Starting a Diet
A proper cancer diet for your dog should eliminate any type of grains. Dogs are carnivores; their metabolism is best suited to eating meat. Dogs do not have the stomach enzymes to easily digest grains such as wheat, corn or rice. If you cannot easily find a dog food free of grain, the first ingredient on the label should at least be meat. While a dog is being treated for cancer, its body is trying to rebuild critical tissues structures. Proteins and Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are essential to this process. Ideally, your dog should be receiving 1000 mg per 20 dog lbs of fish oil supplements daily. When your dog does not get enough protein and fatty acids, it results in muscle wasting and eventually, liver and kidney failure. A proper canine cancer diet can prevent these life-threatening complications.
Canned or dry dog food can be supplemented with fresh food, raw or cooked, based on your dog's preferences. Most dogs eat 2 percent of their weight daily, up to 3 to 4 percent for more active dogs. When a dog is sick with cancer, you may find that you will have to experiment with food combinations to keep him eating.
Supplementation should begin with ground beef or turkey, lamb or chicken. Add organ meats such as liver, kidneys and hearts. Foods that provide Vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene are also important. Mix meat patties with eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese and raw vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, zucchini and celery. You can also add in fruits such as apples, pears, grapefruits and oranges, as well as other ingredients such as flax seeds, salmon or sardines. The mixture should be 75 percent meat and 25 percent fruits and vegetables. Raw bones are also an essential part of a canine cancer diet. Cooked bones should not be used as they can splinter, causing a choking hazard. The goal is to keep your dog eating, so choose components in which your dog shows an interest.
Vary the ingredients on a daily basis so that you ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs. It is recommended to supplement his diet by adding fresh food, rather than looking for a dried food cancer formula, as you can tailor his diet to what he is willing to eat. Raw food should be given in the morning and dried dog kibble can be tried in the evening. Keep in mind that your dog is sick and may not feel like eating. Smaller amounts of food during the day, along with plenty of water, may work better while your dog is recovering from the cancer.