Can Dogs with Cancer Eat Red Meat

Can Dogs with Cancer Eat Red Meat

When the hysteria subsides when your dog is diagnosed with cancer, you’ll be curious as to what your dog can eat. One of the most commonly asked questions is “Should my dog eat red meat?” And, if red meat is still permissible, how may it be prepared to reduce danger while maximizing nutritional value?

Cook the Meat

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In general, a raw diet is suggested to get the most nutritional advantage. This becomes a little more challenging for dogs who have been diagnosed with cancer. Microbes prevalent in red meat, such as E. Coli, are probably familiar to you. This bacteria, as well as others, can proliferate in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish over time.

The longer the period between killing the animal and eating it, the greater the chance that bacteria will cause harm. Cancer-stricken dogs’ immune systems are weakened, making it more difficult for them to combat microorganisms. We don’t want to overcook the food, but it can be advantageous to slightly cook it so your dog doesn’t have to expend energy fighting off any dangerous bacteria – a typically healthy dog should be able to accomplish this with ease.

It’s crucial to cook your dog’s red meat for just long enough to destroy bacteria and reduce carcinogenic compounds. We’ll go over how to properly prepare the meat in a minute.

Heterocyclic Amines in Dog Food

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are formed when protein, such as that found in red meat and fish (and, in many cases, kibble), is cooked to temperatures around 398 degrees Fahrenheit. Heterocyclic amines are known carcinogens in both humans and dogs.

HCAs are listed on the National Institutes of Health’s official list of cancer-causing chemicals. They’ve been around since the 1970s and are genotoxic, which means they cause mutations, deletions, and insertions in DNA. Scientists have discovered 17 distinct HCAs that potentially increase the risk of cancer thus far.

Minimizing Cancer-Causing Compounds

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Cooking at low temperatures for brief periods of time to ensure microbes are eliminated can minimize carcinogens. When food is boiled (at 212 degrees Fahrenheit), nearly no carcinogens are formed. When the temperature rises above 390 degrees Fahrenheit, heterocyclic amines form.

There’s no way to completely eliminate all of the carcinogens that your dog is exposed to on a regular basis, but it’s critical to do so where you can. And one method to avoid carcinogens is to properly prepare your dog’s meals. Even modest quantities of carcinogens should be avoided by simmering the meat. This is the most efficient method for keeping the temperature from rising too high.

Because microorganisms are uncommon in red meat, all you have to do is make sure the meat’s exterior shell is cooked. Cook only the outer eighth inch, leaving the interior uncooked and full of ‘raw food advantages.’ In essence, we are preserving the benefits of raw feeding while also ensuring that our dog’s food is free of pathogens.

In most circumstances, dogs without cancer can easily fight off viruses, whereas dogs with cancer have a more difficult time fighting pathogens due to their impaired immune systems.

Red Meat is Nutritious When Fed Properly

The answer to the question “can dogs eat red meat?” is, in a word, yes. When cooked correctly, it can be incredibly nutritious and a terrific supplement to a cancer-fighting dog’s diet. Cook the outside of the meat to decrease or eliminate microbial contamination while keeping the inside of the meat rare for the best results. We aim to keep carcinogens to a minimum while still getting the most nutrition out of the meat.


Published by Amber Drake

Dr. Drake is an award-winning author and well-known cancer specialist in her field. She is best known for her extensive research on canine cancer prevention and nutrition, her dedication to help dogs live a long, happy life, and for teaching veterinary medicine. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, in addition to being a respected figure in the dog world, she has earned the respect of thousands of dog lovers worldwide.

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