The Big “C” that frightens humans, affects even more dogs, at the rate of nearly half the adult dog population. With that said, just as with humans, there are ways to give your pet the best chance for not getting cancer in the first place. So you might wonder What Causes Cancer in Dogs? Unfortunately, cancer can develop in many ways. It can come from an early spay or neutering, an unhealthy diet, obesity and overexposure to toxic chemicals, to name a few. While we can’t prevent this disease completely, there are things we can do to reduce the risks for our furry family members.
Eliminate a topical flea treatment product
Many people rely on manufacturer’s to deliver a product that’s safe for their pets. This problem is that while many of these companies make claims on their packaging, there’s no assigned department provided by the government to check out these claims. This leads to one of the most commonly administered products on the market, topical flea medicine.
The ingredients alone are toxic and the fact that you apply it directly to various portions of the skin should sound off alarms, but, again, you trust the company. Most of these flea medications do have a warning label, for a human that is. Luckily, there are alternatives to exposing your dog to not only harmful chemicals but the possibility of developing cancer. Organic products are made of natural biodegradable enzymes and agents have proven to be just as effective. Many veterinarians today also issue a prescription for an oral flea medication.
Spray or neuter pets after 18 months of age
The push for neutering and spaying animals came about by the humane society as a way of controlling the population of pets entering into their facilities. The problem is that the age these shelters neuter or spay animals is before the body is fully developed. According to recent studies conducted joint disease, hip tears, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation risk factors all increase in dogs spayed or neutered prior to 12 months of age. In some cases, the rate is 3 to 4 times higher than a pet left intact. When it comes to lymphosarcoma and mast cell cancer, the increased risk for neutered males was 3xs greater and for spayed females 4xs greater. If you want to neuter or spay your pet there are other options available without the need for removing the entire reproductive organs.
Avoid the use of toxic chemicals in and around your home
Just as with humans, toxins used in the home and around your property can cause a mild or a serious reaction in your pet depending mainly on its ability to handle it. Your dog or cat spends most of its time enjoying the comforts you provide in your home. They have access to a soft place to relax and sleep, food in its belly, plenty of fresh water and a roof over its head. Unfortunately, your pet also takes in everything in the air in your home.
If there’s a smoker, your pet takes in the second-hand smoke, when you spray cleaners and air fresheners, yep your pet is there. Over time this can take a toll on its immune system. Tar and smoke enter through the skin and chemicals enter straight into the bloodstream. In order to avoid the potential risk of cancer, use alternative cleaning products and if you smoke, take it outdoors or better yet, quit smoking and reap the benefits for your own health as well.
You know yourself as a human the pounds can pack on quickly if you remain inactive for any length of time. The same holds true for your favorite canine or feline. Inactivity can make your pet vulnerable to developing cancer. The lymphatic system works in conjunction with the heart, immune system and fat produced in the small intestine. If your pet gets in an hour of physical activity daily it will boost the lymph system to prevent the onset of cancer while also helping to reduce the number of toxins in its body. The good news is your pet loves to play, so unlike humans, getting in the workout is as easy as saying those magic words “Do you want to play?”
A healthy diet goes hand in hand with exercise, combining the two will give your pet a better chance at not only avoiding cancer but also many other illnesses like obesity, diabetes and hip issues due to being overweight. Pet food products on the grocery shelf promise that they are wholesome and good for your pet, but if you read some of the ingredients it can make you wonder.
When trying to decide which brand is the best keep a few things in mind. First, make sure that there are no artificial preservatives, fillers or ingredients. Second, the meat contents should come as one of the first few ingredients. If not, chances are it’s not something you want to feed your pet. While you may need to purchase your food at a pet store, you feel reassured, the extra money you spend now will be far less than the money you may need to spend later with surgeries, or long-term illnesses.
Your pet, just like a newborn baby, does not come with a manual. The good news is that by treating your pet as a member of the family and paying attention to its needs and harmful products around your home, will benefit you and your beloved animal.