Pet Cancer Prevention
Pet cancer is an epidemic, and veterinarians are seeing dogs of all ages with cancer than ever before. We all want the best for our pets, and to have as many treasured years with them as possible. Cancer is a scary word, but there are steps you can take to help try to protect your pet’s health. In honor of May being Pet Cancer Prevention Month, Grandma Lucy’s would like to empower pet parents with the scoop on how nutrition can factor in to safeguarding your pet’s wellness.
Feeding your pet an anti-inflammatory diet that is made up of whole, fresh foods can greatly help reduce the risk of cancer. Research has shown that cancer is the result of chronic inflammation, which allows abnormal cells to grow. In order to create and multiply, cancer cells need the glucose or sugar found in carbohydrates. Offering a diet that is low-glycemic and free of highly processed starch can help reduce the chance of cancer cells, by limiting the foods they use as an energy source. Not only do the ingredients in your pet’s food matter, but the type of food is also key. Dry food or kibble is exposed to high temperatures during the cooking and extrusion processes, during which carbohydrates interact with protein and can create carcinogens. Feeding a freeze-dried diet preserves the integrity and benefits of ingredients, since the foods are less processed and in their natural state it makes it easier to incorporate whole foods into your pet’s diet.
Not all foods are created equal, and there are some foods and supplements you can add into your cat or dog’s bowl to enhance immunity and protect against inflammation and cancer-causing cells. Look for a pet food which boasts cancer-fighting ingredients like kale and other dark leafy greens, antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries, and broccoli. Antioxidants helps to protect against free radicals, which damage healthy cells and can factor into the birth of cancer cells. Another powerful anti-inflammatory to incorporate is turmeric. Turmeric is a spice plant whose roots contain the active ingredient curcumin which has been shown to support organ function and protect against cancer. Curcumin also works to enhance antioxidants to maximize their fighting power against free radicals.
Being proactive is key not only not only to preventing cancer, but also in increasing your pet’s likelihood of recovery in the chance that they do become sick. Maintaining a healthy weight and providing proper stimulation and outlets to reduce stress can go a long way in preventing or delaying the growth of tumors. Check your pet for any lumps, bumps, or swelling that won’t reside, and consult your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can evaluate the cause. Other signs which may indicate cancer to watch for are persistent sores, low energy, difficulty breathing, and unpleasant odor from the mouth, nose, or backside. You should assess which toxins your pet is exposed to on a routine or day to day basis and consider reducing use of chemical pesticides like flea and tick preventative, herbicides, and air-scenting to products to list a few. While there is unfortunately no way to ensure your pet won’t be affected by cancer or other disease, these practices can help pet parents to protect their pets with all the actions that are in their control.