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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.


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.  


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.  



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.  


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.


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.  


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.  


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. 


Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Pages 585 – 607

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


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  1. Roxana

    Hello! For about a year, my 14-year-old dog has a relatively small tumor above her anus. Coincidence or not, a year ago, we started adding Salmon Oil to her food daily. She’s been feeling great! More active, willing to eat, and happy! Can Salmon Oil make the tumor grow in size, or on the contrary, it can help the tumor stagnate? Should I still add Salmon Oil to her food? Thank you!

    1. Hannah Zulueta

      Hello Roxana. I apologize – your comment was buried between spam comments and I didn’t see it. We can only speculate as to what might have caused the tumor. I don’t think we can easily link Salmon oil to the tumor since… even in humans, it’s hard to find causality to things things. Her age at 14 is to be commended. In Chinese Medicine, tumors are due to qualitative and irreversible changes in the structure of either the Zang-Fu organs, Qi and Blood, or Body Fluids. Tumors result from an imbalance within the body or between the body and the environment. Depending on your dog’s tumor, there are herbs that can support her. If you are interested in a TCVM vet you can contact who I use for my own dog. I’ll leave his link. From a food perspective, you want to ensure the diet is low in starch/sugars and doesn’t lead to high inflammation. Blessings.

      TCVM Vet: https://drdennisthomas.com/phone-consultations/

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