Canine Cancer and Diet, Part 1

Donna Middleton C.C.N.

I’ve had several people contact me lately in regards to their dogs having cancer and wanting to know what they can do to help along with or outside of traditional western medicine. 

Many people are looking for alternative ways to manage it in their dogs.   Cancer in our fur babies has been on the rise over the past few decades.  In the 70’s it was less than 10% and now it hits 1 in 2 dogs with 85% of them having osteosarcoma (bone cancer). 

I would like to share with you some ways to decrease your dog’s chances of developing cancer since 90 to 95% are the result of lifestyle and environmental factors such as exposure to pollution and toxins, obesity, lack of physical activity, infection, stress, and diet. (Canine Nutrigenomics)

Canine Nutrigenomics written by Dr. Jean Dodds and Diana R. Laverdure states that 30 to 40% of all cancers can be prevented by implementing dietary changes. 

Let’s start with what should be removed from the diet before we start adding all the good stuff.

High glycemic foods promote obesity and it’s well established that this can lead to diabetes and diabetes is a high-risk factor for many cancers.  Omitting all refined sugars, refined flour products(gluten), and other unhealthy carbohydrates from your dog’s cancer protective diet is a good start.

Fluoride and canine osteosarcoma!   I’ve already mentioned the high rate of this kind of cancer but fluoride is a likely link to this cancer.  The Environmental Working  Group (EWG) stated in 2009 that fluoride accumulates in the bones after eating or drinking it and it stimulates mitosis (cell division), causing a rapid increase of osteoblasts (cells that form new bone).  EWG also commissioned an independent study of dry dog foods that discovered that 8 out of 10 major national brands sold for puppies and adults contained fluoride in amounts between 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum legal dose in drinking water.  According to the “Canine Nutrigenomics”,  the amount detected was also higher than those linked to bone cancer in young boys.

Dr. Jean Dodds strongly suggests if your dog has bone cancer to eliminate all foods containing bone meal or animal by-products, as well as switching to low fluoride or fluoride free bottled water.

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th Edition by Hand, states that  Propylene glycol is preservative that the FDA has banned in cat food but allows it in dog food.  Ethoxyquin is another that the FDA is watching because it may cause liver and blood problems, and these two preservatives, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are carcinogenic.   According to “Small Animal Clinical Nutrition” by Hand, BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin have been approved in pet foods in the United States for more than 30 years and are considered safe at their recommended levels.  This source neglects to mention the carcinogenic effects it may have on their dogs when accumulated over many years of eating the same food.

Detoxifying your dog’s environment is as important in preventing cancer as anything else.  Environmental hazards include toxins in and around the home such as cleaners, fertilizers, pest and weed chemicals, over vaccinations, topical tick and flea preventatives,  and second-hand smoke. 

Since it is impossible to eliminate every environmental toxic substance from your dog’s life, next I will share with you some ways to detoxify your dog and add supplements that will aid in protecting your dog.

Article provided by Donna Middleton C.C.N.; Head to Tail Canine Nutrition
Link to Part 2CLICK HERE