Diets for Pets with Cancer

If you're reading this page, it's probably not just for giggles.  But you are not alone.  I have been helping pets with cancer for over 30 years, and I am happy to help you as well. 

There are really two different goals in feeding pets with cancer:

  • Feed them a healthy diet that they like, because a) we are trying to spoil them and b) the longer they maintain their normal body weight, the longer they will live.  Simple enough. 
  • Use the science of nutrition to help inhibit cancer growth.

How do we inhibit cancer cell growth?  By reducing carbohydrates, or sugars, in your pet's diet.  This is harder than you think, because

  • most kibbles require a certain amount of carbohydrates as a binder, to glom the kibbles together.  
  • and carbohydrates are a cheap source of energy for pet food manufacturers, so they include high quantities of carbs in many diets. 

Why do we want to reduce carbohydrates in a cancer pet's diet?  Because while "regular" cells can exist on a variety of energy sources, cancer cells depend primarily on glucose for energy.  Thus we want to reduce sugars to relatively "starve" cancer cells, while normal cells can live quite happily on other macronutrients.  Want to take a deep dive into this?  Here you go. 

If this makes sense to you -- and it should -- there are three ways to approach this:

  • Keto diets make the most sense for cancer patients, and here is a good resource for you to learn more.
  • Raw diets are another way to reduce carbohydrate content in the food, but you have to be careful with sourcing and bacterial contamination.  Here is a raw diet manufacturer that I can recommend.
  • If a keto and raw diets are impractical for you, then logically you should spend some time comparing labels of dog foods to identify diets with relatively higher fat/protein content and relatively lower carbohydrate content.

The other thing we know about cancer cells is that they HATE broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.  So the more of these veggies that your dog eats, the better for them.  You might have to put up with a few dog farts, but that is a small price to pay for more time with your pet.

Let me know if you have any questions about your pet's diet and cancer.  Simple questions are easy, and if it gets more complicated we can get to work on a Concierge Consult basis.  

And spoil your pet today.  Dr. Kevin