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Dog Kibble and Cancer: Is there a Connection?

In the 2010 Tripawds Amputation and Cancer Care Survey, we asked pawrents “What was your dog’s diet before amputation?

We wanted to find out what our members ate, and if diet types correlated with increased rates of cancer.

From home cooking to commercial kibble, pawrents told us what they fed their dogs.

Their responses taught us that:

  • The majority of Tripawds members are here because of cancer
  • Most Tripawds ate a 100 pawcent kibble diet prior to diagnosis.

There’s nothing too shocking there. However, we were surprised to learn that:

  • Even Tripawds who ate 100 pawcent human grade foods (i.e., home cooked), or a combination of commercial kibble and human foods, were diagnosed with cancer

While many of us wonder if feeding our dogs a kibble diet attributed to their cancer, we hope this one finding helps put your mind at ease, if only a little. We aren’t scientists, but based on these responses, it seems that even dogs who are fed a healthy diet from day one are still at risk of cancer.

Seems like you can’t win either way, but there are things we can do to lessen that risk. Dr. Demian Dressler, author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, believes that dogs who are fed a commercial kibble diet are at greater risk of cancer. Read his recent blog post about commercial diets, “The Latest on Dog Food and Cancer” and find out what you can do to create a healthier diet for your Tripawd.

Learn More: Download the Survey

We could sure use help in interpreting our Tripawds Survey findings! Just Download The Survey then share your responses with the community.

Meanwhile, here are the detailed responses about Tripawds Members’ Diets:

Tripawds Survey Responses:

“What Was Your Dog’s Diet Prior to Amputation?”

Kibble Diet Only = 55 responses

Out of these responses, here are the reasons why Tripawds members lost their leg:

  • 10 = Abuse/Accident
  • 1 = Birth Defect/Bacterial
  • 44 = Cancer

Kibble and Canned Diet = 12 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 1 = Abuse/Accident
  • 2 = Birth Defect/Bacterial
  • 9 = Cancer

Kibble Diet and Home Cooked Diet = 7 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 1 = Abuse/Accident
  • 7 = Cancer

Kibble Diet and BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) Diet = 4 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 1 = Abuse/Accident
  • 3 = Cancer

Kibble and Canned Diet = 1

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 1 = Cancer

Kibble and Canned and Home Cooked Diet = 2 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 2 = Cancer

Kibble  and Canned and Home Cooked and BARF = 2 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 1 = Abuse/Accident
  • 1 = Cancer

Canned Food Diet = 2 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 1 = Birth Defect/Bacterial
  • 1 = Cancer

BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) Diet  = 2 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 2 = Cancer

BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) Diet and Home Cooked = 2 responses

Of these responses, Tripawds lost their leg because:

  • 2 = Cancer

3 Responses to “Dog Kibble and Cancer: Is there a Connection?”

  1. I am not sure what you put Maggie’s diet under (premixes like Honest Kitchen, Sojourner Farms and Urban Wolf with raw meat/bone added)….but I can attest to the fact that Maggie ate this type of diet BEFORE the cancer diagnosis. She ate kibble only when I first got her at 8 wks. for a short time(Wysong) and then I started adding raw meat to that and then switched to premixes with raw meat. She is now 10 yrs old, diagnosed last fall. It actually made me very angry that she got cancer as she has ALWAYS eaten a healthy diet! She has had VERY few vaccinations(cancer causing?) in her lifetime and never a drop of Frontline or the like, on her!

    Sooooo….while I certainly still believe in how I cared for her was correct, still makes me mad that I thought I was doing the ‘best’ for her and she still got the “C” diagnosis…

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

  2. Hey Tracy; Maggie’s diet was listed as “BARF/Home Cooked.”

    I totally get what you mean, knowing that she ate so healthy and still got cancer is mind boggling. There just doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason, and it feels very unfair. But I’m betting that the excellent care she gets from you has made all the difference in how she is fighting the cancer. A dog who is healthy to begin with probably stands a far better chance of a good quality of life with cancer, than one who ate Ol’ Roy, you know? Maggie is definitely proof of that. Go Maggie!

  3. Thanks 🙂 I was talking to a friend of mine in Vermont today about this very thing…she had a dog she amputated due to cancer as well. She couldn’t remember what type of cancer she had(not OSA) but she lived 2 1/2 years BEYOND the 2-9 months that was expected! I’m hoping to get that with Maggie as well 🙂

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

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