Much like arthritis, awareness and education both play large roles in the prevention and treatment of cancer. November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and part of that ‘awareness’ is knowing how you can help to prevent cancer in your furry friend. Currently cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death in household animals. While not always entirely preventable, there are a few ways you can help to reduce the overall chances of your pet developing cancer.
- Manage your home and personal environment. Our pets share the same space with us day in and day out, which means they are exposed to certain chemicals, fertilizers, and second-hand smoke. Keep household cleaners and landscape materials in a secure location, away from pets and children. Many of these chemicals have been linked to the development of cancer. If you smoke tobacco, consider giving up the habit, or at least smoke it in a well-ventilated location away from people and pets.
- Keep your pet in shape. Obesity is now an epidemic among household pets. Just as we’re seeing in humans, obesity lends itself to the development of other serious health issues. VPI, a pet insurance company, claims that twenty-million dollars worth of claims are filed every year for conditions that are often related to obesity, including cancer. Keeping your pet lean and healthy is important for avoiding an increased risk of cancer and other serious issues.
- Maintain regular vet checkups – know the signs. Never underestimate the value of routine veterinary checkups. Your veterinarian can recognize the signs and symptoms of issues like cancer, far before you would ever know something is wrong. Catching cancer early can make a huge difference. Also, know what signs to look for – check up on your pet weekly, because it only takes a few minutes and could potentially save, or prolong their life.
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