National Pet Cancer Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in November. Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for domestic dogs and cats in the U.S., so this month, spread the word to help educate pet owners about how best to protect their furry family members. Cancer in these animals continues to increase over the years, but the good news is, there are advances being made in healthcare when it comes to early detection and treatment. There are several different types of cancers that your cat or dog could be at risk for. These are lymphoma, splenic (spleen) cancer, bone or joint cancer, hepatic (liver) cancer, thoracic (chest) cancer, bladder cancer, anal sac cancer, oral cancer, and brain or spinal cord cancer. We love our pets just like we love our family, so let’s do our best to keep them healthy.
Use #PetCancerAwarenessMonth, or #PetCancerAwareness to post on social media. If you have a cat or dog at home, consider scheduling them a medical appointment for a checkup, and keep your eyes open for some warning signs that your pet could have cancer. Some of these warning signs are:
This month, and in the months to follow, keep your eyes open for any of these signs. If you can catch cancer in your dog or cat early enough, you just might be able to save them.
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month started in 2005 and was created by Nationwide and the Animal Cancer Foundation with a goal in mind to raise money and increase awareness to fight the leading killer of pets.
Do’s and Don’ts: Feeding Your Pet on Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is a time for community and good food. Why not include your pet in the fun? You can absolutely let your dog or cat have a feast of their own – just make sure you know what foods are safe for them to eat. As always, also don’t let your animal overindulge. Obesity can lead to several health problems, so treats shouldn’t constitute anymore than 10% of your pet’s diet. And whenever in doubt, absolutely consult your veterinarian!
Most pet owners are already aware that chocolate is highly dangerous for animals, but it never hurts to get a reminder. Dogs and cats should never eat chocolate, and other caffeinated foods like tea and coffee.
It’s generally okay to give any cat or dog lean sources of protein, such as plain chicken or tuna. Thanksgiving turkey is no exception. Just make sure the meat is free of “ fixin’s,” such as fatty gravy, spices and onions. These could be dangerous and make your pet sick. You’re good to go as long as the turkey is all-white meat and free of bones, fat and skin.
Unfortunately bones ARE NOT SAFE – especially cooked bones – as they can crack, splinter and tear up your dog’s mouth and stomach! Dogs are shown chewing bones in countless cartoons so it’s a common misconception that they’re okay to give your pet.
Do: Most Fruits
Make sure you and Fido or Fifi leave plenty of room for dessert! Fruits are a wonderful treat. Both of you can happily eat blueberries, watermelon, peaches and strawberries. Even a small amount of of Thanksgiving cranberry sauce is okay. Cats may not enjoy this treat as much as dogs though since they don’t have the same taste receptors for sweet foods.
Don’t: Grapes and Raisins
Never give your pet raisins or grapes. Unlike other fruits, they can cause kidney failure in dogs. They’re toxic and could prove extremely dangerous or fatal.
Do: Most Vegetables
Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? Potatoes can be a great food for pets and humans alike. Much like turkey, this treat needs to be plain and free of cheese, cream, butter, onions, scallions and other toppings. Pets can also eat plain broccoli, carrots, asparagus, celery, cucumber, green beans, green bell peppers and zucchini.
Don’t: Alliums (aka Onions)
Many veggies are perfectly safe and delicious for your dogs and cats. However, onions and other alliums are definitely not. Animals should not consume onions, scallions, leeks, garlic and other similar vegetables.
Do: Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is the perfect comfort food, don’tcha think? And this applies to humans and their four-legged pals. Plain pasta is a-okay to feed to pets, and as long as your pet is okay consuming dairy, a little cheese is fine too.
Don’t: Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners, particularly those containing Xylitol, might seem like a healthier choice. After all, you should limit your pet’s consumption of sugar. However artificial sweeteners are actually more dangerous for your dog or cat. They are poisonous and potentially lethal to dogs.
Plain pumpkin is just plain yummy! It also has the added benefit of being good for dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems. Pumpkin can soothe a troubled tummy and double as a delicious delectable.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Union Park Animal Hospital! Now go get your gnosh on!