Top 12 Pet Cancer Prevention Tips
While cancer is increasingly common in dogs and cats, it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of things you can do to minimize the chances of your four-legged friend developing the disease. Read on for Morris Animal Foundation’s top 12 ways to help prevent cancer in your dog or cat.
1. Avoid second-hand smoke
Does your dog or cat live in a household with smokers? Evidence suggests that cancer risk is increased in animals exposed to environmental tobacco. Keep your home a smoke-free zone.
2. Monitor his weight
Research suggests that obesity is a risk factor for cancer. Feeding a poor quality or imbalanced diet may also be linked to an increased cancer risk.
3. Become an expert on your animal’s breed(s)
Did you know that certain breeds of dogs and cats are prone to different diseases, including cancer? Become an expert on the diseases that are common in your companion’s breed.
4. Schedule regular checkups
Regular checkups allow your veterinarian to perform a complete physical examination, which can identify abnormalities as well as establish a baseline that can be used for later comparisons.
5. Limit exposure to sunlight
Light skin pigmentation combined with lots of time outside can increase the risk for some cancers. Make sure your dog or cat can get out of the sun, and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight when it’s strongest, around midday.
6. Prevent asbestos exposure
Reports of cancer related to asbestos exposure occur in animals as well as humans. If removing this substance from a home, keep your dog or cat away from the area for the duration of the process.
7. Add vegetables to his diet
More than one study has suggested that adding vegetables to an animal’s diet may help decrease cancer risk.
8. Examine him once a month
Look in your animal’s mouth and ears, run your hands along his body, and note any changes; early detection is the best way to treat many diseases, including cancer.
9. Avoid lawn chemicals
Keep your animal away from applied lawn products, and don’t use them in your own yard.
10. Exercise your animal regularly
Get him moving! Regular exercise will keep him mentally stimulated and in shape, and help lower the chance of health problems.
11. Minimize exposure to paints and solvents
One recently published study suggests a possible association between these chemicals and cancer. Try to keep your dog or cat in another room when using these products.
12. Get to know your dog or cat
Behavior changes are often a signal that he isn’t feeling well. Watch your animal, and learn his sleeping and eating habits. A shift in demeanor could be an early sign of disease.
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