KetoPet Sanctuary and the Ketogenic Diet for Dogs

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The KetoPet Sanctuary was founded in 2014 by Dr. Lisa Freeman as a 501 (c )(3) non-profit organization. The sanctuary was developed to provide shelter dogs with terminal cancer with a forever home. The adopted dogs were generally given a remaining life expectancy of only a few weeks. However, their time at the KetoPet Sanctuary often provides significantly more time.

KetoPet Sanctuary

Once dogs arrive at the shelter, they are placed on a ketogenic diet for dogs (high fat, recommended amount of protein, and low carb) as their primary form of cancer treatment. Diet… as a form of cancer treatment.

To determine how their body is reacting to ketosis, their ketone and glucose levels are monitored. This is known as nutrition therapy, and you would be amazed with the results.

In addition to nutrition therapy, the highest standard of veterinary care is provided. The KetoPet Sanctuary is well-known for their advanced cancer-related technologies as well as their team of world-class experts.

Depending on the type of cancer, and the severity, as well as the individual dog, surgery, chemo, radiation, exercise programs, and hyperbaric oxygen treatment may also be applied as a form of treatment. 

KetoPet Sanctuary also utilizes a unique diagnostic imaging technique known as FDG-PET, or fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, to view tumors and check progress. The cost of this is extremely high in most cases which is why it’s most commonly only used for human cases. 

Case Study: Vizsla with Hemangiosarcoma

The first ‘graduate’ of KetoPet Sanctuary was Cali, a Vizsla with the will to fight. She was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in 2014; a cancer most dogs die of shortly after diagnosis.

She was thought to have a litter of six puppies inside her abdomen only to discover it wasn’t ALL puppies after all. Instead, it was a large hemangiosarcoma tumor with ONE puppy. Cali underwent surgery to remove the tumor and was provided six weeks to live.

Once she arrived at KetoPet Sanctuary, she was placed on a raw ketogenic diet for dogs, just as all the dogs are, and scanned. The scan revealed terrible news; the hemangiosarcoma had already spread throughout the body. Three years later, in 2017, she continued to be cancer-free maintaining the ketogenic diet for dogs! This shows life far beyond their original prognosis!

For additional case studies, check out Blazer’s story of his experience with mast cell cancer (Mast Cell Tumor).

Ketogenic Diet

In ketosis, the body uses fats and proteins as a primary source of fuel. The ketogenic diet has been found to significantly lower blood glucose levels. This is critical, as glucose fuels cancer; cancer has a sweet tooth, and will grow even further with sugar provided (like the sugar content in kibble). The ketogenic diet for dogs doesn’t provide cancer with the opportunity to be fed, essentially starving it to death. 

It’s been shown to be particularly effective at helping dogs with cancer because it helps reduce inflammation and pain in their bodies. It also helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which reduces insulin production. This helps prevent cancer cells from growing out of control and spreading throughout the body.

Keto diets for dogs have been shown to decrease the size of tumors and increase survival rates for dogs with cancer.

Dogs with certain types of cancer may benefit more from a keto diet for dogs than others, but it’s never too late to start feeding your dog this way if he or she has been diagnosed with cancer.

To learn more about the ketogenic diet and cancer, we have provided an explanatory video below from one of the Professors involved with KetoPet Sanctuary:

Ketosis and Dog Cancer

Additional Benefits of a Keto Diet for Dogs

A ketogenic diet for dogs, which is high in healthy fats and proteins and low in carbohydrates, can have several potential benefits:

  • Weight Management: A ketogenic diet can aid in weight management by helping dogs feel full without consuming excessive calories. The high protein content also helps maintain muscle mass during weight loss.
  • Improved Energy Levels: The fats in a ketogenic diet are a steady, long-lasting source of energy which can help maintain your dog’s energy levels.
  • Cancer Therapy Support: Some studies suggest that a ketogenic diet may help slow the growth of cancer cells as cancer cells primarily use glucose for growth, which is limited in this diet.
  • Epilepsy Management: In some cases, a ketogenic diet has been shown to help manage epilepsy in dogs, similar to the benefits seen in humans.
  • Improved Skin and Coat Health: The healthy fats in a ketogenic diet can contribute to a shinier coat and healthier skin.
  • Reduced Inflammation: A ketogenic diet may help decrease inflammation and support overall health because it limits the intake of sugars and starches that can contribute to inflammation.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: With a low carbohydrate intake, a ketogenic diet may help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially beneficial for diabetic dogs.

Not all dogs react the same way to dietary changes, and what works for one may not work for another.

Final Thoughts

The KetoPet Sanctuary is making incredible advances in cancer biology from real case studies while saving lives. For additional resources available through the KetoPet Sanctuary, visit the following:

Published by Amber L. Drake

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a celebrated author and a distinguished cancer specialist, renowned for her comprehensive research in canine cancer prevention and nutrition. She is widely recognized for her commitment to helping dogs lead long and joyful lives, as well as for her contributions to veterinary medicine education. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, she has become a respected and influential figure in the canine community, earning the admiration and respect of dog enthusiasts around the globe.

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