May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Canine Caviar

Are there things that you can do to prevent your companion pet from being diagnosed with cancer?

Important Pet Cancer Facts:

  • Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year.
  • Cancer is the #1 natural cause of death in older pets.
  • Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans.
  • One in four dogs dies of cancer.
  • Over 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer.
  • Just like humans, cancer can occur in virtually any part of your dog’s body.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develop a tumour of some kind during his lifetime.
  • The cause of cancer in pets, just like people, is largely unknown.
  • Common risks of obesity in pets includes many forms of cancer.

Possible Warning Signs of Pet Cancer:

  • Your pet has a lump or sore that won’t go away.
  • Your pet is eating but losing weight.
  • It is hard for your pet to chew or swallow.
  • There is a discharge or bleeding from any body opening.
  • There is a bad smell emanating from your pet.
  • Your pet tires easily and doesn’t want to exercise.
  • Your pet has quit eating for more than a day or two.

Cancer is common in older pets, but there are several steps that you can take while your pet is young to help minimize the chance of them developing cancer.

Have your pet spayed or neutered

Many unspayed female dogs and cats may develop mammary tumors (breast cancer) as they get older. Spaying a female pet before her first heat is recommended.  Neutering a male dog while he is young or as soon as he is retired from breeding prevents many problems.

Feed your pet a high-quality diet

Your pet’s diet should be rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. These chemicals help protect cells from age related deterioration, thus reducing the risk of cancer arising from damaged cells. Pets who are fed premium diets tend to be healthier and live longer.  Nutrition is key and a proper pH balance will improve your pet’s quality of life.  Global Pet Foods carries a line of Dog and Cat food called Canine Caviar that is currently the only alkaline-based pet food sold in North America.  It is specifically designed to reduce the risk of cancer.   Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store for more information about Canine Caviar.

Don’t Smoke

Cancer is more likely to occur in cats in a household with a person who smokes. Smoke is heavier than air and therefore, our companion pets, who spend most of the time lower to the ground, are more at risk and end up taking a lot of second hand smoke into their lungs. Further, cats not only inhale the smoke, but when they are grooming themselves they lick and swallow ash and particles that settle into their fur. Most respiratory diseases occur in pets with household smokers. Smoking is not only dangerous to you, but to your pets as well.

Keep your pet at a healthy weight

Regular exercise also prevents obesity in dogs. A lean dog is healthier and is better prepared to fight infections and other diseases like cancer than an overweight dog. Those pets who are kept at a healthy weight tend to live longer.  Overweight pets, like overweight people, suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk for various cancers.

Check for lumps and bumps

Report any lump you find beneath the skin to your veterinarian. Advise your veterinarian if you notice blood in the stool or urine, a persistent cough, difficulty swallowing or chewing. NOTE: Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once each year.

Limit sun exposure

Pink-skinned dogs and cats should have limited sun exposure. White cats are especially prone to getting skin cancer on their ears or nose because of over exposure to sun.

Decrease your pet’s exposure to toxins

There is increasing evidence pointing toward the array of environmental toxins as causes of some cancers.  Avoid getting pesticides on your pet if possible. Avoid using toxic lawn care products and try to clean your house with non-toxic cleaners. As a society, we are exposed to more cancer-causing products than we are even aware of.

Reduce stress

Last, but not least, the emotional wellbeing of your pet is important – try to provide an environment for your pet that is as stress-free as possible.

Holistic nutrition and daily exercise should be a part of your pet’s Healthy lifestyle.  It is exactly what your companion pet needs to resist disease and other major health disorders.  Are you concerned about your whether your pet is at his or her optimum health?  Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store for a consultation with our Healthy Pet Care specialists.  To find a store near you, visit

Global Pet Foods is Canada’s Healthy Choice for pets!

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