– If it bothers you when your dog eats grass, but not when he is eating a corn-based snack, then this article contains some food for thought.
What if you were told that your dog may be better off with its new-found cow-like diet than some of the foods that you are feeding it? Yes, that’s right. You may not know it, but your pooch may be feeding on cancer-causing foods. No idea what these are? Take a look at the list below
Foods That Should Not Be on Your List
- Grains. While some sources would now say that it’s okay to feed dog table scraps as long as these are free from fat, experts on the other hand say that your pooch’s tummy is not designed to include grains. Instead of grains like corn, rice or wheat, experts say that the ideal dog diet should consist mostly of healthy proteins. Although it is possible to feed your pet dog with grains, these should only be given in minimal amounts.
- Gluten. Gluten can cause allergic reactions both to domestic pets like dogs and to humans. Although not directly linked to the formation of canine cancer, this has been tied to other health conditions that may affect the immune response of affected dogs. Gluten irritation in the intestines could lead to ineffective nutritional absorption, which leads some to believe that this in itself could increase the risk of other health conditions such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.
- Processed dog foods. The raw diet advocates, including other sources are now saying that feeding your four-legged pal with ready-made dog foods is the easiest way to give it cancer. Why? These can contain the following ingredients:
- Preservatives. Dog foods just like any other type of processed food will contain preservative to keep these from being spoiled. Examples of these are butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), both of which are claimed to have antioxidant properties, but were later declared as possible cancer causing agents. Another common preservative used in dog foods is Ethoxyquin. This used in rubber manufacturing, where people staying in working environments that make use of it reportedly suffered from diseases like leukemia, cancerous skin lesions, intestinal problems, and foetal abnormalities.
- Aflatoxin. These are mycotoxins, also known as toxic moulds. Some of the pet food recalls issued were because of aflatoxin contamination. A pet that’s solely on the low-quality pet food diet may be at a greater risk. Why? Aflatoxins could lead to liver cancer. However, its development is also tied to the dose that a pet dog receives. If your pet dog eats higher amounts of aflatoxin laden pet food compared to the dog next door, your dog is at a greater risk.
- Food colouring. Pet foods often contain food colouring to make these more appealing to buyers. But there is a valid reason why some food colouring are now banned for human consumption -these are can cause cancer. However, some of these are still being used in dog food since regulation is not as strict. The dog treats that look extra yummy because of the assorted colours of reds, yellows and oranges, could cause bladder and brain tumour.
- Genetically modified organisms. Low quality pet foods make use of extenders like corn and soy. Aside from the danger that this is not ideal for dog consumption as mentioned earlier, pet food manufacturers often make of the GMO varieties in their products. According to CA Right to Know, GMO can cause allergy, toxicity and other health problems. Other studies on the other hand say that this GMO corn can cause liver and kidney disease in rats. Although the supporters of this technology claim that there are other possible causes of these health conditions (including cancer) which makes GM not the sole culprit, the fact that its consumption leads to illnesses makes this claim debatable.
- Meat from animal cancer patients. The pet food industry has a much lower standard with the choice of ingredients being used and the meat found in dog food could be considered low in quality. Note that not all pet food manufacturers can proudly say that their products are human grade. Sick animals that may be suffering from illnesses such as cancer can become the protein ingredient in pet food products.
- Maple syrup. This ingredient is only found in 1% of the pet foods available in the market. Although not directly linked to cancer formation, pet owners are still warned from buying pet foods that contain this since it acts as food for cancer cells. Furthermore, sugar found in maple syrup can cause other health conditions such as obesity, hyperactivity and arthritis.
Foods That Can Help Fight Cancer
If the information above implies that commercial dog food is not the best diet for dogs, what then are your other options? Sharing some of your foods with your dog might be safer but you need to pick only the ones that will not give them allergic reactions and will sustain their needed nutritional needs. The following are examples:
- Eggs – great source of selenium and riboflavin
- Salmon – has Omega 3 fatty acids that act as immune boosters
- Yoghurt – contains calcium, protein, and probiotics
- Cooked chicken – delicious protein source
- Low glucose carbohydrates – includes the likes of oatmeal and brown rice
- Green tea – dogs already suffering from cancer can benefit from its antioxidant properties
Additional Information On Canine Cancer
There are other things aside from diet that can cause cancer in dogs. Toxins and chemicals such as household cleaners could be the culprit. Genetic predisposition also plays a possible role in cancer formations. Big dog breeds are more likely to develop bone cancer compared to smaller dog breeds. Other possible cause is vaccination. Some dogs reportedly suffered from cancer on the vaccination site in their skin. Experts say that having your pet dog spayed or neutered can help protect it from certain types of cancer but a recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on February 1, 2014 disputes this claim and says otherwise.
Dog awareness month or not, cancer is a serious condition that you should be wary of. You can help protect your furry companion by carefully selecting the foods it eats. Instead of commercial pet food products, real fresh foods that are personally prepared by you are better options.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan Walker has always been health conscious and says that he includes his pets in this advocacy. This can be easily seen in his written works for Coops And Cages and in blogs such as this one. In this article, he mentions some of the foods that can cause cancer in pet dogs.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed by the guest author in this Blog post are not necessarily that of the Daily Dog or the pups4sale team.