Animal cancer is a cause close to my heart, not only because it affects so many pets (and the numbers seem to be climbing year after year), but also because my own dog, Indiana, was diagnosed with cancer back in 2006. Though Indiana is still alive and well today (and cancer-free), our experience was life-altering, and my husband and I vowed to make something good out of something so awful. We created the Great Good Heart Animal Cancer Foundation to help educate others in hopes that just one dog could be saved from this disease.
Though no hard and fast numbers are known (so many cases of cancer go undiagnosed), some estimates say that cancer affects around 50% of all dogs. Some breeds, like golden retrievers, rottweilers, and boxers, have higher rates of specific cancers I’ve seen suggestions that up to 75% of all golden retrievers will be affected by lymphoma alone.
- Forgoing the use of pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn.
- These products are thought to be the number one cause of lymphoma, one of the most common types of cancer.
- Using non-toxic cleaners in your home. Your pets walk around in bare feet all the time, they they lick their paws. I feel much more comfortable knowing they’re being exposed to vinegar and baking soda rather than synthetic cleaners.
- Feeding a high quality diet--the best you can afford. This involves a lot of research, because commercial pet foods aren’t all as safe as we think. Humans thrive on a fresh diet, and it is no different for our pets.
- Considering titers instead of automatically vaccinating every year. A simple blood test will tell you if your pet’s body contains enough of the vaccine antibodies to keep them safe for another year.