity of your beloved friend. The first step is to start by working with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan. Treatment plans can involve everything from surgery and chemotherapy to medicine and nutrition and lifestyle changes. During this time your dog will exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms, so make sure that you track their behavior. It is also important to start developing a diet plan, because cancer patients need specific nutrients to help them heal. They will also have a variety of sensitivities that can be aggravated by the wrong foods.
Cancer Diet For Dogs: Important Nutrients To Help Fight Cancer
The nutrients your dog needs to fight cancer vary depending on the breed, age, and type of cancer. However, there are many standard nutrients to include when developing a nutritional program with your veterinarian. These are the most common:
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps cells healthy cell develop. Since cancer is a disease at the cellular level, it is important to provide your dog with the nutrients that help with cellular support.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E and selenium. Antioxidants help protect your dog from free radical damage. They also support a healthy immune system which may be compromised from the cancer.
- Iron: Many cancer treatments can damage bone marrow and red blood cells and lead to anemia and lethargy. Iron is crucial to help your dog have the energy to get through their treatments.
- L-Glutamine: L-Gluatmine is an essential amino acid. Cancer treatments can lead to nerve damage. Studies have shown that L-Glutamine can help reduce nerve damage from these treatments.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for supporting the immune system. So they are really important when your dog has a compromised immune system from fighting cancer.
- Calcium: Calcium is an essential nutrient for a variety of healing processes and healthy bodily function. Your dog’s body does not produce any calcium normally, so it is important that they are getting all the calcium they need from their diet.
Though all of these nutrients have been shown to help cancer patients, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before putting your dog on any supplements. It is also better that your dog gets these nutrients from natural food sources, so they are something to keep in mind when picking out a good dog food for your cancer patient.
What To Avoid In A Dog Food
There are several things that can exacerbate cancer in dogs, so when picking out a dog food you want to make sure that you avoid these things. First you want to avoid any food that has been processed at a high temperature because high temperature processing can often create carcinogens. You also should avoid anything containing nitrates because that can be carcinogenic as well. Secondly you want to avoid any food containing fish meal because can contain the carcinogen ethoxyquin. Finally, you want to avoid any sugars or simply carbohydrates. Cancers cells feed on the simple sugars, so avoiding them can help slow the growth of cancer cells.
Raw Foods Diet For Dogs With Cancer
Many dog owners think switching to a homemade raw foods diet will help their dog fight cancer. Yet, there is no conclusive data that shows this is the best strategy. Also because their immune system is compromised and raw foods have a higher risk of containing food-borne pathogens than manufactured dog food, you may be putting your dog in danger. So you should absolutely consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on a homemade raw foods diet. However, many high quality dog food brands make raw dog foods which may be a safer option for your dog if you and your veterinarian decide to go this route.
Best Dog Foods For Dogs With Cancer
Halo has been recognized by the National Canine Cancer Foundation for having cancer patient-friendly dog foods. Halo manufactures its dog food with high quality whole foods like unprocessed deboned meat. They do not use any meals or animal byproducts. Halo Dog Foods are also fortified with antioxidants, vitamin D, calcium, and iron, essential nutrients for cancer patients. Their dog food also contains pre and probiotics to help with your dog’s sensitive digestion. Halo comes in dry and wet varieties and they even make treats and supplements that can help your dog heal quicker. They are a great brand for any dog living with cancer.
Hills Prescription makes a variety of dog foods that treat a range of illnesses. One of their lines, Urgent Care, was specially formulate for dogs that recovering from a serious illness, surgery, or undergoing an intensive medical treatment like chemotherapy. Urgent care has a variety of vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy immune system and fast healing. It is also highly digestible and easy to feed by bowl, spoon, syringe, or even a feeding tube. It also contains a high level of potassium to help avoid dehydration and nutrient depletion during this difficult healing process. Urgent Care is a great option if your dog has had to have surgery or go through chemotherapy to treat their cancer.
A cancer diagnosis is a very scary thing, however it is not always fatal. In fact, your dog can still live a long, healthy, happy life after cancer. During this time you need to work with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog is getting the best treatment and eating the best food. Luckily there are some great dog food brands that make food specifically for dogs suffering from cancer. These foods can really help ease their pain and help them live a high quality of life during this trying time.