Until recently, the old adage ” you are what you eat” was a double standard when it came to the health of our companion animals. For decades, few pet pawrents questioned the complex list of unrecognizable ingredients in pet food, as manufacturers were (and still are) allowed to include everything from rendered zoo animals to antifreeze derivatives in their products.
Thankfully things are changing. Reputable pet food nutrition help is found throughout the web like that found on Dog Aware and Dog Food Advisor, and experts like Dr. Demian Dressler are taking it a step further as he instructs us how to create an ideal diet for dogs who are fighting cancer in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
According to Dr. Dressler, “a good cancer diet can accomplish several important tasks:
- Feed your dog’s healthy cells foods dense with nutrition to keep them strong.
- Help restore weight and muscle mass
- Eliminate foods that do not help your dog – or worse, may help the cancer.
The Best Anti-Cancer Food Ingredients
To help keep cancer from thriving, he recommends including at least one ingredient from each of the following categories at every meal:
High Quality Lean Protein
Good choices include beef, chicken, fish, turkey, venison, duck, pork, goat and lamb. However, if your dog has mammary cancer: avoid red meat. Instead offer white meats like chicken and fish. Lean cuts are best; the fat in most animal flesh “contains more omega-6 fatty acids than I recommend for a dog with cancer,” says Dressler.
Cancer Fighting Fats and Oils
Many commercial dog foods have too much omega-6 fatty acids, which can suppress the immune system. Instead, supplement with extra omega-3 fatty acids, which also help reduce inflammation in the body. Two good sources of omega-3s are krill oil and fish oil. Alternate every three to four weeks.
Low carb, brightly colored vegetables like red or yellow bell peppers, broccoli, cooked cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and even mung beans have important anti-cancer properties. Steam them lightly until soft, then chop or process into fine pieces or a puree.
Cottage cheese, chicken or turkey necks as well as calcium citrate tablets provide vital minerals to help boost muscle strength, among other important functions. Do not give your pet doxycycline within two hours of ingesting calcium; calcium blocks doxycyline absorption.
Filling and Nutritious Whole Grains
Brown rice and oatmeal are low-glycemic foods with enough bran that may help fight cancer. For maximum nutrition, use whole grains, never instant.
Dressler strongly advises the use of digestive enzymes because they help to mimic a wild diet. However do not give enzymes ten days before or after surgery, or while sutures are still present.
In the The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, Dressler explains how to include these vital ingredients in your dog’s diet for optimal anti-cancer eating. His recipes are easy and inexpensive for most pet pawrents.
Have you tried Dr. Dressler’s recipes? If so, share your experience in the comments section below, we would love to hear about it!