Boost Your Dog’s Immunity With These Cancer-Fighting Food Ingredients
Nobody likes to hear that their furry friend is on the wrong side of health. In fact, as pet moms and dads, you will probably do whatever it takes to ensure that your four-legged sidekick is fighting-fit.
What if all it takes is ensuring that your pet has a healthy diet and lifestyle to match? For some, it’s as simple as that. If your pet isn’t already suffering from cancer, take action now by implementing a few positive changes that can ensure longevity and a great deal of tail-wagging too.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate and there is no magic trick or spell to improve dog immunity. However, there are several cancer-fighting foods for dogs that you can incorporate to give them the best possible chance of fending off and avoiding the disease.
Best Cancer Prevention Dog Food Ingredients
Below, we take a look at some of the best cancer-prevention dog food ingredients you should look out for. Study them closely and consider how you can incorporate them into your dog’s daily diet (you will probably find it’s easier than you think).
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have quite a reputation for boosting doggie immune systems and fighting cancer. One of the most critical reasons for adding Omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s food is its anti-inflammatory properties.
You may know this already, but it’s good to note that many cancers are a direct cause of inflammation (as well as infection and chronic irritation). By ensuring that your pooch has sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids, you’re ensuring that inflammation and cell multiplication cannot go into overdrive, which is how cancer is essentially flared.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3 fatty acids are also great for boosting your furry friend’s heart and kidney health, enhancing brain development, and improving skin and coat. Many dogs suffering from an illness are also prone to anxiety and depression, which is something that Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce. Talk about being an all-rounder (or should we say a tail-wagger of note)!
Don’t simply glance at your pet’s food packaging and assume that a mention of “fat” in the ingredients is good enough. Yes, fat is an essential part of a dog’s nutrition, but it’s important to note that not all fat is equal. Specifically, keep an eye out for Omega-3 in the ingredients, which consists of ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid).
Avoid buying a human Omega-3 supplement as sometimes these are packed with extra Vitamin A and D, which can be harmful to your pet when over-supplemented. It’s best to talk to your vet about a pet-friendly supplement or serve your pooch a piece of steamed, baked or grilled wild-caught fish now and then. Salmon is always a good choice, and your furry friend will confirm that!
- Immune Modulating Mushrooms
First and foremost, much like fats, not all mushrooms are equal, so it’s best to be careful of which mushrooms you offer to your pet. Medicinal mushrooms, which have polysaccharides, proteins, and glycoproteins as their active ingredients, are well-known for their anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and cancer-fighting effects. However, some mushrooms are toxic and should never be fed to your four-legged companion.
Now that we have got that out of the way let’s talk about the mushrooms that you can and should feed to your pet.
Enter the spotlight; Turkey Tail mushrooms and Reishi Mushrooms. Both of these are considered immune modulating mushrooms, which is a fancy way of saying that they have an antioxidant and immune-balancing effect, making them formidable warriors against cancer-causing free radicals in a pooch’s body.
As far as mushrooms go, they are some of the best cancer prevention dog food ingredients out there. There’s something almost “magical” about the effects of medicinal mushrooms, and that’s because they don’t just boost your furry friend’s immune system. They do so much more. Immune modulating mushrooms help prevent disease, regenerate cells, protect against cancer, and can also be used to treat cancer and other ailments. You may find it interesting that Turkey Tail mushrooms are known to extend the lifespan of dogs already fighting cancer, and Reishi mushrooms are known for having anti-tumour effects.
How do you incorporate Turkey Tail mushrooms and Reishi Mushrooms into your four-legged friend’s diet? You can buy it as a powder or a tea and mix it into your dog’s food, or you can purchase dry mushrooms and make a broth, which your furry friend will thoroughly enjoy poured over his food.
- Curcumin (this is found in Turmeric)
Curcumin is a bit of a tongue-twister to say, but there’s more to it than just being an interesting word. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and can stop brain tumour growth, diminish mammary cancer cells, and stop developing new cancer cells by keeping inflammation under control.
It’s known as one of the most sought-after cancer-fighting foods for dogs, for a good reason. When tested, curcumin has shown the ability to protect against colon, stomach, and skin cancer. As such, it’s great for pets with or without cancer as it’s a good all-rounder.
You probably want to know how to feed turmeric to your pet. Let’s first consider how much is healthy. While turmeric is completely safe to give to your dog, the general rule of thumb is to dose around 15mg of turmeric per pound of your dog’s weight. Most pet guardians make a “golden” paste by mixing turmeric, coconut oil, and a bit of black pepper. You can keep this paste in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Pop some into fido’s food – it’s as simple as that. Pop some into fido’s food – it’s as simple as that.
- Vitamin D3
Let’s start by saying that supplementing your dog’s diet with Vitamin D3 pills or capsules is not recommended. Vitamin D3 is known for its cancer-fighting effects, but in high doses (which would be needed for it to be any good for dog cancer-fighting) can actually be toxic to your pet. This is because Vitamin D3 in high levels can cause high blood calcium levels, damaging the kidneys and heart. So that’s a no-no.
The best thing you can do for your four-legged sidekick is to make sure that your dog’s diet contains Vitamin D3-rich foods like sardines, salmon, beef liver, cod liver oil and egg yolks to name a few. Having sufficient amounts of these fresh ingredients in the diet is the best way for your pet to get a cancer-fighting Vitamin D3 boost.
How to Support a Cancer-Fighting Diet
We have already touched on the fact that a healthy diet and lifestyle to match are essential when fighting dog cancer. You can do several things to support your pooch’s updated diet and ensure that he is in the best possible condition, come what may.
- Reduce calorie intake
Yes, this is part of the diet, but still, an important point to mention. Calorie restriction is known to decrease the risk of certain cancers.
- Ensure your pooch has enough rest and repair
Try not to over-stimulate your dog, especially if he is already in the throes of fighting cancer. When your dog is resting, cells are repairing.
- Treat your furry friend to gentle massages
Massage is known to increase oxygen levels, reduce pain and stiffness, spur healing and recovery, lower blood pressure, ease digestion, and improve regularity. All of these are excellent benefits for an ailing pet.
- Provide the opportunity for regular fresh air and exercise
Just like humans, dogs derive a lot of pleasure from leisure activities with the ones they love. Going for a fun walk, playing ball, or jogging a short distance together can promote a better mindset within your dog. This is known to boost the immune system.
- Use hygienic food prep to avoid bacterial contamination
If your pet is already struggling with a health-related illness, it is a good idea to ensure that no risk of possible contamination can occur that can threaten your best friend’s immune system. Prepare food in a sterile environment and if your pooch already has a weakened immune system, take the time to cook all meals.
Diet and lifestyle play a major role when hoping to improve dog immunity and prevent cancer. Take the time to incorporate the above-mentioned cancer-fighting foods for dogs and focus on providing your pooch with a healthy and active lifestyle. By doing so, you will be giving your dog all the tools needed to fend off cancer and enjoy the longest possible lifespan.