Pet Cancer Prevention Checklist

Avoid second hand smoke – Does your pet live in a household with smokers? Evidence suggests that cancer risk is increased in pets exposed to environmental tobacco. Keep your home a smoke free zone.

Avoid exposure to lawn chemicals – Keep your pet away from applied lawn products when possible. There is some evidence for an increased cancer risk in pets exposed to applied lawn chemicals.

Avoid exposing your pet to paints and solvents – One recently published study suggests a possible association between exposure to these chemicals and cancer. Keep your pets outside or in another room when using these substances.

Avoid long term sun exposure – as in people, light skin pigmentation combined with lots of time outside can increase the risk for some cancers. Make sure your pet can get out of the sun and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight when it is strongest, around midday.

Avoid exposure to asbestos – Just like people, there are reports of cancer related to asbestos exposure in animals. If removing this product from a home, keep pets away from the area for the duration of the process.

Monitor your pet’s weight – Research suggests that obesity may be a risk for cancer. Feeding a poor quality or imbalanced diet may also be linked to an increase cancer risk. Be sure to feed your pet quality food products.

Add vegetables to the diet – At least one proactive study has suggested adding vegetables may help decrease cancer risk.

Have regular veterinary checkups – Would you wait to see your doctor once every five years for a checkup? Skipping a yearly checkup with your pet would be similar. Regular checkups allow your veterinarian to perform a complete physical examination, which can identify abnormalities as well as establish a “baseline” that can be used for later comparisons.

Examine your pet once a month – Look in your pet’s mouth, ears, and run your hand along their body and note any changes; early detection of problems is the best way to treat many diseases, including cancer.

Become an expert on your pet’s breed, or mixture of breeds – Did you know certain breeds of dogs and cats are prone to different diseases, including cancer? Learn everything you can about your pet’s breed disease predispositions.

Exercise your pet regularly – Help keep your pet trim and healthy.

Get to know your pet – Behavior changes are often a signal that a pet isn’t feeling well. Watch your pet, learn their likes and dislikes, their sleeping and eating habits. A change in routine or demeanor could be an early sign of disease.

We hope these tips help you identify signs of disease in your pet and help them lead longer, happier lives!