The Dog Cancer Diet: Be Cautious of Bad Advice




The glycemic index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. High glycemic index carbs release glucose quickly into the bloodstream and glucose feeds cancer cells. Low glycemic index carbs break release glucose slowly into the bloodstream and are absorbed by other metabolic processes before cancer cells can feed on them.

The glycemic index is based on a scale of 0 – 100 with foods rated at 100 having the most rapid release of glucose into the bloodstream. Meats and vegetables have a low glycemic index, followed by grains which have a moderate to high glycemic index, followed by starches and sugars which generally have the highest glycemic indexes.

Dogs have a higher metabolic rate than humans. This means that higher glycemic foods break down even more quickly in dogs than people, significantly increasing the odds of tumors and cancer cells multiplying more quickly. So it’s crucial to feed your dog a low glycemic index diet if they have cancer. Cancer cells grow and thrive on sugar. Every time you feed your dog a meal with rice or oatmeal, their blood sugar skyrockets and the cancer cells have a feeding frenzy. It’s worse if you do this in every meal. The cancer cells know the sugar goodies are coming regularly. To stop the cancer cells from growing, it’s essential that you stop this.

In addition, grains and rice are acid forming foods. Individuals with cancer need to reduce acid because cancer thrives in acidic environments.

This means you must avoid all rice (brown rice included), grains (oatmeal included) fruits, potatoes, and processed sugar. The only exception to this would be if your dog is dehydrated from diarrhea. In that case, it would be acceptable to add honey as described in the formula for dehydration in Dog Cancer: The Holistic Answer.

Especially beware of the questionable marketing tactics on the internet, such as those who recommend any grains in your dog’s diet.  Also avoid soybeans and any products derived from soy such as lecithin, as this accelerates tumor growth and cancer cells. The bottom line is that if you are making food, or adding supplements which contain these ingredients, I strongly recommend that you stop feeding this to your dog immediately to give him/her the best chance of survival from cancer. Re-check to be certain that none of the supplements you are giving your dog contain such ingredients, especially lecithin.

Dogs in the wild eat no grains and dogs with cancer generally do better on diets with no grain. The one exception to this is if your dog with cancer is losing weight. In that case, brown rice may help to add more weight.

Try to stick with foods rated 40 or below on the index. Low glycemic dog food recipes can be found in Dog Cancer: The Holistic Answer.

I invite you to watch a video where I will show you how to prepare your own home cooked food for dogs with cancer. You can get it by CLICKING HERE.

Here is a short glycemic food index chart to give you an idea of different foods and their values:

Source: Korean Diabetes J. 2009 Aug;33(4):261-266.
doi: 10.4093/kdj.2009.33.4.261

VEGETABLES (glycemic index)

Artichoke <10
Asparagus <10
Avocado 0
Broccoli 0
Brussels Sprout 7
Cabbage 0
Carrots (raw) 16
Carrots (cooked) 36
Cauliflower 0
Celery 0
Cucumber 0
Eggplant 15
Green Bean 0
Kale <10
Leek 15
Lettuce 0
Mushroom <10
Onion 13
Peas (frozen) 39
Pepper, Sweet <10
Radicchio 0
Radish 0
Rhubarb 17
Spinach 0
Split Pea 32
Summer squash 17
Tomato (fresh, canned) 15
Tomato Juice 38
Wax Bean – Yellow 30

Categories : Content

About The Author

Dr. Steven Eisen

As a passionate dog lover and pet health advocate, Dr. Steven Eisen teaches others how to improve the health, quality, and longevity of their pet's lives. His holistic perspective raises awareness of how the "status quo", relied upon by millions of pet owners can actually cause sickness and disease. Since receiving his Doctor of Chiropractic degree in 1982, Dr. Eisen has been retained as an expert and consultant by attorneys, professional heath organizations, governmental institutions, and renowned authorities in the fields of holistic and alternative medicine. His best selling book, Dog Cancer: The Holistic Answer, has helped thousands of dogs live longer lives with a unique, non-toxic approach to healing canine cancer, with information not available in any other single source. Dr. Eisen is also the founder of Dog Cancer Academy.


  1. Sad that some vets promote grains!! Do Vets even study nutrition in vet school, or is it nutrition funded by the pet food companies?

    BTW, Miss Lucky is doing AWESOME!! I am surprised kale has a GI close to 10. I do add some greens mixed with my dog’s raw meat. However, I NEVER give them any grains. I even think grains are a poor choice for humans as well (I have a gluten allergy).

    Thanks Dr.Steve for your words of wisdom!

  2. David Novatnak says:

    Great information Dr. Steve. I never thought of the importance of the dogs higher metabolic rate amplifing the detrimental effect sugars/carbohydate.

  3. Rosie Brag says:

    Interesting topic. Much appreciated. Thanks to share it with us. Diet plays a very vital and pivotal role in the management of most ailments and diseases. The specialized dog cancer diet is an important aspect of the treatment plan.

  4. Tammy Johnson Mayer says:

    Thank you for writing about this important topic. May I add that some foods are toxic for dogs. These include avocado, onions, white grapes, raisins and currants, the leaves of rhubarb, macadamia nuts, cocoa, dark chocolate, raw salmon and the imitation sweetener xylitol-very serious (as well raw, green or sprouted white potatoes, certain amounts of other imitation sweeteners & large amounts of foods with lactose, etc.). You may also want to avoid yeast. A few of these foods are inexplicably on the list above. May I also suggest starting with very small amounts (especially with foods containing fat). Otherwise, you may have to deal with digestion problems, as we’ve had to, at the same time as the cancer.

    Thank you & all the very best!!


  5. vanessa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this
    I’ve been searching for a diet for my dog, she was diagnosed with a peripheral nerve sheath tumor and I came
    across Dr. Harvey’s miracle diet. After reading all reviews I decided to buy it but after reading this article I’m not sure if this is the right food for her because this diet includes brown rice and potatoes. Would you suggest looking for a different diet?
    Thank you

  6. I have a video showing you how to make a home made diet for dogs with cancer at It contains no rice or potatoes which I do not recommend for dogs with cancer.

    Dr. Steve

  7. juan says:

    my 10 1/2 yo boxer got diagnosed with insulinoma about one and a half years ago. before the diagnosis she was fed raw mostly meat and vegetables. i needed to add some carbs to the diet to maintain her blood sugars, and oatmeal seemed to stabilized blood sugar the longest. she was kept on a 50/50 mixture of cooked oatmeal and grind meat and grind vegetables. she recently had surgery and had a tumor removed from her pancreas and a liver lobectomy for another liver tumor. she is doing very good post surgery. even though is been only a week after surgery, i think her blood sugar is stable now. what kind of food would you recommend for insulinoma, i would like just to feed her raw meat and bones with some low carb vegs, but im worried that it wont be enough to maintain her blood sugar stable.

  8. Deanna says:

    My 13 yr old Jack Russell Terrier was diagnosed with Pulmonary Carcinoma (lower left lung) Diagnosis was June 25, 2012. She was diagnosed with Addisons last year. I have been feeding her organic processed foods like u show in your video, but I need to change some of the ingredients because of the addisons, and not sure what to change. You don’t mention turkey breast, is there a difference in nutritional value between turkey and chicken? I give her lamb, broccolli, other vegetables. Her wt is 18 lbs but she should be 15-16 lbs. She is playful, loves to eat, runs around, she doesn’t act sick at all, except for when she gets excited her chronic cough kicks in, I have also been giving her homeopathic drops and a supplement. I just want to make sure I am doing everything I possibly can do for her… please advise,
    Thank you so much,

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