Canine Lymphoma Diet Recommendations

Canine lymphoma, also known as lymphosarcoma, is a cancerous disease that involves the presence of malignant lymphocytes that attack the skin, lymph nodes, bone marrow or other vital organs. In addition to medication, a vet may recommend a special diet to support the immune system of the dog, which will be weakened. The diet should also support the function of the kidneys and the liver. The prognosis of a dog with lymphoma is poor, as the disease is very aggressive. However, you may improve the dog's life quality by offering extra care and a special diet.

Protein Supplementation

The supplementation of proteins is essential in dogs with cancer. Proteins are needed by the body and the immune system, to be able to respond to the possible secondary infections and diseases the dog is exposed to. Add extra meat or fishto the dog's normal diet. The protein intake of a dog with lymphoma can be up to 35%.

Wet Food

Wet food is preferred for dogs with lymphoma, because it will be absorbed more easily and won't add workload on the kidneys. Wet food may prevent kidney failure, which is common in dogs with cancer. Wet food has also fewer additives than dry food. Additives are not recommended for dogs with cancer. Prepare the food at home, which will ensure your dog doesn't consume any artificial ingredients.

No Grains

Ideally, dogs with cancer should avoid grains, as these are difficult to digest and will also require additional digestive enzymes, which are scarce when the dog is affected by lymphoma. You should avoid corn, wheat or rice and replace these with sorghum. Eggs, cottage cheese and vegetables can be given to dogs with cancer.

Reduced Carbohydrates

The amount of carbohydrates should be drastically reduced in dogs with cancer. The maximum amount of carbs is 5% of the daily diet.

Fatty Acids

Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids are recommended for dogs with lymphoma. A dog with lymphoma requires these ingredients, as the body will produce new tissues. If the Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids are supplemented, the body will not have to take these nutrients from the tissues of the muscles, kidneys or liver.

Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids are found in fish, especially tuna. Tuna fish oil is a great source of Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids. The fish oil can be administrated with the dog's food. Flax seed oil can replace fish oil if your pet prefers the taste. There are also Omega 3 and 9 fatty acid supplements found in capsules. The dog requires no more than 500 mg of supplements per 10 pounds of body weight.


A dog with lymphosarcoma should also receive antioxidants which will support chemotherapy. Vitamin E, selenium or quercetin are great antioxidants that can be administered on a daily basis.