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Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Published on: November 6, 2018

November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month.  None of us like to imagine our companions being affected by cancer.  But, this is a good time to consider preventative measures, or how to help our companions who already struggle against this illness.

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Cancers can affect our companions at the roll of the dice: it’s hard to know when or how our furry friends might be affected (if at all).  Preventative steps can be taken at any life stage, and it’s never a bad time to start.  Spaying or neutering your companion early can be beneficial for a variety of health reasons.  And, studies have shown that the procedure can also reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as mammary cancers in dogs.

Early detection can be key when dealing with forms of cancer.  Consistent veterinary check-ups will ensure there’s a greater chance of catching the problem so it can be dealt with.  Additionally, you can play a major role here as well.  Being attentive to your companion’s behaviors and physiology will increase the likelihood of detecting any health issues.

Day by Day

Taking the big steps (like vet visits) isn’t enough, though.  Good physical and mental health are maintained by every-day actions.  For our companions, this is equally true.  Start by ensuring your companion has a consistent diet for their breed, age, and size.  Foods and treats made with all-natural ingredients and without artificial preservatives will decrease your companion’s potential exposure to carcinogens.  And, don’t forget the exercise!  Whether it’s a walk or a game of fetch, your companion should have plenty of time for physical activities every day.  Of course, this will also depend on their breed, age, and size.

Other factors you can control might include limiting your companion’s exposure to sunlight.  Some of us have dogs or cats that love to sunbathe, but it’s important to make sure they don’t get too many rays.  Additionally, be sure not to smoke around your companions: second-hand smoke affects them as well, potentially even worse so!

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Animals get cancer at about the same rate as humans: your companion is almost just as likely to be afflicted as you are.  In fact, about six million dogs and cats will be diagnosed this year.  And, over half of dogs over 10 years old will be impacted.  We all prefer to think “it could never happen to us,” but the unfortunate reality is that we are more likely than not to have a companion suffer from cancer.  It’s not all doom and gloom though: nearly half of all cancers are can be cured if caught in time.  The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) says that early detection is critical in catching and curing cancer in your companion.

The AVMA offers more info on pet cancer with this article.  PetMD also offers this info on signs to look for regarding your companion’s health.