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As in humans, canine cancer usually comes out of the blue. It makes every owner feel devastated, marking the beginning of a long-lasting fight. Unfortunately, almost half of all dogs past the age of 10 are likely to die of some sort of cancer.

What can an owner do to improve the quality of life of their pup diagnosed with this notorious disease?

Both medical professionals and pet parents who have had this kind of experience agree that the type of diet can make a real difference.

A certain group of anti-cancer foods has proved extremely helpful in alleviating discomfort, strengthening the body and fighting cancer cells with a great level of success. For all these reasons, cancer-fighting foods for dogs truly deserve a great deal of attention.

There is no doubt it takes a lot of courage, patience, and commitment to beat this ferocious enemy. Alongside all the medical advancements and cutting-edge treatments, owners should definitely rely on food as a powerful ally in bringing some relief to their furry friend.  

A number of top quality dog food formulas have been designed to help you achieve this goal.

Top 5 Food For Dogs With Cancer

Best Overall

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Best Overall
Turkey Meal
Pea Protein
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Adult Dogs

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Adult Dogs
Chicken Meal
Salmon Meal
Turkey Meal
De-Boned Turkey
De-Boned Chicken
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Raw Food

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Dave's Pet Food
Raw Food
Beef Liver
Water Sufficient For Processing
Sunflower Oil
Tricalcium Phosphate
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Optimal Nutrition

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K9 Natural
Optimal Nutrition
Lamb Heart
Lamb Liver
Lamb Blood
Lamb Tripe
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All Ages

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Great Life
All Ages
Buffalo Meal
Chicken Fat
Coconut Flour
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Zignature - Best Overall

First Five Ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • Chickpeas
  • Turkey Meal
  • Pea Protein
  • Peas

There is no better thing you can do for your pup than offer him a supreme-quality food formula, such as Zignature Turkey Grain-Free. It is a wholesome blend of carefully selected, finest ingredients. Zignature even caters to the needs of  those dogs who might be dealing with delicate health conditions.

The manufacturers of this appetizing mixture rely on quality protein, as the vital component of sound nutrition. Its main source is farm-raised turkey, originating from the American Midwest. In combination with chickpeas, peas, and flaxseed, it ensures an adequate intake of necessary nutrients to sustain all functions of the body.

Rich in Omega Fatty Acids, Selenium, vitamins and antioxidants, it bolsters the immunity, supports metabolic processes and contributes to the overall wellbeing of your furry friend. By eliminating artificial ingredients and common allergens, it takes care of oversensitive puppies.

Give this outstanding formula a chance and let it prove why it is the absolute favorite of so many pups and their owners.

Go! - Fit For Adult Dogs

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken Meal
  • Salmon Meal
  • Turkey Meal
  • De-Boned Turkey
  • De-Boned Chicken

Go Fit+Free revolves around animal protein, to maintain your pup’s body in the best shape possible. It combines three rich sources of this essential nutrient, making use of all their benefits. These are turkey, chicken, and trout, known for their advantages in canine diets. Tasty fruits and vegetables support quality meat protein in this delicious blend. Omega Fatty Acids have been added to this formula too, due to a wide array of important functions they perform in the body.

A limited amount of carbohydrates in Go! Fit + Free formula aims to keep your pet strong, healthy and lean. It is ideal for active, grown-up dogs. It ensures efficient digestion owing to its prebiotic and probiotic formula.

A rich complex of antioxidants will boost the defense system of your pet, by eliminating harmful elements from the body. The fact that it contains no preservatives, allergens, by-product meals or hormones adds up to its quality.

Make a smart move and simply go for Go! FIt + Free. It will become your partner in keeping your best buddy healthy and content.  

Dave's Pet Food - Best Raw Food

First Five Ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Beef Liver
  • Water Sufficient For Processing
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Tricalcium Phosphate

A quick look at the list of ingredients in this superb formula is the strongest evidence of its quality. It is simple but powerful. Best quality beef, vitamins, minerals, and water join forces to ensure sound nutrition for your canine. This wet food formula supports the healthy eating habits of your furry friend, making sure it gets all the required nutrients.

The creators of Dave’s Pet Food ruled out the use of any grains, rice, starch, and cereals. It is low in carb levels, too.

Beef liver, broth, vitamins and minerals included in this mixture provide the body strength, strong immunity, and efficient metabolic processes. If your pup is struggling with excessive pounds, this formula will make an excellent choice in promoting healthy weight.

Follow the same guiding principle the creators of Dave’s Pet Food had. Keep it simple and stick with the best!

K9 Natural - Ideal For Optimal Nutrition

First Five Ingredients:

  • Lamb
  • Lamb Heart
  • Lamb Liver
  • Lamb Blood
  • Lamb Tripe

Strict procedures and the belief that raw nutrition benefits your canine greatly made the basis for the creation of this formula. Its manufacturers’ main target is to supply your furry friend with the best nutrients, keeping it safe at all times. Raw meat, blood and crushed bone account for 85% of its total contents.

Although vegetables and fruits make a smaller minority of its ingredients, they still contribute significant minerals and vitamins. K9 Natural has the natural feeding habits of dogs at its core. It will meet the nutritive requirements of all types of breeds and life stages of pups. To reduce allergies, intolerances or digestive issues, it leaves out absolutely all potential triggers of such issues.

This palatable formula addresses your pup’s needs on a holistic level, taking care of his skin, coat, and joints.

K9 Natural will provide your pet with a balanced, healthy diet. It will fuel your pal with the energy sufficient for a day packed with activity and exercise.

Great Life - Fit For All Ages

First Five Ingredients:

  • Buffalo Meal  
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Chicken Fat
  • Coconut Flour

The makers of this tasty blend had pets with allergies and special dietary needs in mind when creating it. This is why buffalo tops the list of its ingredients. Known as an excellent source of protein, it promotes healthy nutrition. A great selection of whole foods makes it incredibly rich in vital nutrients. These include blueberries, kales sprouts, bok choy, and yams.

The list of components not allowed in this clean formula is a lengthy one, too. It leaves out hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and pesticides. Similarly, it is free of corn, potatoes, soy, corn, byproducts, additives, flavors, and colors.

Amounts of carbs in this blend are lower, while it features high digestibility. Dogs of all life stages will be infused will all the essential nutrients which will help them thrive.

Bring your search for an ideal food formula to an end – Great Life is just around the corner, waiting for you.

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Most Common Canine Cancer Types


Lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen are the most common points where lymphomas occur in dogs. These malignancies vary in their invasiveness and metastasis, so there are five distinguished stages in their development. A quarter of the total number of cancer-affected canines is likely to develop this type of formation.

Multiple factors may be the cause of lymphomas in dogs. Genetics, environmental influences, and weak immunity are usually listed as the main reasons why your pal can develop this condition.

Mast Cell Tumor

This is the most frequently encountered type of skin cancer in dogs. It is the cancer of a specific blood cell, responsible for reacting to inflammatory and allergic processes.

Affected areas of skin can vary in appearance, depending on the severity of the condition itself. In later stages, it is most likely to spread to spleen, liver and lymph nodes.

The treatment, as well as predictions, depend on the aggressiveness and grade of the tumor.


This type of malignant skin cancer usually develops on the mouth or mucous membranes. It is typically found on pigmented sections of the skin, in some cases under the hair.

This type of cancer is usually rather aggressive and spreads rapidly. It is likely to grow metastasis on the lungs and liver. However, if diagnosed timely, successful treatment is possible.


This type of cancer attacks the blood vessels in your canine. It can appear either on the surface of the skin or anywhere inside the body. This malignancy is very difficult to treat and usually has bad predictions.

If formed externally, on the skin surface, surgical removal usually yields positive results. However, a far more worrying form takes place on internal organs such as heart and spleen. The tumor tissue fills with blood and bursts easily, leading to massive bleeding and eventually death.

In some cases, a combination of surgical treatment and chemotherapy successfully increased the life expectancy in pups affected by this condition.


Although it can be found in all dog breeds, giant and large canines are more prone to developing this condition. Bone cancer tends to spread to other organs in the body, and in these cases usually has a fatal outcome.

Lumps, swellings, lameness or persistent pain are some of the symptoms which should make owners alert and require an examination by a vet.

Breast Cancer

Usually resulting from hormones or genetics, it is the most common type of cancer among female dogs. In rare cases, males can suffer from it as well.

Mammary glands develop one or more masses, movable or attached to the body wall. These can either be benign or malignant. Breast cancer affects unspayed females in the majority of cases and is less common in pups younger than five.

Symptoms Of Dog Cancer

Cancer can strike when you least expect it. For this reason, you should keep an eye on any untypical changes in your pup. Symptoms of this life-threatening disease may not always be obvious at first.

  • Sudden changes in your furry friend’s behavior, reluctance to play or move actively, and awkwardly low energy levels will tell you that there is something going on and you may have to check it.
  • Lameness, limping or favoring a limb are possible signals of bone cancer.
  • Anny inexplicable change of weight may be a sign of a digestive system cancer. Loss of appetite and difficulty eating usually accompany this condition. Bloating can be present, as a result of accumulated fluid in the body.
  • If a lump or mass appears on any part of your canine’s body, you should obtain the opinion of your vet as soon as possible. You should do the same in the case of wounds that won’t heal.
  • If your pup’s breath goes bad despite the measures you take, it is time to consult your vet, too.
  • Bladder or kidney cancer will affect your dog’s toilet habits. You may often notice that your pet is reluctant to urinate or does it with difficulty.
  • If your furry friend struggles to catch his breath back after any activity, it is time to perform a heart and lungs check-up.

If your pup starts both drinking much more water and urinating more than usual, it may possibly indicate the growth of the hypothalamus tumor.

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Treatments Options For Dogs With Cancer


Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to fight different types of cancer. It sometimes follows a surgical removal of cancerous tissue. In other cases, it is used to destroy blood-borne cancers.

Dogs usually do not suffer severe consequences of chemos. Hair loss does not normally occur during the treatment. In some breeds, the hair may become thinner and brittle.

Vomiting and loss of appetite can sometimes follow after these treatments. Anemia may also be present in some pups. However, most symptoms vanish after a couple of days and are dealt with successfully.


While growing in your pup’s body, tumors gradually prevent organs from functioning normally. Their increasing size presents an obstacle for many vital body functions.

The aim of applying radiation therapy isto reduce tumors and prevent them from growing rapidly. In this way, some of the symptoms can be alleviated.

Your dog’s response to this type of treatment will vary depending on the type and nature of the disease itself. Radiation therapy usually extends the length of life, improving its quality for some time, too.


If possible, tumors will ideally be removed surgically. Yet, there are many factors which determine whether or not to perform one. These include types of tumors, their stage, and their location in the body.

In the early stages of tumor development, an operation can be the most efficient solution. Removing the entire tumor mass along with surrounding tissue can yield positive results. However, sometimes even the best veterinary surgeons are not able to achieve this. If this happens, you may expect the tumor to appear again.


Immunotherapy is in the majority of cases used alongside chemo and radiation therapy. Following the practice of using immunotherapy in humans, this form of cancer treatment can be used successfully in canines, too. It involves the use of antibodies in fighting the cancer cells, preventing tumors from growing. These antibodies bind to cancer cells, stopping them from multiplying and leading to their death.

How Cancer Alters the Metabolism of Canines

Metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins differs significantly in dogs affected by cancer. For this reason, the owner should adjust their pup’s diet accordingly. Many dogs will suffer a noticeable loss of weight, despite adequate and quality nutrition. This is known as cancer cachexia.  

One of the major changes occurs when it comes to the utilization of carbohydrates. While cancer cells make use of carbs through the process of anaerobic glycolysis, normal body cells have to struggle to obtain the necessary energy. This all results in the sustained growth of cancerous cells, and a substantial loss of body energy. Hence, owners’ reaction to their pal’s weight loss should not necessarily be the increased amount of food per meal.

If your furry friend suffers from a certain type of cancer, the synthesis of protein in his body will slow down. At the same time, protein degradation will be on the rise, leading to body mass and muscle loss. Fats will feature the same tendency, too.

Even if your pup fully recovers from cancer, these changes in his metabolism are permanent in nature.

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How To Choose A Food


The overall condition of your cancer-affected canine will at times reflect negatively on his appetite. There is no need to say how significant it is to help your pup regain energy, prevent the loss of body mass and boost the immune system. As a result, it is vital to offer palatable and tasty food, which will not result in a reluctance to eat. A couple of quality food formulas meet this condition and present a wise choice.

Quality Ingredients

The quality of ingredients in a cancer-fighting diet can be a real game changer. Nutrition experts and medical professionals agree that it is a quality animal protein which should be the number one component in the diet for dogs suffering from cancer. Higher contents of fat are also considered as desirable.

It is highly recommended to avoid foods containing grains, as well as those in which the first ingredients are rice, corn or wheat.

No Artificial Additives

Fighting cancer is already an extremely difficult task. Owners should have this in mind when choosing the type of diet for their furry companion. This is why they should take some time and work out the best feeding option which will benefit the body the most.

Foods packed with fillers, preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors often cause problems even to healthy pups. Logically, it is no surprise that their presence in your cancer-suffering pup’s feeding bowl is definitely a mistake.

Artificial ingredients are difficult to process. They are quite likely to give your already weakened pup an even harder time.

High Moisture Levels

Cancer can make your canine unwilling to eat. Foods containing a higher level of moisture are usually more appetizing. Your cancer-fighting pet will probably be more keen on wet dog food formulas.

Higher contents of water will keep your puppy adequately hydrated. Quality foods with higher levels of moisture will make your pup consume a smaller amount of food. However, it will meet all of his nutrition needs. This means that he will take no excessive calories in the form of carbs or fillers.  


Using fresh food ingredients to fight cancer in dogs has several advantages. Benefits of a group of fresh fruits and vegetables are numerous, both in prevention and dealing with cancer.

Such ingredients are primarily known for their antioxidant features. Owing to them, the body deals with harmful elements more efficiently, including cancer cells. They support the body’s defense system, often slowing down or blocking the growth of tumor cells.


Nutrition experts frequently emphasize all the positive sides of the anti-cancer diet based on organic ingredients. Their power lies primarily in the fact that they are clean and natural.

Certified organic foods are free from any artificial chemicals, preservatives, taste intensifiers and colors. They are believed to supply the best quality nutrients, significant in such delicate health conditions.

Foods to Avoid

Nutritionists recommend a special dietary regime for dogs dealing with cancer. This means that certain types of food should never find their way into your pup’s feeding bowl.

Carbs, sugars and processed proteins will turn against your pet in its attempt to fight cancer. These will, as it is well known, only boost the development of bad tumor cells. You should by no means offer any kind of sweets, candies, and cookies to your sick furry friend.

In addition, all the foods containing artificial preservatives can do serious harm. Some of these additives can even trigger the development of cancers in your canine.

To keep their dogs’ diet even more low-carb, owners sometimes reduce the intake of sweeter fruits and veggies, including bananas, carrots, corn, and peas.

Feeding Tips For Dogs Suffering From Cancer

Limit Carbohydrates

Cutting down on carbohydrates will be the first and foremost bit of advice from any veterinary expert. The reason for this is clear and valid. Instead of providing your pup with the required energy, carbohydrates actually boost the development of cancer tissues.

By utilizing glucose efficiently, cancer cells obtain the energy necessary for their rapid growth. At the same time, your canine is likely to feature a great loss of strength, overall weakness, and lethargy.


Amount of fat in your canine’s body reduces as a result of cancer. This reflects through a more intense weight loss, which is certainly a thing to be worried about. Adding high-quality fats, mostly of animal origin, can slow down or even stop the process of weakening of the body. Consequently, experts recommend a diet rich in quality fats as a way of feeding canine cancer patients.

Good-Quality Protein

Quality protein is an indispensable element in helping your furry friend stand up against this notorious disease. To reverse the process of tissue loss, a diet rich in animal protein is definitely the best option. Canned sardines, eggs, chicken and turkey are good sources of additional protein. In this way, the massive loss of body weight and muscle is less likely to occur.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

These play a huge part in helping your canine overcome certain cancer-related issues. They slow down the expansion of tumors and their metastasis. Moreover, they prevent an excessive loss of weight, muscle mass, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Fish is by far the best source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Fish from clean, cold waters top the table in terms of quality. If possible, the anti-cancer diet for pups should include salmon, black cod, Arctic char, sablefish, trout, oysters, mussels and so on.


When deciding on the types of supplements to include in your canine’s diet, advice from your vet will be precious. Metabolism in dogs affected by cancer changes drastically, along with their nutritive requirements.

Concentrated nutrients in the form of various supplements can be of great assistance. These supplements support the fragile immune system of your pup. They usually have antioxidant features, too. Complexes of vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids help the body regain its vitality by slowing down or fully stopping the progress of some forms of the disease.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

CLA is a type of fat that is normally present in dairy products, such as butter and milk. It can have several different forms. So far, the use of CLA in a number of experimental studies has shown positive results when it comes to fighting cancer cells. However, it is not widely used as a supplement for dogs suffering from various sorts of tumors.

Green Tea

Green tea is considered to be effective in preventing cancer. At the same time, its components such as EGCG polyphenol cause the self-destruction of cancer cells. Clinical studies have not looked into the effect of green tea on dogs. Yet, vets believe that it is not likely to do any serious harm.  

It is necessary to determine the adequate amounts needed for the treatment. Owners should keep an eye on any side effects the intake of green tea can cause in their pets.

Vitamin D

Studies of vitamin D metabolism in dogs with tumors are not numerous. Yet, they recorded considerably lower levels of this vitamin in cancer-affected dogs. Its part is vital in cell growth and differentiation, which is of great significance when dealing with cancer. It also promotes self-destruction of non-functional cells. For this reason, owners should ensure the optimal intake of this element.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive Enzymes (Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase), as the name suggests, support the digestion of food your pup eats, to make the best use of nutrients. Sometimes, your pet’s body is not capable of producing the necessary enzymes, which prevents the proper functioning of various processes in the body. Supplementation of digestive enzymes in dogs affected by cancer has another advantage. Namely, they will boost the production of T-cells, responsible for fighting cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canine Cancer

Why do dogs with cancer need a special diet?

There is strong evidence that cancer alters metabolic processes in your furry friend permanently. This primarily relates to the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein. As a result of these changes, your pup is not able to utilize nutrients to the maximum. At the same time, cancer cells take over and flourish. The consequence is a sudden and extreme reduction of body weight, fatigue, crashed immunity system and overall exhaustion.

Depending on the type of tumors and their location in the body, certain organs vital for the synthesis of enzymes or other important elements may not function properly.

All these factors create the need for a specially designed diet, aimed at regaining strength, mass, and stronger immunity.  

Can it be prevented?

Stopping it before it even has the chance to develop is certainly the ideal scenario. It is true that some measures can be effective in preventing malignant diseases in your canine. These primarily include attentive care when it comes to chemicals used in and around your household.

Pesticides, lawn maintenance products, washing powders, air fresheners can all potentially trigger the development of cancers in pups. Products used to repel and exterminate fleas and ticks possess the same feature. Sterilization at an early age increases the risk of certain types of tumors, according to many studies.

Finally, a high number of vaccines containing aluminum are frequently linked with the occurrence of the disease.

Are there natural cures?

When we talk about dealing with cancer, the standard medical protocol is the first thing that comes to our mind.  Some natural remedies can be of great assistance when trying to beat tumors in your pet dog as well.

Organic and fresh food items definitely make a great difference. Raw diets planned in consultation with your vet showed great results in some cases, too. Moreover, certain plants have proved very powerful in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and inflammatory processes. Some of these herbs that serve as anti-cancer nutrients are turmeric, milk thistle, dandelion root, astragalus, echinacea and so on.

Will probiotics help them feel better?

Good bacteria, or probiotics, support the immune system and general health of your pup. Although present in all parts of the body, their higher concentration is in the GI system. They will impact your pal’s ability to defend against various ailments, including more severe conditions.

The list of probiotics you can add to your pup’s diet is long, but not all of them are equally beneficial. This is why the advice from your vet is needed for the best result.

What is the best diet for canines who have low appetite?

Both the disease and the aggressive treatment options weaken your dog to a great extent. Your best friend is very likely to suffer the loss of appetite, which is something that the owner needs to address urgently.

To regain his interest in eating, the food you serve should be clean, fresh and of a nice smell. It should be palatable and appetizing, easy to digest and made of best quality ingredients, suitable for your pup’s health condition.


Frightening as it may sound, the cancer diagnosis does not mean that your furry friend stands no chance against it. In these cases, most owners are ready to go to great lengths and work out the best ways to help their buddies.

What is up to you is certainly the decision and plan on how to feed your pup dealing with this serious issue. What all these strategies have in common is a single underlying principle. Go for those types of food that will feed your dog, but l leave its cancer hungry!

Zignature, as a top quality nutrition formula for the delicate condition of your canine, certainly makes a good example of how to reach this goal.

Every journey begins with the first step. No matter how hard the road to recovery may seem to be, your beloved friend will know he is not alone walking down it!