Should I Feed A Raw Food Diet To A Dog With Cancer?By
A question I’m frequently asked is if a raw food diet is advisable for a dog who has cancer. Let’s look at this a little more closely.
Many advocates of raw food diets for dogs will tell you that their pets have had dramatic improvements in energy level, allergies, skin conditions and overall health after being switched to a raw food diet. There is speculation as to why this is true, and no one knows for sure. Some say it’s because the enzymes and amino acids are not destroyed by the cooking process. Others will tell you it’s because of benefits from eating bones and connective tissue which is what dogs eat in the wild. The question many ask is, “If this diet is good for healthy dogs, then why not for sick ones?”
There are significant health benefits in switching from commercial dog food to any homemade diet, whether it be raw of cooked. You need to be aware however, that your dog with cancer has a compromised immune system. In my opinion, this makes the risks of feeding raw food to dogs with cancer outweigh any possible benefit. Here’s why.
Raw vegetables, and especially, meat and bones can contain bacteria such as salmonella, e. coli, or staphylococcus, which a healthy dog’s immune system may be able to handle in small amounts. A healthy pet may not be affected by this at all. This same small amount of bacteria in a dog with cancer however, could overwhelm their immune system causing serious illness, if not worse. Even if you have the highest trust in the source of the food, there is no guarantee that it won’t contain at least small amounts of this bacteria. It’s just not worth the risk.
I recommend that if you dog has cancer not to feed them anything you would not eat yourself. And even more so, it should be cooked to destroy any and all bacteria it may contain.
In Dog Cancer: The Holistic Answer, I discuss what you should and should not feed your dog, extensively. I also make recommendations for nutritional supplementation which make up for those things which may be compromised in the cooking process. In addition, you will find recipes that contain the correct balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which is different for a dog who has cancer than a healthy one.