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Cancer In Dogs and How Omega-3 Helps Protect Them

Maggie has a benign lump on her shoulder. As soon as I found this out I went into cancer prevention mode. I was already feeding Omega’s to help against inflammation and learned it might help her in her case. But how is linked to helping prevent cancer?

In this article, I’ll go over the reasons you want to include it in your dog’s diet and the sources for Omega-3.

WHY SHOULD YOU FEED OMEGA 3 TO YOUR DOG TO HELP FIGHT CANCER?

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) participate in the resolution of inflammation and have anti-inflammatory effects. 

In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the researchers found that Omega 3 may decrease the odds of T-zone lymphomas (TZL).  

Not only that, Omega 3 supplements can help boost immune system responses, and so adding Omega 3 to your dog’s diet has a wide range of benefits.  

DIETS TODAY HAVE TOO MUCH OMEGA 6

Most dogs are fed a dry kibble diet which has a higher ratio of Omega-6 fats, which increase inflammation. Unfortunately, Omega-3 doesn’t stay stable in the high heat an ultra-processed dry kibble dog food goes through, so you will have to add this essential fatty acid in yourself.  

If you’re feeding a home-cooked or preparing a raw meal, unless you’re buying grass-fed meat, the meat you’re providing will also most likely have a higher ratio of Omega-6.  

Several studies have shown that an optimal omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio (about 4 to 1) in the diet of dogs and cats may reduce the incidence of some diseases, such as cancer, as well as reduce inflammation.  

If you are worried about cancer, whether or not you’re trying to prevent it or your dog already has it, then you want to get in as much Omega 3 in them to help prevent cancer cells from developing or growing.  

SOURCES FOR OMEGA-3 FOR DOGS

WHOLE FISH

I prefer to feed small, oily, fresh, whole fish such as:

  • Anchovies
  • Capelin
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Smelt

I can get all of these fish very easily from my local ethnic grocery stores.

Between 8 to 10% of my dog’s food intake is small, oily, fresh whole fish. I feed it raw and add it to their daily meals.  

Cancer loves to use carbohydrates as an energy source. When the cancer cells use sugars for energy, they produce lactate, a waste product that poisons the host. Lactate depletes the dog’s energy, allowing cancer to weaken the body and the tumor to grow stronger. This condition is called cancer cachexia.

But studies have found tumor cells have difficulty using lipids as a fuel source. Therefore, feeding oily fish benefits dogs that are trying to prevent or fight cancer.  

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  

PHYTOPLANKTON

Rich in Omega-3, marine phytoplankton is a wonderful addition to your dog’s bowl. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory benefits it includes trace minerals, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and essential amino acids.  

A brand I love and respect is Adored Beast. You can find her Phyto Synergy supplement here.

FISH OIL

I’m not a fan of fish oil, and I never recommend it as an Omega-3 source.  

Fish oil tends to oxidize and go rancid. The harmful effects of feeding rancid fish oil include inflammation (precisely what you’re trying to avoid, premature aging, and gene mutation).  

Fish oil also contains heavy metals, toxins, and radiation which are harmful to feed as well.  

FISH POWDER

Luckily, there is now innovation in the Omega-3 market via a fish oil powder. A few companies offer it for humans, but only one that I have seen offer it for dogs.  

You can purchase Pawsomely Healthy’s Omega-3 Fish Powder either DIRECT on their website or on AMAZON.

If you do purchase direct, the code MAGGIELOVESORBIT gets you a small discount.

I’ve been using it in addition to the fish I feed because calorically, I don’t want to feed more than 15 to 20% of fish per day, but I still want to up the Omega-3 so I add it to their bowls daily.  

FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope that Maggie’s lump stays benign. And while I cannot do anything about her genetics, I do have control over what I feed her as well as the supplements I add to her meals.  

Omega-3 is a critical component in the fight to prevent cancer from developing. 

Resources:

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Pages 585 – 607

Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566772/

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