The dreaded “c” word.  Nobody wants to hear that a loved one has cancer, and that certainly includes our beloved pets.  This week we are going to talk about how to prevent cancer in your pets.  Next week we will address how you can holistically help your pet if sadly they have been diagnosed with cancer or your vet suspects cancer.

Prevention is so important because more and more animals are turning up with cancer.  It can be a hard battle and one you may lose.  Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets that are over 10 years.  So let’s take a look at ways to prevent cancer.  It is important to educate yourself.

1.  Do your best to eliminate stress. Stress is the #1 cause of health issues in pets.  And people too.  Yale University scientists say that stress may cause cells to become cancerous.  To read more about their research, click here. You can also visit the blog I wrote dedicated to preventing stress in your pet’s life.

2.  Feed the best diet possible. You should feed what is the best possible diet for each animal, remembering that one pet’s needs can be different from another’s.  You should select foods that do not have fillers or by-products.  Know that some animals do not do well on grain or lactose in their diets.  Some can’t handle certain proteins.  Probiotics are an important part of your pet’s daily diet but many people have never even heard of them.  Some people feed unnecessary supplements which can actually do more harm than good.  Some pets should be on supplements and are not on any.  In order to have a healthy immune system, it is vital to feed the body properly. This means feeding the best diet that you can afford and paying attention to the ingredients.  And the best way to find out what diet is right is through muscle testing.  Click here to read the blog about nutrition.

3. Do not over vaccinate. I could write a whole blog just on this.  Vaccines can contribute to many health problems, including cancer.  Injection site tumors are very common and I have experienced this first hand.  Many vets are recommending that animals receive vaccines when they are puppies, kittens, or foals, boosters at a year, and then check titers annually thereafter. Studies done at the University of Wisconsin’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital show that vaccines for distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis protect for at least seven years.  If a titer shows any antibodies, immunity is present. If it does not, immunity may still be present and is not showing up. If the animal was vaccinated before or had natural exposure, most likely immunity is present and you do not need to revaccinate.  There is now a 3 year rabies vaccine which is acceptable by law in many areas.  There is so much more to say about this subject.  To help you decide what shots to give your animals and when, you should answer some questions. Click here to find out information that you might not be aware of and questions you should ask before your vaccinate.

4.  Consider natural alternatives to medications. Be aware that medications such as pain relief, anti-inflammatories, steroids, and multiple rounds or long-term use of antibiotics can contribute to a weakened immune system which can make your pet more susceptible to cancer.  I know whenever possible, my family takes the natural approach and this is what we teach.  There are so many holistic options to medications.  Some times medications are definitely necessary and they have their place including saving lives but most of the time, there is something natural that can help.  Consider herbs, homeopathy, flower essences, essential oils, crystals, acupuncture, and chiropractic.  If your pet is on medication for pain relief or arthritis, click here to read about natural alternatives.

5.  Do your best to eliminate environmental toxins. Toxins can contribute to cancer.  Herbicides and pesticides used on lawns can increase the chances of your pet getting cancer.  Keep in mind that pets are closer to the ground so easier for them to have more exposure.  There is even a website to help vets report and track pesticide poisonings. To read more about this, click here.  Remember there are natural alternatives to herbicides and pesticides such as vinegar and water in a spray bottle for weeds and sprinkling diatomaceous earth for pests.

These are 5 ways YOU can make a difference in your pet’s life.  Cancer is so horrible and nobody wants to see their pet be struck with it.  So, do what you can NOW to prevent it.

Blessings to you and the animals you love!