Being diagnosed with cancer is a gut-wrenching feeling, no matter which family member is affected. You must make tough choices, especially when it comes to your pets. A dog’s immune system is already very vulnerable due to its smaller mass and efficiency, when compared to our own. When your dog has cancer, you have to treat his diet with the utmost care or risk him falling very ill, with a longer recovery period than when healthy. The following suggestions may be helpful, in conjunction with advice from your veterinarian.
Dogs who aren’t on a special diet while suffering from a disease like cancer, can quickly become deficient in the vital nutrients that they need to strengthen their ailing bodies. There is especially the risk of not having enough protein to supply their muscles and organs with the building blocks to prevent degeneration and organ complications.
Some examples of general food guidelines to follow when preparing your dog’s meals are energy-dense foods with a high calorie count. It is expected that your dog’s stomach will not permit large, heavy meals, so having foods that are nutrient and calorie-dense is important.
Fat is an important source of energy for your dog. The cancer cells don’t primarily rely on fat for their growth, so fat will be an important energy supplier for your dog. You can use bacon fat or fat trimmings to coat your dog’s dry food to achieve his daily needs.
Naturally high protein diets should contain low carbohydrates, to avoid cheap energy supply lines to the cancer cells. Protein also keeps the dog from becoming anemic and strengthens the kidney/liver to fight back. About half your dog’s food intake should come from pure protein sources. Avoid relying on dry dog food and pre-packaged foods for your dog’s protein source.
In addition to having foods that already come with dense energy and nutrients, you should look into adding supplements that are proven to fight against all forms of cancers.
One favorite compound among nutrition experts is the Omega-3 fatty acid. This miracle supplement is easy to find and add to your dog’s food. You can get it naturally from fish, which has tons of other great health benefits for sick dogs. Omega-3 is added to a lot of store-bought dog food, so make sure you’re not doubling-up on it before adding it into their food.
Arginine is another great amino acid that works directly with the body’s immune system to increase effectiveness and health in the lymph nodes. Unlike Omega-3, though, arginine is not found in a lot of foods, so you may want to ask your veterinarian about getting some for your dog’s diet.
At the end of the day, the most important factor for your dog dealing with cancer is to keep his energy levels high and their stomach calm, so that he doesn’t reject his food and become sick. Even if you find a food ingredient that has great cancer-fighting properties, don’t force your dog to eat it if he can’t take it or hate the taste.