As we’ve discussed at length before, preventing cancer altogether is the best way to cure it. In our last blog, we discussed some measures you may take; now let’s talk about simple dietary modifications you can make to assist prevent cancer in your dog or lessen its effects if it has already developed.
Here is a selection of canine-friendly foods rich in anti-cancer agents
Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Fish
Both completely healthy dogs and dogs whose owners are seeking to lessen the effects of cancer on their bodies can benefit from fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D3 can be abundant in fish oil, making it an effective anti-inflammatory and potentially tumor-suppressing medicine. Fish oil helps healthy dogs have shinier coats and avoid dry skin. 1,2,3
Meat from animals
Protein contributes to your dog’s robust health since it is absorbed straight into muscle tissue and used to fuel the immune system, helping to ward off illness. If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer, protein is even more crucial to their diet than when they were healthy. Muscle protein is a natural source of nourishment for cancerous tumors in your pet. To help a cancer-stricken puppy fight off the growth, it is essential to increase the amount of protein in its diet. 1,3
Antioxidants can be found in abundance in berries, particularly in dark-colored berries due to the anthocyanins that give them their color. Ellagic acid, which is found in blueberries, has been shown to inhibit carcinogenic metabolic pathways. The United States Department of Agriculture has found that blackberries have the highest levels of antioxidants of any food in the country. 1-6
It’s a good thing that broccoli is so nutritious by design. As a result of human involvement, a wild cabbage was domesticated, resulting in one of the world’s healthiest and most influential vegetables. Fiber, calcium, potassium, protein, beta-carotene, vitamins C and A, and even vitamin D can all be found in broccoli. It’s anti-allergic, anti-microbial, and reduces inflammation. In addition to its many other health benefits, broccoli is rich in biochemicals that have been shown to strengthen the immune system and inhibit cancer growth. 1-6
Beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which have antioxidant properties, can be found in abundance in pumpkins. Antioxidants found in pumpkins, much like those found in berries, help protect against the damage that can be done by free radicals. 1-3,6
Turmeric is gaining popularity as a health food ingredient, both for humans and animals, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, which it contains, has been shown to both prevent and treat cancer. The anti-cancer properties of curcumin are enhanced when the spice turmeric is mixed with the fat-burning properties of coconut oil. 1,3,4,6
Oil extracted from coconuts
Many canine companions find the mild flavor of coconut oil to be a welcome addition to their diet. Coconut oil, in example, includes plant sterols that can mimic cholesterol and help in inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol, thus feeding your dog a diet rich in natural fats can help him assimilate nutrients from other foods. The anti-cancer and anti-precancerous properties of coconut oil make it an excellent moisturizer for your dog’s skin. In addition, its antibacterial activities have been demonstrated to eliminate microorganisms that have been connected to an increased risk of developing certain cancers. 1,2,3
In canine studies, apples reduced the growth of cancer cells by 60% through starvation. The development of malignancies in the body is frequently facilitated by the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting ones, which is prevented by their antiangiogenic activity. 1,4,6
Toasted sweet potatoes
Vitamins B6, C, and D, along with minerals including iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, copper, and thiamine can all be found in sweet potatoes. Beta-carotene, found in abundance in these vegetables, has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. 2,4
Folate, potassium, fiber, and beta-carotene are just a few of the many nutrients found in abundance in beets. The high insoluble fiber content aids the body’s natural detoxification processes and promotes optimal liver health. Beets, thanks to their high beta-carotene content, may help reduce the risk of developing some malignancies and improve general health. 2
If you have reason to believe that your pet is being exposed to carcinogens on a regular basis, such as those found in cleaning supplies or lawn care methods, then asparagus would be a wonderful addition to their diet. This is due to the presence of glutathione, a detoxifying component, in asparagus, which has the potential to break down carcinogens and other toxic substances. 1,6
The nutrients in green beans include vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, copper, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, and omega-3 fatty acids. While not quite as high in beta-carotene as some of the other veggies here, they nevertheless offer cancer-fighting capabilities thanks to this antioxidant. Green beans’ many health benefits justify their inclusion, even though cancer prevention isn’t one of them. 4
The flavonoids anthocyanidin and proanthocyanidin have been found in a number of studies to inhibit tumor cell proliferation. Pomegranates, thanks to their high levels of ellagic acid and these flavonoids, are an excellent option for reducing tumor growth.
What we know currently and what can be verified by reliable sources is all that is included in this list. If you’re wondering which fruits and veggies are okay for your dog to eat and which ones aren’t, check out our previous post!
If you want to add something new to your dog’s food or make other changes, consult your vet first about the best way to do so and the safest amounts to give him. The veterinarian who is most familiar with your dog is the ideal person to provide advice on his or her health.