Mole rats and elephants are two animals that seldom get cancer. It is believed by scientist that these animals may have a form genetic mechanisms that allow their genome repair damaged DNA (which is a precursor to tumors). However, your household pets especially cats and dogs are not that lucky
Why are so many pets getting cancer?
It is worthy to note that these cute little creatures experience higher rates of cancer than even humans. Recent studies have shown that 1 out of every 5 humans will develop a form of cancer or the other in their lifetime. But in dogs, for instance, 1 of every 2 dogs develop cancer at some point.
Having said that six million cats and dogs will be diagnosed with cancer this current year. Veterinarians often try to explain these alarming statistics by informing pet owners that “it’s because their pets are living longer than ever before and tumors are almost inevitable in old age”
While this may be true, it is not just aging that is the problem here, it has more to do with non-genetic factor (environmental), toxic pet care products, inflammatory diets are contributing to the widespread of cancer afflicting dogs and cats.
How to keep your pets cancer-free
Having known all that, below are some likely carcinogens that you should keep your pet far away from.
1. Heat-processed pet food
Pet owners have been terrified of the stuff that forms ingredients in brand name pet foods. The problem is health authorities have not made the health of cats and dogs much of a priority.
Another problem with conventional pet food is that it is heat processed and loaded with preservatives.
This is actually meant to extend the product shelf life, but these procedures ultimately subtract years from your pet’s life. This happens because these heavily processed foods stimulate compounds called cytokines, which stimulate inflammation in the gut and all over the body.
Chronic inflammation is a known trigger for cancer and other immune diseases. For example, It can cause a syndrome called leaky gut, which can trigger an overactive immune system and trigger a syndrome called leaky gut.
Scientist tends to collectively agree these days that intestinal integrity is one of the keys to preventing and avoiding cancer.
Veterinarians always recommend conventional pet food brands, but on the whole, evidence has suggested that humans and pets are better off eating more nutritionally-rich raw foods
2. Secondhand smoke
Cats exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get lymphoma (a kind of cancer) 2.5 times than felines reared in smoke-free homes.
Likewise, exposure of dogs to secondhand smoke put dogs at a much greater risk for respiratory and nasal cancers. Smoking is not healthy for you, but it is particularly bad for your pet. Now you have another important reason to quit smoking.
3. Preservatives in food
Synthetic preservatives like BHT, ethoxyquin, and BHA, have been linked to myriads of health problems and are suspected to be carcinogenic.
Pet food companies could choose to use natural alternative preservatives such as citric acid (vitamin C), rosemary extracts and tocopherols (vitamin E), but they don’t because they will spend more.
To avoid pet foods with synthetic additives, you should look out for organic pet foods brand that have no artificial additives or preservatives.
4. Flea and tick control products
Many flea and tick control remedies sold in supermarts like fipronil and permethrin are suspected carcinogens.
These chemicals have been shown in laboratory studies to cause tumors and have been implicated in thyroid problems as well as cancers of the liver, lung and the thyroid.
As much as possible, you should limit using the conventional tick and flea products to the periods when these pests are active.
For a more effective solution, you should make your own apple cider vinegar flea and tick repellant.
5. Commercial pesticide sprays
Recently, a study has associated a chemical known as dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (also known as 2,4-D), an important component of lawn herbicides spray to increased risk of cancer in dogs.
Researchers at the Tufts University who carried out the research explained: “Specifically, the use of professionally applied pesticides was associated with a significant 70 percent higher risk of CML (canine malignant lymphoma).”
Studies preceding that have identified a link between lawn sprays and cancer in pets. Getting rid of weeds and dandelions may provide aesthetic benefits. As much as you can, try to keep your pets away from lawns and fields treated with toxic pesticides and herbicides.
5. Cleaning agents and household items with formaldehyde
Formaldehyde has for long being implicated as a health hazard to both humans and pets.
However, this chemical is used to preserve and treat everything from being a cleaning agent to cosmetics to furnishing (like sofas and carpets).
To reduce the rate of exposure, ensure you carefully scrutinize product labels and stay away from household products, laundry detergents, and shampoos that specifically include formaldehyde, or any of the following ingredients; Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, Imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, Diazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin.
It is obviously hard to avoid furnishings and carpeting treated with formaldehyde, please note, the chemical on exposure to air breaks down, thereby keeping your well-ventilated and reduce the health hazards associated with formaldehyde exposure.
Cats and dogs have different skin types to humans, so never apply shampoo intended for human use on your cat or dog. To avoid a shampoo loaded with harmful dangerous preservatives like formaldehyde, consider making your own with these homemade recipes for cats and dogs.
7. Electromagnetic radiation
There exist not a lot of evidence implicating radiation from a computer, Tv screens and cell phones to cancer in pets, but it is a known fact in scientific parlance that other radiation form such as x-rays and ultraviolet can damage DNA.
Cats and dogs have this natural fondness for warm places, allowing them to fall asleep on top of a computer, near Wi-Fi routers, under the TV is not a great idea.
Avoiding electromagnetic pollution these days is almost impossible, but the conscious keeping of pets several feet away from these common radioactive devices can help reduce exposure.