Preventing canine cancer

Canine cancer is a major killer for dogs. 50% of dogs over 10 may develop a cancer at some point. But the good news is that over half of them are curable if they are caught early. So be vigilant. While it is not possible to eliminate the risk of getting canine cancer, there are measures you can take to help improve your chihuahua’s chances of not developing the disease. With a lot of focus now being on diet and lifestyle. 

Now it’s 6 as I have updated this and added some information.

#1 Keep your chihuahua’s weight down.

Research suggests cancer cells feed off fat and glucose, so keep her diet free from excess carbohydrates and processed grain. Keeping a chihuahua’s weight down can be an issue as they are so small it doesn’t  take much for them put on weight.

Find out from your vet how many calories you chi needs for her life stage as this will help you keep a better track of what she is eating. although the law does not make pet food manufactures put the calories per 100gms on the packet. Here is some advice on how to keep your chihuahua’s weight down.

 #2 Exercise and fresh air

Chihuahuas need to run about in the fresh air the same as big dogs. This helps them keep their weight down and gives them mental stimulation. 

Preventing canine cancer is always better than cure. Try incorporating some of the foods below into your chi’s diet on a regular basis. They may to help the fight to keep your chihuahua cancer free.

Five top canine cancer busting foods


‘An apple a day’ seems to work for dogs as well. Apples are a food that can help to starve tumour cells. Apples block angiogenesis, which is where new blood vessels are created from existing blood vessels. By starving tumour cells, they reduce their harm. But don’t allow your chihuahua to eat the pips as they contain arsenic. It is also a good idea to grate or pulverise the apple to start the digestive process for them. Dog’s lack the teeth and enzymes in their saliva to break down the cellulose in raw fruit and veg. 

Add apples to your chihuahuas diet, but not the pips.


Blackberries offer a high level of vitamin C which is important for dogs’ immune systems. Blackberries also contain a number of antioxidants, such as quercetin, which helps to protect against cancer and releases with the vitamin C that is also in the fruit. Tip Put it in the food, if you give your chi a blackberry to chew it will look like a murder has taken place.

Add some juicy blackberries, but mind your carpet!

BARF Diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods)

A raw diet can significantly improve the health of your dog in general. In a healthy dog, raw meat is not a problem as their stomach acid allows them to digest food and means they are not as susceptible to food bacteria as humans are. Changing over to a RAW diet may take time and it may be a good idea to introduce it with a dog appropriate probiotic to help the flora in your chis gut adjust. Try Natural Instinct I have always found their staff very helpful.

But If your dog already has aggressive cancer, their immune system may be weaker, and they may suffer sickness from bacteria and microbes on food such as raw meat. So, check this with your vet. You can read other articles on RAW food.

Home cook food

Diet is by far the best way to keep your chihuahua healthy. If you can’t feed raw (your chi doesn’t like it) or you don’t like it then maybe opt for home cooked food. There are now some compelling reasons for staying away from processed dog foods. Many dog nutritionist suggest that feeding kibble (dry food) to your dog is the same as giving them fast food takeaway day in day out. Read 5 Reasons Not To Feed your Dog Kibble.  

A note on homecooking. It is important to ensure that your dog has a balanced diet. You will need to add some calcium or bone meal to food. But his is easily available in powder form from pet supplies. Read  9 Reasons to home cook.


 Super-food for people also benefits chihuahuas too.

Broccoli, cabbage and brussel

sprouts all contain chemicals called glucosinolates and are known to eliminate possible carcinogens. Broccoli can also help to reduce the risk of normal cells mutating into cancerous cells than can contribute to canine cancer. 

Broccoli is sometimes on the banned list of food for dogs, it is not toxic as such but the extra fibre may cause gas or loose stools. So, introduce gradually and don’t overdo it.

Cooking it first may be kinder for everyone.  If you are home cooking it is easy to introduce a range of healthy veg into their diet. A varied diet is just as important for dogs as it is for your family.

Both Mika and Minnie seem to love Cavolo Nero, an Italian cabbage. It’s very popular and readily available, if a little pricey. Lightly  cooked they just seem to love it.

Milk thistle & turmeric 

A milk thistle supplement may work wonders for your chihuahua as it helps to protect the liver. Widely used by humans for its liver detoxifying properties, its anti canine cancer properties for dogs make it a great purchase.

Turmeric has powerful anti inflammatory properties. Cancer is an inflammatory disease, feed it to your dog regularly and take some yourself. 

It is important to make changes to diet gradually, to make sure your pet gets used to the taste and doesn’t go hungry. If your chihuahua turns her nose up at fruit and vegetables, try covering it in yogurt or cottage cheese.

The additional protein from the cottage cheese is also good. But make sure you account for the extra calories and adjust their daily allowance.

None of the advice is meant as an alternative to visiting your vet if you are worried about your chihuahua.

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