What Are The BEST FOODS To Feed a Dog With CANCER?

Authored byVeronic Fournier

Cancer is unfortunately a rather common disease in dogs.

Please know that we are wholeheartedly with you, pet parents, if you have to face this disease with your dog, or have accompanied a loved one in this battle in the past.

We know this is a delicate subject and hope that our tips can help you find a little comfort.

In this article, I will discuss nutrition and provide an overview of the healthy foods and supplements to give dogs that are fighting cancer.

In other words, we will give you the ingredients you need to provide your sick dog with an anti-cancer diet because they need all the nutrients they can get—and simply relying on many commercial dog foods will not cut it.

 

Knowing What Dogs Can Eat During Cancer is Crucial

owner feeding his pet dalmatian dog

Did you know some foods can even help prevent cancer from developing? You can refer to our complete guide to dog cancer for more details on the disease, its different forms, and possible treatments.

I will also give you tips on what to feed a dog with cancer who won't eat to help them stay healthy. For starters: no salty foods, no sugary stuff, and no super fatty fares!

 

Raw foods are a big no-no.

No raw foods, too, even in small quantities. These include raw eggs, raw salmon as well as undercooked or poorly cooked pork, chicken, or beef. This also applies to organ meats.

Avoid feeding raw eggs to your pet (even as an occasional treat) since they can be prone to Salmonella and other harmful bacteria.

On the other hand, avoid feeding raw salmon to your pooch. When you feed your dog this stuff, it makes him highly susceptible to salmon poisoning disease, which can disrupt his overall immune system.

 

We are pet parents and homeopathy experts.

Our years of experience in animal health and natural products have enabled us to put together a reliable guide for you on nutrition for animals with cancer. And some of the healthiest human foods are on this list!

So without further ado, let's see what healthy food to go for to slow the progression of cancer in your dog's body or even prevent its development.

 

What's the Best Dog's Diet During Cancer?

dog and owner cuddling

Proper nutrition through a balanced diet, in the context of cancer, is particularly important for three reasons: preserving good muscle mass, minimizing metabolic and gastrointestinal intolerances to food, and, above all, preserving a good quality of life.

In simpler terms, doing so helps support your dog's immune system, prevent an upset stomach that can hamper ideal digestion as well and keep him as happy as can be.

This cannot be achieved with just plain dog food or simply going for random human foods that can potentially have too much fat (not healthy fats, too) and too much salt. This means lessening your dog's peanut butter intake right off the bat.

So, what are the best options for dogs to eat during cancer?

 

Integrate fruits and vegetables with dog foods.

What could be easier than giving your dog treats consisting of fruits and vegetables? They will be happier and healthier!

It is believed that certain fruits and vegetables can play an important role in preventing cancer when integrated into your dog's regular food.

How about we check out some of the best options that you can feed your dog during cancer below?

 

Carrots

Giving your dog a carrot is a healthy and safe treat. It's considered as one of the healthiest human foods for its wide array of nutrients.

Whether you're serving them raw or cooked, this root veggie has lots of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps fight cancer.

It is important to take note, though, that cooked carrots have lesser amounts of beta-carotene than their raw counterparts.

 

Broccoli

When you feed your dog plain broccoli (steamed), it gives him a boost of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These disease-fighting antioxidants have been seen to help prevent the development and spread of tumors. They will also support your dog's digestive system in the process.

Mixing these veggies with cottage cheese and one medium egg (boiled) is one strategy to give your dog's taste buds a party.

 

Green beans

Green beans are one of the best options for dogs to eat during cancer.

This is due to their wide variety of nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, dietary fiber, and highly digestible protein that is good for your dog's health and body weight.

This healthy treat is best served to your dog plain and steamed. Green beans can even be mixed with cooked pumpkin, plain oatmeal, and plainly cooked carrots for variety and tasty immune system support.

 

Kale

Zeaxanthin and lutein are antioxidants in kale that are not usually found in your dog's regular food. Many human foods lack these antioxidants, too. Feeding dogs kale will also help support eye health and your dog's skin health.

 

Apple

Dogs can eat an apple either as a part of their regular homemade meals or as a snack. Just remember to take out the seeds and core since they can be a choking hazard.

Packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, this fruit is also a perfectly safe sugar substitute that can also keep unnecessary weight gain in check.

Apples can also be mixed with unsalted peanut butter or plain yogurt as an occasional treat, especially if your pooch has lactose intolerance.

However, macadamia nuts should be out of the question since they are toxic to your pet.

 

Peaches

Besides being really tasty, peaches are one of the healthiest human foods for their diverse lineup of nutrients like magnesium, vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin C, just to name a few.

Most dogs affected with cancer cells often have a tough time absorbing beneficial nutrients while enjoying tasty and healthy food. They can also be served with air-popped popcorn as a quick snack for your pooch.

You can help turn things around when you feed your dog peaches. Just remember to remove the pits because they contain a harmful chemical called cyanide.

 

Tomatoes

Tomatoes have cancer-fighting health benefits.

A tomato contains a substance, lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. In the laboratory, this substance has had a significant effect in slowing the growth of cancer cells in the case of osteosarcoma.

On the other hand, we cannot yet extrapolate this result to say that it will have a certain effect on a dog. If you decide to give it a go, be careful to give very ripe, seedless tomatoes.

That said, watermelon is said to contain even more lycopene than a tomato! 

 

Sweet Potatoes

Absolutely! Well cooked, of course. They are rich in vitamins and beta-carotene, which is believed to help lower the risk of certain cancers. Its high level of antioxidants is also believed to help fight cancer directly.

Just remember to feed your dog small quantities of plainly cooked sweet potatoes since they can make him a bit gassy if given excessively.

 

Supplements With Lots of Health Benefits for a Dog with Cancer

Dog supplement

Some supplements can be given to dogs who have cancer in order to give them an extra chance in their fight. In particular, I am thinking of omega-3s and antioxidants. 

 

Omega-3 supplements

Omega-3 supplements can be of great assistance in the fight against cancer. Additionally, fish oil added directly to food can improve its taste. Fish oil also contains amino acids.

Omega-3s help decrease chronic inflammation in the body and studies have even shown fatty acids to help prevent a type of lymphoma in dogs. Fatty acids also help curb inflammations.

Be careful to use a quality supplement and talk to your vet first because a precise concentration must be given in order to be effective and safe for your furry companion.

 

Antioxidant supplements

Antioxidant supplements are not recommended for all patients. If your dog is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, antioxidants may conflict with this treatment.

Otherwise, antioxidants can be very helpful in fighting cancer. As with omega-3s, it's best to consult with your vet for the proper dosages.

 

Are Human Foods Okay When Your Dog Has Cancer?

Owner giving food to his pet dog

Yes, but with some restrictions.

Most dogs with cancer won't have a problem with the healthiest human foods such as plain yogurt, cooked eggs (boiled), fruits, and vegetables as well as plainly cooked meats without the bones.

However, we pet parents should also be familiar with what dogs can eat during cancer since some canine companions can be lactose intolerant or even prone to alcohol poisoning if given the wrong stuff.

Some can lead to unnecessary weight gain or harm your dog's coat, while others can even be toxic like macadamia nuts!

 

Supporting Your Pet With Canine Cancer With Homemade Dog Food

dog sitting on a couch

Just know that cooking for your sick dog is much more complex than you might think. Ideally, for a dog with cancer, we want to achieve a specific ratio for each macronutrient.

Some professionals suggest aiming for a homemade dog cancer diet that is moderate in protein (18-22%), low in carbohydrates (3-13%), and high in fat (55-60%), with an intake of antioxidants (if your pet is not undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy).

Here is a suggested dog cancer diet recipe, which could be reviewed by your vet to see if it’s appropriate for your pet depending on their type of cancer.

The amounts of ingredients are given as a proportion but should be adjusted according to your pet's weight. A supplement of minerals and vitamins should also be added.

  • 500g of lean ground beef (10% fat)

  • 130g of cow's milk

  • 75g whole egg

  • 255g of cooked potato with the peel

  • 20g of wheat bran

  • 20g of rapeseed oil

Commercial diets (sold in pet stores or grocery stores) are often high in carbohydrates. It is therefore often this aspect that we aim to improve with a home-cooked diet, in addition to providing more appetizing foods.

Some veterinary companies offer appropriate diets for animals with cancer, but if you want to venture into a home-cooked diet, remember that you want to decrease carbohydrate intake, but also provide your pet with high-quality protein, as well as good fats (omega-3).

Fast-growing tumors will actually feed on carbohydrates, and that's why we want to limit them. However, the recommendations will be different for a dog with a slow-growing tumor (they tend to feed on fat).

 

A Dog's Diet Should NOT Have These When He Has Cancer

Raw meat on the table

As we've emphasized earlier, avoid providing a diet of raw meats to an animal with cancer.

This is because animals with cancer have weaker immune systems, especially those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Raw food is more likely to contain bacteria. This can result in a greater risk of infection for the dog.

You also want to avoid giving any table food. The goal is to have good diet control for a dog with cancer.

 

What is the Best Food for Dog with Cancer?

dog drinking water

If your pet does not eat at least ⅔ of its food, we recommend that you assist it and feed it by hand (without forcing it).

Make sure your pet stays well hydrated by stimulating its water intake.

Personally, my dog ​​suffers from endocrine disease and it’s difficult to motivate him to eat. I add water to his food and heat it up in the microwave a bit, and usually, that's enough to tempt him to eat.

On the other hand, other dogs may respond better to food taken out of the refrigerator. This is because, if they are nauseous for example, the taste will be less pronounced.

Generally, canned food is more palatable than dry food.

In any case, we suggest you feed in small portions, frequently, to limit stress on the digestive system and increase the ability to absorb nutrients.

If your dog still refuses to eat after all these efforts, your vet can prescribe an appetite stimulant medication. Acupuncture and acupressure can also have an impact on appetite and can perhaps be of interest to an animal that refuses to eat.

 

Our Natural Product for Dog Cancer

Our PIPTOPET includes a medicinal mushroom as an active ingredient, which helps boost a dog's immune system and supports your pet's overall health during its fight against cancer cells.

It also helps maintain the integrity of healthy cells in the process.

It’s a major asset in the dog's fight against cancer, but can also be used as a tool before having cancer issues. Thousands of pet parents have already experienced the benefits of PIPTOPET and have appreciated it for its convenience and efficiency.

 

A Final Word

To conclude, I understand if you feel a little lost in all of this. The world of nutrition is very complex, and even more so for animals with a disease as unpredictable as cancer.

You're already on the right track if you're reading this because you clearly care about your pet's well-being and are doing the proper research.

Have you been there? We would love to know your story. I invite you to share with us your experience with canine cancer in the comments below.

 


About the author

Veronic Fournier
Veronic Fournier

ANIMAL HEALTH TECHNICIAN

Véronique Fournier shares her extensive pet health know-how on Zumalka through her articles.

Véronique’s background as an animal wellness advocate began in Cégep La Pocatière in Quebec, which led to comprehensive internships and training with respect to the breeding, rehabilitation, and monitoring of various types of animals. The institutions she has worked with include the Quebec Aquarium and the SOS Miss Dolittle shelter, just to name a few.

Her immersion with various veterinary clinics in British Columbia and other places has made Veronique not just knowledgeable, but also quite perceptive in zeroing in on the right strategy to help keep pets in the best of health.

And can we get you in on a secret? Veronique shares that she has already made a lot of canine pals due to her stint as a foster mom in several shelters. Isn’t that cool?


4 comments


  • HOMEOANIMAL August 8, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Hi Bryan,
    Thank you for your comment. Daisy sure is a fortunate fur baby to have you taking such good care of her. We have sent you a private email so we can give you the best personalized help.
    Have a great day!


  • Bryan Costa August 8, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Hi. I found out a week ago that my chocolate lab Daisy, has liver cancer. It is pretty large and in the center of her liver. It is inoperable. She is still full of energy, at 10 years old. Iv’e been walking her and she’s been getting a good amount of exercise lately. I feed her Royal Canin canned food with cooked chicken breast. Is this healthy for her? She’s on a medication that helps her liver function and another for nausea. She doesn’t appear to be in any pain. She eats normal and still barks lol. Is the food I give her sufficient for her cancer? I’d like more info on your product.
    Thank you!!!


  • HOMEOANIMAL June 13, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Shirley,
    Thank you for your comment. We hope that this article has been helpful and that your beloved Lexi can keep up the fight against this terrible disease!
    You are in our thoughts,
    HOMEOANIMAL


  • shirley poynter June 13, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    My Lexi 7 yrs York mix
    I’m just starting this with her.
    I’m praying we get over this. thank you


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