Cancer is absurdly prevalent in house pets and, in my opinion, is the single most obvious evidence that the animal food industry has failed on a large scale. According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, 1 in 4 dogs will develop cancer at some point, and 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer.
There are many types of cancers, but in this article we are going to focus on Canine Lymphoma: a disease that specifically targets the immune system by infecting white blood cells called lymphocytes – which include natural killer cells, T cells, and B cells, all of which travel through the bloodstream. This makes lymphoma incredibly fast-acting and versatile. The most common form of lymphoma infects lymph nodes, which are “checkpoints” throughout the body that filter toxins. However, this type of cancer, because of its autoimmune nature, has the propensity to infect other organs, the skin, the chest cavity, and intestines.
At this point, no one knows what exactly causes lymphoma. People have speculated that it could be caused by viruses, bacteria, immune suppressing drugs, or even strong magnetic fields, but no conclusive results have been published. When the cause of a common disease is unknown, the best course of prevention is to strengthen the immune system, especially in this case. Once lymphoma has been diagnosed, there are ways we can try to send it into remission naturally, but as usual, prevention is much easier than solution, so that is what we will focus on first.
Cancer is exacerbated by inflammation – feeding inflammatory diets creates an environment for any cancer to thrive in. The best way to prevent lymphoma (or any other cancer) is to feed a species-appropriate raw food diet that allows your pet to use fat as its main energy source. Optimally, you also would have at least one day per week where your animal gets all of its calories from fermented raw milk. This style of diet will not only be nutrient dense and biologically satisfying, but also anti-inflammatory, reducing the stress on internal organs and the digestive system and allowing protein to rebuild cells and muscles in a healthy way.
Start with fat as your base and build the rest of the diet around it. For healthy dogs and cats, a healthy fat:protein ratio is 1:1. For carnivores, this dietary fat should come from healthy sources like grass fed meat, grass fed dairy, pasture raised eggs, and fatty oils like coconut and flax. When these fats are adequate, carbohydrates (which are highly inflammatory) are not needed.
Feeding nothing but fermented raw milk (FRM) at least one day out of the week allows the body to rest – FRM requires almost no work from the body at all to digest and assimilate because of its massive amount of digestive enzymes, vitamins, and probiotic bacteria. This makes it an ideal food to fast an animal on – raw milk allows the toxin-filtering organs to catch up and the digestive organs and system to relax. In terms of reducing inflammation and removing the body from a state of stress, fasting on fermented raw milk is the most effective and simple way to go about it.
Unfortunately, since lymphoma doesn’t always cause pain or other obvious symptoms, it is often caught too late, once the animal has already been living with it for weeks. Veterinarians have reported some success with chemo and other traditional cancer treatments, but this success is not necessarily frequent or long-term, and can cause other problems, such as immune suppression via the eradication of white blood cells – which is why it sometimes works for lymphoma, but also makes the body more prone to infection from other sources. A much less stressful and less potentially harmful way to combat cancers is by leaning heavily into the methods for prevention.
First, start with calorie restriction – give the body less to do. When you transition to feeding more nutrient dense foods, this reduced calorie diet will not cause a nutrient deficiency. The generally recommended amount of calories is 15 calories x 10 pounds of bodyweight – for example, if your dog weighs 30 pounds, you would multiply 30 by 15 and get 450 calories per day. From there, it’s just a matter of going heavy on the high-fat principals of the prevention diet.
Since in this scenario cancer has already been diagnosed, I usually recommend a 30 day milk fast to start – using Answers Pet Food fermented raw goat milk and the calorie equation above. Research from Mayo Clinic has shown that this type of diet is very effective against cancers and a variety of other serious diseases. This is not a guaranteed fix, but is the best way to “reset” the body and bring about true homeostasis. For extra homeostatic benefit, you can feed broad-spectrum CBD oil (plain, from a tincture) as well.
Once the fast has been completed, slowly move into the ketogenic diet that both KetoPet Sanctuary* and Answers Pet Food** have had great success with. You will start with 4:1 fat to protein – your best base for this will be Answers Pet Food Straight formula (70 calories per ounce), as it is already formulated with no carbohydrates and 1:1 fat to protein. This should make up about 72% of daily calories, with raw cow milk kefir (30 calories per ounce) and a 100% fat source like ghee, tallow, or lard making up the rest (16% and 12% respectively). Do this for 60 days and don’t add anything else to the diet.
From there, move into a 3:1 fat to protein ratio for 20 days. This will be 74% Straight Formula, 10% kefir, 9% fat source, and 6% raw goat cheese (19 calories per treat, if you’re using Answers cheese). After 20 days on this diet, move to a 2:1 ratio for 40 days. The easiest way to do this is 67% Straight Formula and 33% fermented raw goat milk, but you can also do 79% Straight with 12% cow milk kefir and 9% raw goat cheese if you prefer. After these 40 days, you can feel free to settle into that 1:1 ratio that we discussed in the prevention diet.
This again is not necessarily a permanent fix – there is always a possibility that cancers can come back. However, if that happens, just jump right back into the 4:1 ratio and start over.
I truly believe that the solution to the cancer epidemic can be found in the food we feed our pets – we can prevent tragically short lives and painful deaths by simply feeding our pets foods that they are supposed to eat. For specific product recommendations or other related questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*KetoPet Wellness Sanctuary is an animal rescue and wellness center specifically for dogs diagnosed with terminal cancer. You can find out more about them at https://www.ketopetsanctuary.com
**Answers Pet Food is the only producer of fermented raw pet food on the market, and one of the first to advocate for high fat animal diets. You can find out more about them at https://www.answerspetfood.com