We love our dogs, so anything we can do to keep them healthy and thriving should be on our radar. That’s especially true when it comes to cancer prevention. Here are four steps you can start today to care for your furry friend.
Step 1: Diet. Here’s an opportunity for you and your dog to get on the same page with healthy eating choices. Colorful vegetables and fruits contain phytochemicals—nutrients that help protect your dog on a cellular level. Good choices include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy, rutabagas, and cabbage. Raspberries and blueberries are also excellent because of their antioxidant-rich properties.
Eggs, sardines, and cod are more good choices because they provide vitamin D for a strong immune system. Unlike humans, dogs don’t absorb vital amounts of vitamin D from the sun and need to get it mostly through their food. Also of note when feeding your dog—watch out for synthetic food dyes, including red and yellow dyes. These artificial colors are often used in the production of dog bones and treats so they more closely mimic the appearance of human food, but they can be dangerous. Consult with your vet for more natural options for feeding your dog, but also be aware of the strong nutritional value in whole foods. Nutrient-dense foods can keep your dog healthy and may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Step 2: Curcumin. You’ve probably heard the buzz around turmeric and curcumin for people, but it’s also a cancer prevention tool in canines—if you pay attention to certain elements of the curcumin. Curcumin comes from the root, or rhizome, of turmeric and is an excellent way to reduce inflammation. But because curcumin is not easily absorbed in people or dogs, look for a highly absorbable curcumin supplement that contains a bioavailable form of the compound like the ingredient listed on labels under the brand name BCM-95 curcumin (Curcugreen). This type of curcumin is combined with turmeric essential oil containing ar-turmerone. Research shows that this type of curcumin can increase absorption in dogs by up to 700 percent over curcumin alone.
Step 3: Gut protection. An overabundance of harmful bacteria in the gut can lead to chronic inflammation, the precursor of most diseases. Providing your pup with a proven probiotic is a smart way to protect the gut microbiome and aid in optimal digestion. Proper gut pH and the absorption of essential nutrients are enhanced by introducing probiotics through supplementation. Types to look for include Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium animalis.
Step 4: Omega-3s. Studies show that omega-3s reduce systemic inflammation and triglycerides while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. That’s a boost for both heart health and cancer prevention. Don’t settle for less than superior omega-3s derived exclusively from heads of Atlantic salmon and extracted using natural enzymes instead of chemicals. This method keeps the molecular structure intact and provides a clean, concentrated, and beneficial combination of eicosapentaenoic acids (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). Look for the words phospholipids and peptides in your omega-3 choice—critical cell-building nutrients that get the job done.
All these steps go back to one point—we love our dogs and want them to live a long, vibrant life. Incorporating these four preventative steps can help safe-guard the well-being of your best friend and keep them healthy for a lifetime.