When your dog has been diagnosed with cancer it is a whirlwind of tests and then treatment options (usually comprising of some variation on chemo, radiation and surgery). Unless you have a holistic vet, you won’t often find veterinary recommendations regarding diet and nutrition or natural medicines, but there is a lot that you can do.
When I’m working with a dog with cancer I have 5 key principles:
- Nourish the body but starve the cancer
- Boost immunity to help stop or slow the spread
- Soothe pain and inflammation
- Detox the body
- Support liver and kidneys (especially if having chemo and other meds)
Different cancers can also have different food or supplement emphases too. For example, with Mast Cell Tumours I recommend a Low Histamine Diet, for bone cancer I include bone density and cartilage support, for hemangiosarcoma it’s turkey tail and sunscreen, and a range of other supplements and nutrients to address the specific issue.
Nourishing the body but not the cancer means good nutrition but no or low carbs. Carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body which the cancer feeds on. Many dry foods have high carb content so if possible it is good to reduce or eliminate from the diet. We also need good fats, quality protein and healthy veggies.