May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month!

woman with dog shadow

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats. Although cancer can be challenging to treat, early detection can improve the prognosis.   We recommend that you examine your pet at least once a month – mouth, skin, body, paws – for lumps and bumps. An annual visit to a licensed veterinarian is strongly recommended for a complete health examine as well.

Key facts about Pet Cancer:

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

What are the warning signs?

  • Your pet has a lump or sore that won’t go away.
  • There is a discharge or bleeding from any part of your pet’s body opening.
  • Your pet is eating but losing weight.
  • It is hard for your pet to chew or swallow.
  • Coughing or abnormal breathing.
  • 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.
  • There are changes in your pets urinary or bowel habits, and/or blood in urine or stool.
  • Your pet appears to be in pain especially during their bowel movements.

Cancer is common in older pets, but there are several steps you can take while your pet is young to help minimize the chance of them developing it at a young age:

Have your pet spayed or neutered:  Many un-spayed female dogs and cats may develop mammary tumours (breast cancer) as they get older. Spaying a female pet before her first heat is recommended. Neutering a male dog while he is young can prevent many problems.

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 an increased risk for various cancers.

Feed your pet a high-quality diet:  In the same way that a healthy diet can help to improve our own quality of life, a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and fatty acids will help protect your pet from age-related deterioration, thus reducing the risk of cancer arising from damaged cells.

Feeding your pet a holistic diet can help them live a healthier and longer life. Read pet foods labels carefully. Ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight on the package. This means that the first five to seven ingredients are the majority ingredients in the food. Look for meat (ie. Lamb, Lamb Meal), whole grains and vegetables and fruits. Avoid foods that list by-products (ie. poultry by-product meal, meat meal, or corn-gluten meal), as these are low quality sources of protein.

Need help? Schedule a Wellness Consultation with one of our Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  Find a store near you at

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.

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.  It`s also recommended that you avoid using toxic lawn care products and that you 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 so take the time to research what you’re using inside and outside your home.

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.

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. Spend time with them talking to them and petting them quietly for at least 30 minutes each day. They’ll enjoy the relaxing time with you!

The pH level is one of the most important balance systems of the body.  The term pH stands for “potential” of “Hydrogen” and is the amount of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. The more ions, the more acidic the solution.  The fewer ions, the more alkaline (base) the solution. The pH level is a measure of acidity or alkalinity, on a scale of zero to fourteen, with zero being most acid, fourteen being most alkaline and seven being mid-range.

Research shows the link between acidic pH and cancer because cancer thrives in an acidic environment and doesn’t survive in a normal, more alkaline environment. A proper pH will improve the quality of your life as well as the quality of life for your pet.  Eating foods that make the body’s pH more alkaline lessens the chance for cancer cells to develop and grow. Accordingly, by adjusting the diet, it is actually possible to create a less hospitable environment for the growth of cancer cells, thus improving a pet’s chances for a long and healthy life.

Canine Caviar and Feline Caviar are the only alkaline-based pet foods in North America that are specifically designed to help reduce the risk of cancer and other health related conditions.  This brand is not the cure for cancer, but it provides the ingredients for a holistic and healthy lifestyle pet plan. Canine Caviar, an easily digested formula, will quickly settle digestive upsets, reduce itching, scratching, shedding and hotspots.

You want the best of your pet.  We do too.  Your pet`s health is important to us.  Let us show you how proper nutrition and care can not only improve the overall health of your pets, but extend their lives.

Canine Caviar and Feline Caviar are available at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.

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Canine Caviar products


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