Sometimes it can be hard to remember that we are, essentially, sharing our homes with wolves. Our dogs become such a part of our families, they in grain themselves so indelibly in our hearts that we come to see them as just like us… And in many respects, they are. Sure, they may be physiologically different to us in a huge number of ways. Sure, they may have evolved differently with different social structures and biological imperatives. In many ways, however, their needs and desires are not so very different to our own. Both human and canine alike need to be well fed, watered, sheltered and loved to stay happy and healthy.
Thus, when a dog is diagnosed with cancer, your obligation to them is the same as it is to any other loved one in this situation… Give them all the love and care you can. As much as we may wish to bury our heads in the sand, the simple truth is that 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer at some point. It’s up to us to know what to do to give them the care they need. Whether you’re caring for a beloved pet that has been diagnosed with cancer or you are providing palliative care for a rescue dog with cancer, here are some vital tips that can assure them a better quality of life while boosting their chances of recovery…
It’s all about diet
Whether you’re giving your dog delicious treats to keep them as happy and healthy as possible or using diet to boost their chances of recovery, it’s important to remember the words of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine;
“Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food!”
If you’re looking after a dog with cancer, you’ll need to think hard about the foods you give them. The sad truth is that there are many tinned dog food brands that have been linked to cancer causing aflatoxins. On the other hand there are numerous diets that have been found to reduce cancer risk and even aid recovery. Some favor the ketogenic diet for dogs which is closer to the kinds of diets their ancestors would have enjoyed and is free of sugar which is essentially food for cancer cells.
If, on the other hand, you are a vegan dog lover and prefer to raise your dog on a plant-based diet, there’s good news. Vegan diets for dogs have also been found to have cancer inhibiting properties.
Get to know your dog’s pain for effective pain management
As unpleasant as it may be, you’re going to need to earn a PhD in pain to become effective in managing it. Observe behavioral changes, especially after surgery or treatment. Try to watch out for areas in which pain occurs and at what time of day.
This will help you to better manage their pain medication schedule.
Take steps to lessen their anxiety and sadness
This is going to be a difficult time for your pet as they pay visits with increasing frequency to your vet and canine oncologist. You can’t get around the need to go, but you can take steps to lessen their anxiety and sadness. As hard as it may be, you have to keep a brave face on around them. They are as adept at reading our behavior as they are at reading ours. Make an extra special effort to calm and soothe them in advance of a visit to the vets and avail yourself of calming sprays and balms which can help to keep them mellow.
With the right care and a whole lot of love you can keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible, even when they are facing something as awful as cancer!