With pet cancer diagnoses on the rise during the holiday season, you might be able help your furbaby stay healthier by tweaking their diet. Read on to find out why a Keto Diet can help your pet fight cancer and other serious illnesses.
The months of November and December mark a staggering increase in the number of cancer diagnosis - in pets and humans alike. It’s no doubt a result of the pressure that comes with the holiday season, that increases stress and can weaken the body’s functions and vital systems. As your pet’s ally, I’m here to guide you through the ways that you can keep your pet healthier and happier, and fight off any bad news that might come creeping around this holiday season.
You’re likely not be surprised to find that my first plan of action is diet-based. There is lots and lots of solid evidence showing that a Ketogenic Diet can help slow or stop the metastatic growth of cancer. And it’s really easy to do for your pet, especially if they’re eating The Original CrockPet Diet.
How will a Keto Diet help my pet fight Cancer?
You may have already heard a little (or maybe a lot) about the Ketogenic Diet. Basically, it’s a high fat, low-carb diet, balanced with a moderate amount of protein and lots of veggies. The aim of the Keto Diet is to transform the body from a sugar-burning monster into a lean, mean fat burning machine. Why do you want to do that?
Research continues to show that sugar is the primary source of fuel for cancer cells. Sugar also dramatically increases inflammation, creating high risk for cancer and disease.
You are probably not feeding your pet gumdrops and cookies, but if they’re eating food from a bag, it’s a close second. Bagged pet foods are mostly comprised of carbohydrates (we’re talking 60-75% carbs), which are broken down by the body into sugar.
When we eliminate sugar from the diet, we’re removing the primary source of energy for cancer cells. However, sugar is also the main energy source, by default, for the body. So we need to replace it with a different, healthier energy source.
Go for a high-fat, cooked diet
Feeding your pet a diet that is high in healthy fats prevents sugar from being used as the primary energy source. Instead, fat molecules are sent to the liver, where they are turned into ketones to be used for energy. Basically, you are now feeding your pet’s body directly, rather than feeding their cancer with carbohydrates.
A lot of folks think the answer to a low carbohydrate pet diet is a raw diet. Unfortunately, a raw diet creates a LOT of extra work for your pet’s digestive system. When an animal consumes raw food, their stomach has to put in overtime to break down the fibrous veggies and other ingredients. This results in leaky gut syndrome, indigestion and a myriad of other GI issues. The improperly digested food also fails to deliver key nutrients. None of this is any good for a sick pet.
Feeding your pet a fully cooked diet eliminates these issues. Cooking is, in a sense, a form of pre-digestion. It breaks highly fibrous veggies and other foods down to a state that is easily digestible. The digestive system is then free to do its job, breaking down the nutrients in the foods, and delivering them to the rest of your pet’s body to do good.
It’s easy to get started
You can get your pet started on the road to ketosis very easily, with the help of a home cooked diet like The Original CrockPet Diet. Begin by removing the simple carbohydrates that build sugar in the bloodstream. For your pet, this means steering clear of corn-based products and processed grains.
Replace these sugar-making carbs with resistant starches. My favorite go-to here are actually red skin potatoes. The cooking process actually breaks down the sugars in the potato, so that the nutrients and fiber are still available to the body, but the starch cannot be digested. This is a great way to ease your pet into the world of low carbohydrates, without cutting them out cold turkey.
Is your pet a Keto candidate?
Before you launch any new diet plan for your pet, you should always make sure it’s going to be one that agrees with them. That being said, not all pets are good candidates for a ketogenic diet, while others can reap amazing benefits.
Pets who have pancreatitis, or are recovering from it, should approach this plan carefully. While a keto diet will not always be off-limits for these pets, they’ll have to be worked into it gradually. If your pet has cancer, or you believe a keto diet is really going to benefit your furbaby’s health, work with a knowledgeable veterinarian. By knowing what level of fat your pet can tolerate, you can start with lower levels of fat and work your way up.
Additionally, pets with liver disease may not be the best fit for this regimen, either. The liver plays a key role in transforming fat molecules into ketones for energy. A pet with liver disease may not be up for the challenge, especially if they have issues with their gallbladder.
Keto diets have also been shown to dramatically improve brain and nerve function (these organs and systems are greatly comprised from fat). Pets who suffer from seizures or other nerve-related conditions may see a great improvement in their symptoms, with lesser frequency and severity.
Don’t go it alone
The potential benefits of a keto diet are many for your pet, especially if they have been diagnosed with cancer or another serious disease. Feeding this specific diet will help support healing in your pet, reduce inflammation, give them more energy and help them feel better.
You’ll find my keto versions of The Original CrockPet Diet in the members area. I am only an email or phone call away if you have questions. If you need help customizing a keto diet for your pet, I’m here to help! The world of specialty diets isn’t always cut-and-dry, and most pets (especially those who are ill) really need a personalized plan.
Healing your pet will take time, and truly happens from the inside out. To guide your pet through better healing and disease prevention, always remember: your pet’s best health begins in the bowl.