Researchers still aren’t entirely sure what causes pet cancer. While the exact cause remains unknown, they do know that certain factors can increase a pet’s risk for cancer as they age. One crucial factor is the toxic load placed on your pet every single day.
Pets encounter toxins in many common substances, including their own food. Toxins aren’t the end of the world for your pet. They consistently enter the body, but you can also flush them out. Here’s how to detox your pet and decrease their risk of cancer.
How toxins increase the risk of cancer
Toxic chemicals are present everywhere in your pet’s environment. Common household substances like antifreeze, herbicide, fragrances and cleaning solutions cling to their fur and paw pads. These toxins enter the body when pets groom themselves or by absorbing into the skin. Toxins are even found in pet-safe products like vaccines, medication, commercial food and flea and tick treatments.
Toxins increase the amount of free radicals circulating throughout your pet’s body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress, which slowly damages healthy cells. This process eventually mutates the DNA within cells and makes them a threat to the body. Abnormal cells may multiply until they become cancerous tumors.
Free radicals may also increase the risk of cancer by creating low-grade chronic inflammation. The oxidative stress caused by free radicals can trigger the immune system, which floods the body with inflammatory cells. A constant state of inflammation puts wear and tear on the immune system so that it becomes less effective at fighting pathogens and malignant cells. A weakened immune system allows tumors to grow and spread to different parts of the body.
Simple tips for detoxing your pet
Detox organs such as the liver, kidneys, skin and gut are constantly working to eliminate toxic substances. These organs could use some help every once in a while, especially when your pet begins medical treatment or ingests household chemicals. Here are a few simple ways to aid your pet’s natural detox processes.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are known for their vital role in promoting gut health. They add billions of beneficial bacteria to your pet’s gut microbiome to counteract the unhealthy bacteria that make their way into the digestive system. A healthy gut is essential for fighting off invaders that cause illness and infection. Probiotics flush out pathogens by helping waste products move through the gastrointestinal tract. You can incorporate probiotics through powder, a capsule or probiotic-rich foods.
- Exercise: Physical activity has countless health benefits, including its ability to speed up detoxification. When your pet exercises, all that movement stimulates blood flow and the lymphatic system. Blood and lymph fluids transport toxins and cellular waste products to the liver, where enzymes break them down. Similar to probiotics, physical activity also encourages regular bowel movements. This decreases how long toxins sit in the digestive system.
- Baths: The skin is the largest organ in the body. Its expansive surface area means it comes into contact with many toxic substances. Pet parents have to periodically detox the skin to clear away toxins that accumulate on its surface. Baths open up the pores, which are important channels for detoxification. Dogs typically need baths on a quarterly basis, although pups that live in urban areas or spend lots of time outside need them once a month. Cleanse your cat’s fur and skin with a brush or by wiping them down with a damp cloth.
- Filtered water: The kidneys produce urine that carries toxins out of the body. Proper hydration is key to stimulating urine production and moving toxic substances along this channel for detoxification. However, it’s important to pay attention to the type of water your pet is drinking. Water straight from the tap may contain chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals that contribute to your pet’s toxic load. Provide several bowls of filtered water throughout the home to encourage better hydration.
- Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is a powerful detoxifier that’s reserved for emergency use only. Pet parents can administer activated charcoal at home if a pet consumes large amounts of a toxic substance. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins and limits their damage to vital organs. The charcoal holds onto these toxins and ushers them out of the body. Even if you have activated charcoal at home, always bring a poisoned pet to the nearest emergency clinic.
Toxic substances can pose a threat to your pet’s long-term health. While toxins are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to remove them from the body. Pets need the help of their loving parents to optimize the channels of detoxification that are already in place. With a few simple practices, pets can beat the odds of cancer for a longer, healthier life.