Cancer In Dogs
Over the past years there has been a noted increase in the cases of cancer in all breeds of dogs. While there is not much known about the definitive causes of cancer in dogs, or humans for that matter, there are several steps you and your family can take to reduce your dogs’ chances of contracting this disease.
Long term exposure to toxins can not only weaken the dogs immune system, it can also have a negative impact on the liver which is the body's main detoxifier. But that does not mean that there is a genetic predisposition for immune system problems in certain lines as we still do not know why some dogs exposed to the same toxins will develop immune related diseases while others will not. However, I feel that there are a number of factors that play a roll such as good nutrition, good home environment, low levels of exposure to toxins, low stress and appropriate exercise and weight management. The steps below are key, in my belief, in keeping a dogs immune system as strong as it can be.
These steps are never a guarantee but they are designed to help strengthen your dogs immune system, rather than to weaken it, which could leave your dog open to more immune related diseases.
- Vaccinations – Over vaccinating your puppy or adult dog can greatly weaken the dogs’ immune system. More evidence is now pointing away from annual vaccinations and towards a 3 year or longer waits before revaccinations are needed. Many dog owners, as well as myself, are now doing titers annually and revaccinating only when the dogs titers are low, showing vaccination is indicated. Many dogs go many years before their titers indicate a need for revaccination. When you get a new puppy, make sure you use a vaccine that is complete by 12 weeks of age. Then discuss options with your vet as far as revaccination is concerned.
If your vet is not willing to discuss options with you, then it may be time to consider finding a vet who will work with you.
- Water – There is no such thing as clean water from any faucet anymore, this includes well water. All water is now contaminated with toxic chemicals, pesticides, PCB’s, farming chemicals, etc; the list goes on and on. Most bottled water has little or no regulation on what is filtered, most just have chlorine removed and many toxic chemicals remain. Most counter top filters (carafe types) and the little faucet filters only remove chlorine and perhaps some lead, again leaving many toxic chemicals in your water. Not only should your dog not be drinking this YOU should not be drinking it either. Make sure your water is clean of all toxic chemicals. I feel so strongly about this that I am now a distributor for Multi-Pure Water Filters, my dogs and I only drink this water as it removes almost all carcinogens possible from your water source. Contact me for additional information.
- Chemicals & Pesticides – For years we have been bombarding our pets with lethal chemicals that we are warned to avoid ourselves, then we wonder why our pets are ill. Toxic chemicals include ALL flea preparations, lawn chemicals, tree spraying, town mosquito spraying, etc. If it is toxic to you it is toxic to your pet. Also, remember your pet is much smaller than you so a smaller dosage can have a much more adverse effect on your pet. Repeated exposures are even more dangerous. I no longer use any chemicals on my lawns or trees. I no longer have any pest control coming in to spray on a regular basis (or any basis), I do not use any toxic flea preparations and I also do not use the new topical “spot” preparations or internal pills for fleas or ticks, no flea collars, etc. These things are toxic and should be avoided. Use natural alternatives. This also leads me to the chemicals and pesticides in and on all foods that are not organic.
- Food – You would not believe what goes into many dog foods. Did you know that some companies claim to use human quality ingredients and go into the human quality processing plants and use the discarded parts of animals not fit for human consumption such as cancerous tumors? These parts are thrown into the pet food bins and are used in pet food preparation; so are road killed animals, etc in many pet foods and you have no control over nor knowledge of what is in your pets food. And, that says nothing about the toxic chemicals that are in any food that is not organic. If at all possible I recommend cooking for your pet and to use organic produce wherever possible. I have some simple recipes for this and there are numerous books available to help you in this endeavor as well. If you cannot cook for your pet, then I recommend using the best dry food you can locate and then add some quality ingredients when you can; fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic so there are no toxic chemicals added), organic meats, etc. My dogs all get a raw organic carrot at nighttime instead of a biscuit.
While these are not all the things that may contribute to cancer it is certainly a large step in the right direction for protecting your pet (and yourself) and reducing the chance that you will have to deal with cancer. There are factors that you cannot control such as the quality of the air, toxins from plastics, fabrics, etc. But at least you will be minimizing your dogs exposure as much as possible. Do not make yourself crazy but do what you can to help protect your dog, for your pet cannot do it for himself.