Dog Cancer Prevention
Veterinarian Reviewed on March 29, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Dog Cancer Prevention
We all love our dogs, and would do anything to keep them well. Although you can’t always prevent Dog Cancer, you can certainly do things that will reduce the risk of cancer occurring.
Besides the canine leukemia cancer risk in dogs specifically, there are other cancers that are common to dogs. Again, you can’t necessarily completely prevent cancer in dogs, but you can do things to reduce the chance that they’ll get it. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Spay and neuter
Dogs that are regularly allowed to go into heat or that experience the hormonal surges that facilitate reproduction are much more at risk for reproductive cancers than dogs that have been spayed or neutered. Therefore, spay or neuter your dog before he or she ever has a chance to go into heat or to become sexually active. Puppies should be spayed or neutered by the time they’re about six months old, or whenever your vet recommends.
Feed your dog a healthy diet
A healthy Dog Diet is imperative to keeping cancer at bay. High-quality dog foods with “human food grade” ingredients like chicken, rice and fresh or dried vegetables instead of cheaper foods with lots of additives or byproducts are worth their weight in gold. Even though you’ll pay a little bit more at the price register for these high-quality foods, you’ll save money in medical bills for your dog — and your dog will be healthier and happier, too.
Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise
If you have a dog, make sure he or she gets plenty of exercise, especially daily walks to maintain a good weight and have a good cardiovascular system. If you have a dog, he or she can be completely indoors, but provide lots of opportunity for activity; dogs love to climb, jump and run, and there are lots of toys and furniture especially for small dogs that can help your dog have a healthy and active lifestyle even if completely indoors. (By the way, dogs especially benefit from having a “buddy,” so if it all possible, keep two dogs together. They’ll entertain each other and will help each other exercise, too.)
Reduce exposure to chemicals
Whether they are Dog Lawn Chemicals used on the lawn or chemicals used in the household, or flea or tick products, constant exposure to chemicals can be harmful to your dog, including facilitating the development of cancer. Use Dog Fleas control chemicals sparingly and only under the strict supervision of a vet. (Natural alternatives like brewer’s yeast added to the diet can help keep ticks and fleas away – and your dog will love it, too.)
Watch those vaccinations
Although some vaccinations are absolutely necessary and may be required by law (like rabies vaccinations), it’s known that over-vaccination can actually damage dogs’ immune systems and may facilitate the development of chronic diseases like cancer. Talk with your vet and set up a vaccination schedule that will give your dog ONLY those vaccinations he or she absolutely needs at the lowest frequency possible while maintaining protection; eliminate any vaccinations that aren’t absolutely necessary.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan