When a canine suffers from cancer, it may need to undergo chemotherapy treatment. These treatments can change a dog's eating habits. Chemotherapy can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. However, good nutrition is vital if your dog is to recover. It is important to check with your veterinarian before changing your dog's diet or giving it supplements.
Grains and Carbohydrates
A study by Dr. Ogilve of Colorodo State University found that certain types of canine cancer thrive on simple carbohydrates. Therefore, he advises dog owners to limit their dog's consumption of simple carbohydrates when they have cancer.
In addition, because dogs are naturally carnivores, care should be taken so they do not eat a lot of grains; this is especially true of dogs suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Since your dog may not want to eat very much, the food that it does eat should be high-quality. Look for foods which feature protein as the first listed ingredient; grains should be much farther down the list. Feed your dog a high-quality, high-protein dog food.
Protein is an essential part of a dog's healthy diet, and when it has cancer and is undergoing treatments, a dry food may not be enough to give your dog the nutrients its body needs. Add healthy sources of protein to give your dog energy and help it heal.
Many veterinarians suggest giving dogs a raw food diet, which consists of raw meat, fruits and vegetables. If you do decide to feed meat with bones to your pet, make sure that it has not been cooked. Dogs can digest raw bones, while cooked bones may splinter. Whether you decide to give your dog raw or cooked meat, you should be giving it a variety of protein sources.
Try raw or cooked ground beef, pork, or lamb. Meats with a high fat content are good for your dog, especially when it is sick. Cottage cheese and eggs are also excellent sources of protein. Canned sardines are also a good choice.
Fruits and Vegetables
You can also give your dog fruits and vegetables to help keep it healthy and energized. Try feeding your dog apples, oranges or pears. Grapefruit is also a good choice.
Vegetables are also good for your dog. Try spinach, kale and carrots.
These fruits and vegetables can be mixed with meat or cottage cheese. Your dog may not wish to eat, so it is important to try a variety of foods in order to find some that will interest your pet.
Many veterinarians also advocate the use of supplements to help your dog feel energized and recover from cancer. It is important to note, however, that some supplements should not be used with certain cancer drugs and treatments. Before giving your dog any supplement, check with your veterinarian to make sure that it is safe. Fish oil, grapeseed oil and selenium may all be useful to your dog if it is suffering from cancer or undergoing chemotherapy. Garlic is another popular choice.