Cancer can affect both young and old dogs. Cancer is now the No.1 cause of death in canines. Although most cancers, once found, are difficult to stop, cancer is an illness for which the proverbial ounce of prevention is definitely worth that pound of cure.
An estimated 80-90% of all cancers in people are prevented by lifestyle choices. This can also be true for dogs. Dr. Colin Campbell’s, The China Study, published in 2006, stated that a diet with over 20% animal protein had a significant effect of whether cells with altered DNA did, in fact turn into cancer cells. There is solid evidence that improved nutrition strengthens the immune system and helps prevent cancer. In fact, we all get cancer multiple times during our lifetimes. Before those tiny cancer cells get a firm hold, our immune system takes charge and cleans them up on our behalf.
There is no such thing as human food or dog food – food is food. The same concerns you have with the food you eat should be taken into consideration when feeding your dog. Processed foods and commercially produced dog foods contain preservatives, byproducts, chemicals, heavy metals, and other harmful substances that encourage the production of free radicals in your dog’s body cells. The only foods that act as protecting shields against disease come from plants. Plants contain generous amounts of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that demonstrate a genuine ability to protect and even reverse cancer, among other chronic diseases.
PROTECTING WHOLE FOODS
Saturated animal fats have been shown to increase risk factors for cancer. When these animal fats are heated and cooked, the risk factor becomes even higher. Cancer-preventing diets for humans are low in animal fats. Although cooked animal fats are undesirable, not all fats are bad. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids act to suppress tumor growth. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water fish and flaxseeds. Give your dog a minimum daily serving of 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax oil (1/2 teaspoon for small breeds) or ¼ cup of freshly ground flaxseeds. Oils should be kept refrigerated.
- Vegetables – Specially carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers
- Kale and Spinach
- Carrots and Pumpkin
- Garbanzo and lentil beans
- All herbs, especially parsley and cilantro
- Seeds, especially sesame
- Whole grains
In a dog’s diet, vegetables can be fed raw or lightly steamed or grated. Organically grown vegetables give the best benefit because they are far richer in minerals and enzymes. Leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables such as squash and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene and other phytonutrients that help protect cells from cancer. Broccoli contains compounds that inhibit the effect of carcinogens and boost production of cancer-blocking enzymes.
Recommended Reading: The China Study, T. Colin Campbell PhD / Thomas M. Campbell II, MD. Natural Dog, Deva Khalsa, VMD.