November is Pet Cancer Awareness month!
November has been designated as Pet Cancer Awareness month in hopes of educating pet owners about the risks that could impact their furry friends1. The first National Pet Cancer Awareness Month occurred in 2005 and was created by Nationwide and the Animal Cancer Foundation. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death for domesticated dogs and cats in the United States.
Nearly 12 million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer each year2. The rates of cancer in animals has increased over the past few years but there has luckily also been growth in early detection and treatment. There are different types of cancers that your pets could be at risk of developing, including lymphoma, splenic cancer, bone and joint cancer, hepatic cancer, thoracic cancer, bladder and anal sac cancer, oral cancer, and brain or spinal cord cancer.
The Prime Causes of Cancer are Hard to Determine
Many veterinarians have noticed that pets develop cancer more frequently during the later stages of their life. Cancer can be triggered by any mix of hereditary, environmental, and nutritional factors. There are some breeds that are more prone to development of cancer than others (e.g., Golden Retrievers). This suggests to animal researchers that there are genetic factors at play that contribute to cancer in pets3
Similar to humans, environmental factors can play a big part in the onset of cancer. Pets are exposed to many of the same environmental toxins that humans are. Some known carcinogens that affect both humans and pets include prolonged sun exposure, second-hand tobacco smoke, herbicides, insecticides, and more.
While it has been qualitatively noticed that older pets get cancer more frequently, veterinarians and pet researchers are unsure why. The current hypothesis is that their immune system weakness as they age until they are susceptible enough to the mutation of cells that cause cancer. Also, the longer a pet lives the more it is exposed to the environmental toxins we discussed earlier.
The best way to keep on top of early detection is regular vet appointments. Take your pet in for a comprehensive examination at least twice per year and more often when you notice unusual symptoms. If you can catch cancer early-on, you have a better chance of saving your pet’s life! Some warning signs of pet cancer are:
- Changes in appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other bodily openings
- Unusually strong foul odors
- Increased thirst
- Abnormal swelling
- Masses, lumps, bumps or discolored skin
- Loss of interest in playing or exercise
You can take steps to prevent your furry friend from developing cancer. Limit their exposure to toxic environments, feed them a healthy diet, take them for regular vet check-ups, and keep an eye out for early warning signs.
Take a Holistic Approach to Caring for Your Pet
There are options for caring for your pet throughout their life. Conventional medicine supports the use of medications and vaccinations, whereas a holistic approach treats the body as a whole. For some pet owners, a holistic approach may feel like the best option.
What’s a holistic approach, you ask? This would be caring for your pet by focusing on good nutrition, clean eating, massages, sound therapy, aromatherapy, and other naturalistic techniques. As mentioned earlier, stress can cause your furry friend’s immune system to weaken, which puts them at increased risk of illness. An option for boosting your pet’s immune system functioning is giving them medicinal mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms can provide great support for the immune system because of the thousands of good enzymes, nutrients, and proteins that work together to fight a variety of ailments.
You could supplement the use of medicinal mushrooms with calming music and sounds to destress your pet without using vet-prescribed medicines. An animal behaviorist and psychologist once found that shelter dogs who were exposed to classical music spent less time barking and more time relaxing4.
You could also try aromatherapy. Most humans have experienced the effects of aromatherapy through candles or essential oil diffusers. Your pets can experience the same effects! However, make sure you check with your veterinarian before exposing your pet to any essential oils or artificial smells, as some are toxic for cats and dogs!
Cannabidiol (known as CBD) has become more popular in recent years to help prevent, and sometimes slow or stop, the spread of cancer in pets. It is important to seek a high-grade, medicinal CBD oil from a company who has used scientifically proven case studies to support their product. Consider getting CBD for your pet from Source CBD, a company that offers gold grade CBD oil derived from the highest grade organically grown hemp.
A key ingredient for a healthy, happy pet is a nutrient dense diet. Your furry friend should have real, natural meat and less fillers in the food they eat. Momentum Carnivore Nutrition works to provide you with healthy options for your pets. We use 100% natural meat with no preservatives, no fillers, no artificial coloring, or anything else that does not serve the purpose of giving your pet adequate nutrition.
At Momentum Carnivore Nutrition, you will find dog and cat treats, meal bars, seasoning, and supplements to support your pet’s diet. All of our products are freeze-dried raw meat, sourced in the United States and held to the upmost standards of premium quality. Treat your pet to one of our delicious flavor options, including chicken, beef, turkey, duck, buffalo, pork, and more! Our treats can be served dry as a treat or can be moistened to supplement meal-times. Our meal bars consist of the same freeze-dried raw meat as our treats and supplements, with a natural blend of protein, fat, vitamins, & minerals to support all aspects of your pet’s nutritional needs. It is our goal to give your pet the opportunity to have a richer, fuller life with a raw diet that provides them with everything they need to be healthy and happy.
- Wells, D. L., et al. "The Influence of Auditory Stimualtion on the Behaviour of Dogs Housed in a Rescue Shelter." Animal Welfare 11 (2002): 385-393