November is known for lots of wonderful things: Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, beautiful fall vistas, and for me, relief from a brutally hot summer! But there’s an even more important event in November, especially for animal lovers , and it’s relatively new: National Pet Cancer Awareness month.
2010 marks the 6th year that the veterinary industry is doing its best to call attention to this horrible illness that affects pets of all kinds. The National Canine Cancer Foundation website says that one of every three dogs will develop cancer in its lifetime and that half of those will die from it. And the Animal Cancer Foundation says that pets – particularly dogs and cats – are developing cancer “at an alarming rate”; up to 60% of breeds are affected. It’s scary. According to their website, the most common forms of cancer being detected are lymphoma, bone cancer, breast cancer, bladder tumors, leukemia, brain tumors and sarcomas.
Not wanting to cast a pall on the upcoming holidays, let’s stay positive and talk about prevention, the single most powerful weapon in your anti-cancer arsenal.
Okay, so what can we do to keep our pets (and ourselves) healthy? According to DogChannel.com, there are several ways to help keep your dog cancer free:
1. Give your dog pure water rather than tap water, which can contain dangerous chemicals.
2. Don’t let your dog become a victim of second-hand smoke.
3. Don’t use cleaning products, pesticides, or other hazardous chemicals in a poorly ventilated area of your home.
4. Don’t allow your dog to become overweight.
5. Spaying or neutering your dog reduces his/her chances of contracting cancer.
They also recommend using natural flea and tick products, and while they’re safer for your pet, they’re not always as effective as chemical products and you need to do a lot more maintenance in your home and on your pet to make sure they’re flea/tick free.
You Can Help Further The Fight.
The National Canine Cancer Foundation‘s website states that they’re a “non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating Cancer as a major health issue in dogs by funding grants directly to Cancer researchers who are working to save lives, find cures, better treatments and accurate, cost effective diagnostic methods in dealing with canine Cancer.”
The Animal Cancer Foundation website explains their goals as developing and supporting “research that advances the prevention and treatment of cancer for people and pets.” They’re partnered with other organizations who donate all or a portion of their proceeds or organize walks to help fund ACF’s research.
There are other organizations in the crusade against cancer as well – find a way to help one you like and trust!