Top 3 Supplements for Cancer Prevention in Dogs
Cancer - It's a word we never want to hear for our pets or for ourselves. However, cancer rates are on a rise. 60% of our pets will develop cancer at some point in their life. Unfortunately, all three of my pets have had cancer and succumbed to it. It's real and it's out there. More and more research is being done though which is bringing more light to what are certain risk factors for our pets developing cancer.
In our previous post, we covered what is cancer. Our world is becoming more toxic, which is leading to degenerative changes and increased inflammation in the body that over time leads to cancer. It's time to look at what our environments look like.
Are you putting pesticides on your lawn?
Are you using body lotions or products that contain chemicals that you can't even pronounce?
What cleaning products are you using in your house?
These are some of the areas that we overlook when we think about why our pets may be experiencing increased inflammation in their bodies. Remember our pets are naked! They aren't usually wearing clothing or shoes, so they are coming into contact with chemicals all day every day. By reducing the load of toxins your pets come into contact with every day in their environments, we can reduce the chances of your pet developing cancer.
Supplements are another excellent and easy way to optimize your pet's health. Optimal health always starts with food. Dietary supplements are used to supplement the diet.
Here are our top 3 supplements we recommend adding into your pet's diet to improve their health and keep inflammation to a minimum in their body:
1) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to produce many beneficial effects in the body. They are known to improve skin and coat health, boost energy and joint health, improve cognitive function, and also have inhibitory effects on tumor cell growth!
Many of our pets have too much omega-6's in their body due to being on inappropriate diets like kibble. When our pets' omega-6 to omega-3 ratios are off, this can lead to increased inflammation in the body, which can manifest into tumors and cancer. Omega 6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) can actually enhance proliferation and metastasis of tumors!
If your pet is undergoing cancer treatment, omega fatty acids inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are the mediators that lead to inflammation and also combat severe muscle wasting that can occur from cancer. This supplement can even protect healthy cells if your pet is going through radiation treatment.
By supplementing omega-3 fatty acids from sources like small, cold water fish (mackerel, sardines, anchovies), we can increase the omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Many people are utilizing plant based omega-3's from algae. Unfortunately, these sources are not as readily available as the small, cold water fish.
Nordic Naturals is an excellent brand that can be utilized for both your cats and dogs to help improve their overall health. Many fish oils can be rancid and not effective, so using a high-quality brand is essential when using omega-3 fatty acids.
If your pet is on drugs, make sure you are working with your doctor to make sure there are no side effects from supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids. Extra care needs to be taken if your pet is on anticoagulant and hypertension drugs.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are supporting gut health and the immune system. There are trillions of microbes (bacteria and yeast) living in the GI tract. Many studies showcase the numerous beneficial properties of probiotics have on the microbiome.
There are numerous products out there and many of them are not helpful and do not contain beneficial bacteria. When looking at the probiotic supplements that are out on the market, you will want to find one that has research behind it and contains multiple bacterial strains in it.
According to an article published in the Whole Dog Journal, probiotic species that are known to benefit dogs include:
Enterococcus faecium (strain SF68)
Bifidobacterium animalis (strain AHC7)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)
Some of the brands that are helpful for pets include Proviable Forte, DaVinci, and Visbiome.
There are many more good brands out on the market (along with many more bad brands). Make sure your pet is receiving these good bacteria in their diet. The microbiome health is essential for overall optimal health! Many pets who have cancer, have leaky guts or inflammation in their GI tract. Learn more about leaky gut here and how it may be adversely affecting your pet's health.
Remember diet is essential when we are treating leaky gut or optimizing overall health. Probiotics work so much better when we are feeding the gut prebiotics. Prebiotics are the ingredients that feed the good bacteria or probiotics in the GI tract. Raw goat's milk or kefir provide a great source of natural probiotics and feeding these alongside foods like sweet potatoes can have a synergistic (beneficial) effect in the gut.
CBD is a hot item right now, and it's for a good reason! Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis. There are about 100 cannabinoids present in the plant, and the two most common are the CBD and THC molecules. CBD is the non-psychoactive molecule, and THC is the psychoactive molecule that gives people their “high”. The psychoactive effect from THC comes from the way it binds with receptors in the brain, which are known as endocannabinoids. CBD also interacts with these receptors but does not directly bind with them, which is why you do not get “high” from CBD alone. Learn more about this incredible plant here.
There are many active compounds in the cannabis plant ranging from cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavanoids. Studies are coming out to showcase how these compounds play a role in seizure reduction, inflammation reduction and as a complementary treatment in cancer. If your pet is on medications, make sure to work with your veterinarian, because CBD can affect the way drugs are metabolized through the liver.
Watch our short video on drug interactions and dosing when using this supplement.
Because there are so many products on the market, it can be difficult to choose a quality product that will help your pet and not harm them. You are also at a high risk of wasting a lot of money on products that don't actually contain any CBD in them, but may contain a large amount of pesticides and chemicals.
One of the products that is quality and has many amazing results in pets can be found here.
These supplements are just a few of the many I recommend for pets. Every pet is different and may require additional supplements or different supplements from the ones listed above. When we start treating pets as individuals versus blanket treating everyone, this is where we can achieve amazing results and optimize health and wellness. Keep in mind that diet is the foundation for health and supplements are an addition to the best diet.
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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.