Since losing my dog in May to lymphoma, I have been doing a fair amount of research into diet and the impact
of diet on the development and treatment of canine cancer. There is tons of information on the internet but
my question is always how reliable is the information. Many people swear by a raw diet. Does anyone have
any experience with starting a puppy on such a diet to minimize the risk of future disease (doesn't have to be
I'd work with a holistic vet. There is plenty of info out there that shows the value of things like fish oil, etc in the diet. But do beware, raw is not generally a good way to go w/ growing puppies. If you do it, I'd be looking into an ANALYZED prepared food. Too high of Ca/P in a puppy's diet can lead to orthopedic/growth issues. I personally feed a lg breed puppy formula (Euk) the first year, along w/ all my good supplements, then change to Canidae ALS at or shortly after a year once most of the growth is done.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
It's a crap shoot. I've done it and my dog still got cancer. I firmly believe our environment is so polluted, it doesn't matter what you do. IMHO the best thing you can do is help support their immune system so the body can repair itself. Feed good quality food and don't beat yourself up. I'm not much help, LOL
I started Bean on a Dehydrated-raw type holistic kibble because it was the food that eliminated his diarrhea. The company claims to formulate their foods with cancer prevention in mind. He's been looking great and feeling fine so far and I'll keep him on it. He does get vaccinated, but I only use flea/tick meds when needed.
The food is Canine Caviar, and their story is on their website.
Having lost a young dog to bone cancer and an older one I can understand. I recently lost a friend of 40 years to bone cancer so know the human cost. I think there are various therories and reasons and for now no one really knows. I am still involved in the bone cancer organisation and 2 years ago attended a lecture by Dr Ruthann Chun from the WI uvet hospital. She is suppose to be a leader in her field and she believes there is no proof food is the cause. Many studies now being done are being done in genes.
This theories is her one. Is she correct, or are the people on the net.???. I tend to go with Dr Chun. I think we have to do the best for our dogs with the information and finances available. Worrying what might happen is a stress I beleive doesn't help us or our dogs.
ETA. I feed Kassa (2 when diagnosed)Eukanuba which I beleived was the best. Was the most expensive at the time. Sam (11-12)passed with Lymphoma I had almost a year. Previously he had been feed raw as he was on a farm.
Last edited by kassabella; 12-16-2011 at 12:23 AM.
Thank you everyone for weighing in. Really opportune timing as my new family member will be joining us in about 6 weeks. I agree with the importance of a balanced diet for a growing pup - definitely don't want any developmental issues.
There are lots of breeders who wean right to raw and swear by it. This section of the forum really lacks without Dana, I find. She really held it down for good info coming directly from a raw breeder. Here is her site with a lot of the info: Fallriver Labrador Retrievers She doesn't seem to grace this forum much any more, but you can read up on it.
People swear by the raw diet because cancer (in very, VERY general terms) feeds on carbs and the like, cannot use proteins and fats for fuel. Therefore the mentality is to feed a diet high in proteins and fats, obviously. However, cancer is also highly genetic, can run rampant in certain "lines", in which case you might stave it off but eventually, your number is up. My good friend has an amazing field golden, his whole litter (8) has passed because of cancer. He is now eight years old and just lost his leg to osteosarcoma. He has been fed raw since he was an itty bitty baby. Did he get cancer later than his siblings because of that? Maybe, we really don't know enough to say for sure. Did being fed raw "save" him from cancer? Obviously not.
I am a believer in the raw diet for many, many reasons. I don't feed it right now (also for many reasons, lol) but I will get back to it as soon as it is feasible for me.
Main thing, do your research, gather as much info as you can (warning, info, NOT opinion!) and make your decision from that.
Last edited by Baloo317; 12-19-2011 at 12:40 PM.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
If you go w/a raw diet w/a puppy, that's right, get the INFO. Here's an article, one of many, but this happens to have been on my saved list: https://www.msu.edu/~silvar/hips.htm
I've seen for myself what too high of calcium can do to growing puppies. Pat Hastings, who evals a LOT of litters has commented numerous times about poor growth/structure in litters fed raw or other high Ca/P foods. I have a pup owner who fed raw after her first puppy (which she got from me, and fed per my guidelines--- he ended up OFA excellent hips, normal elbows). Her 3 following him were fed raw based on her new breeder's recommendations and all failed elbows. The one she bought from the other breeder had a type of ED that is nutritional linked. I don't know what the others failed elbows for because by then she wasn't talking to me.
So hey, don't listen to me! I'm just a breeder on generation 6 here, who cares about and stands behind my dogs. I'd hesitate to sell to anyone who claimed to know what is better for their pups than the breeder. My lines, btw, have had very good longevity as well as orthopedic soundness--- despite being fed commercial diets. I just don't buy into the hype. I think there is a heavier genetic basis to it all.
Last edited by windycanyon; 12-19-2011 at 05:35 PM.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
The breeder we're getting our pup from does not recommend a raw diet. The brand she recommends is Regal; Big Dog ate Nutro for a long time then switched to Science Diet. At the end I just cooked him what he liked - boiled hamburger and chicken, rice, people food. Dad's dog did quite well on Eukanuba; personally, I am comfortable with a commercial diet. I'm somewhat inclined to go with a genetic link rather than a food one - makes sense with everything I know (or think I know) about human cancer. Big Dog's illness was so abrupt and fast - and I know he had the best of care as a puppy and an adult - that I doubt feeding him a raw diet would have helped with anything - except maybe depleting my bank account.
Thanks for weighing in with some great info on the diets. I think I'll stick with what I know - and what the breeder recommends. Of course, if anyone has any information on commercial food I'd welcome that as well!
We lost our beloved Chester this past June at age 12 1/2 to lymphoma. We were treating him, but in the end his back legs gave out. I read about cancer diets and I cooked for him, but to no avail. A litter mate of his passed at age 6 from cancer; that same guy had a cancerous growth in his first year that his owners had removed. I think the cancer was on the dam's side. The sire has had so many offspring that I can't track them, but he didn't pass from cancer. My sister and brother in law in Maryland (I am in NC) just lost their lab mix and a cat to lymphoma. The dog was around 11.
So we have our new pup, Gumbo, and at our first pup visit we reviewed the role of genetics in lymphoma. I love our vet, and I am picky when it comes to health care, whether for humans or my animals. He essentially said genetics is probably the culprit in an overwhelming majority of cases, but also believes nutrition is a factor. So we add fish oil to several of Gumbo's meals. He has some dry skin right now, so we would do that anyway, but will keep the fish oil in his diet. We give him baby carrots to teethe on, and he had his first taste of pumpkin this morning. The oils and the antioxidants in the carrots and pumpkin will hopefully help our LG have a long life. One of the reasons I chose his breeder is (1) she was breeding a descendant of Chester's sire and (2) several of her dogs have lived to 14 and 15. You have to do the research that helps you play the odds to your advantage and make educated decisions.
We are feeding him Purina Performance as recommended by our breeder. He gets filtered water. We have VPI coverage for him and plan to keep the wellness coverage going for the first two years and then we'll re-evaluate that - once the vaccinations are done and he is neutered (age 2) the wellness coverage might not be cost effective.
I'd stand on my head and pray to St. Francis if I thought it would keep LG happy and healthy for 14-15 years! The funny thing is, we had a mixed breed female that I rescued, had no clue regarding great canine nutrition, although I did feed her good food as opposed to cheap food, and she lived to 17 1/2. She was not a lab mix - more a terrier/corgi/loads of other things mix. My understanding is that mixed breeds live longer in general - despite not having the best diet, the oils, carrots, etc. So I think my vet is right about genetics.