Cancer is a scary word and condition that no one wants to hear or experience. The same potentially fatal condition that affects humans is common and dangerous in dogs. More than 12 million cats and dogs are diagnosed with cancer in the United States yearly. Many veterinary associations, however, are working to change this.
As technology advances, the veterinary medicine industry continues to envision a future where all cancers can be addressed with various cures and treatments. However, there are helpful steps you can take now to prevent dog cancer, which will all be discussed as we proceed.
How to Prevent Canine Cancer
Early detection and preventive care are the quickest ways to prevent dog cancer. While most cancers are unpreventable and genetically influenced, adhering to regular at-home exams and vet checkups is critical to early detection, which can save your pet’s life. So, here are five dog cancer prevention tips to keep in mind to ensure your pet lives a healthy life.
1. Never allow them to be exposed to secondhand smoke
Do you and your pet live in an area or neighborhood where there are a lot of smokers? According to research, environmental tobacco exposure in pets has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Keeping your home smoke-free can help reduce your pet’s risk of cancer.
2. Limit their sun exposure
Excessive and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun is a leading cause of human skin cancer. Because dogs have thick furry coats, their daily sun exposure is minimal. Longer sun exposure, however, increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma development in cats with light-colored fur in their nose, ears, and eyes where their fur is thin. Similarly, dogs who enjoy sunbathing on their backs risk developing skin cancer in the sparsely-haired area of their tummies.
If your pet spends too much time outdoors and has a light coat color, consult your veterinarian about sun protection products.
3. Consider sterilizing your pet
Having your female pet sterilized, especially before her first heat, can significantly lower her risk of developing breast cancer. Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries, and the surgery results in the infrequent diagnosis of uterine and ovarian cancer in dogs.
Similarly, neutering male dogs can reduce their risk of testicular cancer, though this isn’t hazardous cancer in dogs. While most studies cannot prove that neutering can completely prevent prostate cancer in dogs, there are numerous benefits to having them neutered that you can read about on the internet.
4. Daily exercise your pet
Ensure that your pet gets the necessary amount of exercise every day. This will keep them mentally stimulated, physically fit, and away from various health issues.
5. Avoid skipping vet visits
Dog wellness exams are not something pet parents should take lightly. Many owners are usually afraid of wellness visits because of the fee involved. On the other hand, puppies must visit the vet monthly to monitor their health and growth.
A one-year-old dog is equivalent to 15 years in humans. That could be concerning if your puppy has not seen a veterinarian in the last 2-5 years. Many conditions you may not be aware of may have developed during the years they went without a checkup. Wellness visits are essential because they can detect diseases before they worsen and serve as a question and answer session with your veterinarian for any concerns or questions you may have.
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