Cancer is a devastating disease, and unfortunately many dogs suffer from it. Cancer is the primary cause of death in dogs older than age two, and half of all adult dogs will die from it. These are staggering statistics.
While there isn’t much you can do to prevent genetic predispositions to cancer, there are some practical ways you can minimize your dog’s chances of getting it:
Spaying and Neutering
Spaying your female dog—removing her ovaries and uterus—before her first heat decreases her risk of developing breast cancer. Testicular cancer is not a highly malignant form of cancer in male dogs, but neutering male dogs decreases his risk of it. Neutered dogs have an underdeveloped prostate gland, which is a common site of cancer.
Keep up with regular check-ups
Check with your vet to determine the frequency of your pet’s wellness exams. It will be different depending on the age or breed of your pet. For example, the maturation of dogs slows down as they age, so they will likely need to be seen by a vet more frequently in the first year than the years that follow. Large dogs age faster, so they may need to be seen more often. Overall, adult dogs benefit from annual wellness examinations.
Minimize the sun
Your dog’s furry coat protects them from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but light-colored dogs that enjoy basking in the sun while laying on their backs could expose their bellies to the sun. Other at-risk hairless areas include paw pads, noses and inside the ears. If your light colored dog is a sun worshiper, you may want to consider sun protection options or limiting their exposure.
Keep your dog lean.
The number one disease of pets in America is obesity. Obesity can lead to breast and bladder cancer in pets, so be sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and a healthy diet. For dogs, that means a diet rich in healthy fats, fatty acids and protein, and one with limited carbohydrates.
This seems obvious since carcinogens are also a cause of cancer in humans. Second-hand smoke can cause cancer in dogs because the toxins land on their coats and are ingested when they clean themselves. Because dogs are lower to the ground, be mindful of the use of herbicides, insecticides and pesticides in your yard and potentially toxic cleaners, detergents and soaps in your home.
Dog Day, Every Day! is a team of professional, experienced and confident caregivers that love our clients’ dogs and want them to be as safe and healthy as possible! We provide doggy day care and spa services, and it is our privilege to provide a fun, caring and engaging environment for your dogs to thrive in while you are at work. If you have any questions about our daycare or spa services or would like to learn more, please reach out to us!