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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Nutrient-Dense Foods and the Dog Cancer Diet

Updated: June 15th, 2021


What exactly are nutrient dense foods? And why are they so important when it comes to the dog cancer diet?

Dr. Dressler recommends the Dog Cancer Diet because it contains nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods are crucial for dogs with cancer.

When you feed your dog Dr. Dressler’s recommended diet, you will be helping your dog immediately. The nutrient-dense foods found within the dog cancer diet encourage healthy cell growth and discourage the growth of cancer cells. AND they taste delicious — so feeding your dog the cancer diet definitely qualifies as a life quality booster!

What Exactly Are Nutrient-Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients … but generally not in calories. Nutrient-dense foods are real foods. They’re not processed. They’re not man-made. They’re not synthetic. They are natural.

Nutrient-Dense Meats

When you hear ‘nutrient-dense meats,’ you might be startled. There’s a common misconception that higher amounts of protein are bad for the kidneys. Dr. Dressler covered this in one of his articles here on the Dog Cancer Blog.

Think about what a dog’s wild diet was once like. In the wild, they ate natural roaming animals full of protein, and this is what your dog craves naturally. And, they even ate vegetables. Most of the animals dogs ate were plant-eaters. So, when they ate their prey, they also consumed partially-digested plant materials.

Dr. D recommends including the following in your dog’s diet:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Pork
  • Goat
  • Lamb

These meat types are all nutrient-dense meats that will provide your dog the best source of nutrition. As long as your dog isn’t allergic, these are all appropriate for dogs in general.

Of course, you’ll want lean meats because the fat contains an overly abundant amount of Omega-6 fatty acids for dogs with cancer- unless you’re feeding your dog pasture-raised meat. Pasture-raised meats don’t have as many Omega-6 fatty acids as meat bought from the store.

Another important meat included in Dr. D’s diet is liver. This inexpensive, super-nutritious food has the added bonus of being nearly irresistible to our dogs!

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Cabbage in the Dog Cancer Diet

Dr. Dressler didn’t choose broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage for the dog cancer diet simply because they’re ‘greens.’ These nutrient-dense veggies help detox your dog’s body. These veggies help detox the body in three phases.

  1. Toxins become more water-soluble. And, get filtered out in the urine via the kidneys and bile via the liver.
  2. The veggies add chemical groups to increase solubility in water.
  3. The water-soluble toxins are sent through the organs to be filtered and disposed of.

The first phase might not catch all of the bad guys. But, luckily the second phase catches what the first phase didn’t. And, bulky fiber is added in the third phase to tell the liver to give the intestines more bile. All three phases combined together make your dog’s body ‘cleaner’ inside.

Raw Foods and Dog Cancer

Obviously, when dogs were in the wild they didn’t eat their food cooked. This leads us to think a raw diet is best for our dogs today, right? Dr. Dressler doesn’t have any concerns about feeding a healthy dog a raw diet. But, it may not be best for dogs with cancer.

Cooking food may create carcinogenic compounds but dogs with cancer have a lowered immune system. And, the microbes that are found on the surface of red meat, chicken, pork, and fish, can be dangerous to dogs with cancer. Not only do microbes grow on the surface of the meat, but they could also be living inside the meat.

A healthy dog can generally fight off the microbes in the raw meat… but our dogs with cancer may not be able to. That’s why Dr. Dressler generally doesn’t recommend raw diets for dogs with cancer.

Start Feeding the Dog Cancer Diet Now

Amazon offers the Dog Cancer Diet for $2.99. But here, the readers of the Dog Cancer Blog can grab the Dog Cancer Diet at no cost. The Dog Cancer Diet walks you step-by-step to help guide you in transitioning your dog to a nutrient-dense diet. This e-book helps you understand which foods to choose to create a home-based, cancer-fighting diet. Most dogs love the dog cancer diet. And, it’s even known to be a quality of life treatment.

Keep in mind that if you feed an entirely home-cooked diet, as Dr. D recommends, you will also need to use a multivitamin formulated for dogs, just to make absolutely sure you are providing your pup with everything they need. Any multi formulated for dogs will do, but our favorite is, no surprise, Dr. Dressler’s amazing EverPup, which has a multivitamin plus lots of other beneficial ingredients included. We all use EverPup here with our own dogs, to help them keep a spring in their step.

Leave a Comment

  1. Dana on June 9, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Hi there. I have Dr. D’s book, etc. Question, with the Dog Cancer Diet and Everpup do I need to supplement with calcium or is there a sufficient amount in Everpup? Thank you!

    • Molly Jacobson on June 14, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Dana! My dog is on EverPup and has been for years, and I’ve never done a separate calcium supplement. I do give her plenty of calcium rich foods, instead. The cottage cheese and lots of the greens in the diet have yummy calcium! She’s doing very well … Molly

  2. Rana Hechme on February 4, 2020 at 6:37 am

    would love to be advised about my best friend interms of nutrition
    hes 5.5 yrs old -German shepherd and have cancer
    I will be sharing with you more as I’m not sure I would get a reply
    thank you doctor x

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on February 4, 2020 at 9:04 am

      Hello Rana,

      Thanks for writing! As we’re not vets, we can’t offer you medical advice. However, we can provide you information based on Dr. Dressler’s writing

      In general, Dr. D recommends the Dog Cancer Diet for most dogs with cancer. He does write that it will need to be modified to suit your dog’s particular needs and requirements.

      The Dog Cancer Diet walks you step-by-step from understanding what your dog should eat to making a delicious, home-cooked, cancer-fighting meal your dog will think is a treat. This PDF contains cutting-edge information and is an excerpt of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide 🙂

      Here’s the link if you are interested in downloading a free copy of the Dog Cancer Diet PDF:

      We hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Amber Drake on February 8, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for the support, Nancy.

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