by Good Dog People October 08, 2020 5 min read

1 Comment

One of the most common causes of death for dogs, cancer is a formidable disease that can impact your pup’s life greatly. Fortunately, with proper care and treatment, most dogs with cancer can still live fulfilling lives.

Caring for Dogs With Cancer


Common Cancers in Dogs

Just like with human cancer, tumours in dogs can come in many different forms and some occur more frequently than others. Here’s a look at some of the more common canine cancers and symptoms of cancer in dogs:

Types of Cancer

Found in


Lymphoma in dogs

  • Lymph nodes
  • Spleen
  • Bone Marrow
  • Exhaustion
  • Appetite Loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Mast cell tumour

  • Skin
  • Liver 
  • Intestines
  • Lumps
  • Redness and swelling around those lumps


  • Skin
  • Mouth
  • Toenails
  • Lumps
  • Swollen toe


  • Any bones
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lameness
  • Swelling


  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Lumps 
  • Swelling around lumps


It’s also important to note what factors contribute to your pup being more susceptible to cancer. For instance, having other health issues like obesity can lead to a higher chance of getting cancer. Others include smoking around your pup, over-exposure to the sun, or not spaying/neutering them. 

Caring for Dogs With Cancer

In addition, the breed of dog may also affect the chance of your pup getting cancer. Here are some dog breeds that have a higher chance of contracting cancer: 

  • Rottweilers
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Bichon Frises
  • Boxers
  • Golden Retriever

If your pup belongs to any of the above breeds, fret not! Just make sure to read up on canine cancer and the ways you can help prevent or manage it. You may also want to approach your local vet for tips on how to prevent and spot canine cancer.


    Treating Canine Cancer

    If your pup experiences any of the above symptoms, get them to a vet right away for a full checkup. With any luck, your vet can help your pup sort through their condition and assess what’s best for them through tests like blood tests and urinalysis.

    However, in the situation where your dog does have cancer there are several treatment options pet veterinarians may recommend to you. This includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. Treating some cancers may require a combination of any of these methods. It’s important to note the cost of some of these treatments and set aside enough money for this purpose.

    Caring for Dogs With Cancer

    Your vet may also recommend you to visit a Veterinary Oncologist, a certified specialist in cancer treatment. To be prepared, you may also want to google “dog oncologist near me” and find out where you can go for more information and treatment for your pup.


      Caring for Dogs With Cancer

      Caring for pups with canine cancer can be difficult. But the most important thing is to help manage your pup’s condition and keep their quality of life up as best as you can. This way, your pup can overcome the necessary treatments and enjoy the end of their lives. 

      Here are some ways you can help manage your dog’s condition effectively:


      Dog Cancer Diet

      One of the ways to help manage your pup’s condition is to review their diet and choose suitable dog cancer diet options. Here are some ways you can change your pup’s diet:

      1. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your pup’s meal. This may reduce their overall energy level, but in the long run this will help reduce the energy that their cancer cells use.
      2. Add fish oil supplements and other suitable supplements like Dr. Mercola’s Vitamin B Supplements for Dogs. Omega3 Fatty acids in particular are great supplements in food for dogs with cancer as they can help reduce some of the cancer’s effect on your pup’s metabolism.

      Treat your pup to food with high palatability. During this period your dog may experience a loss in appetite. Make sure to get them as interested in their food as possible by making them tasty and fun. Feeding your pup more pungent foods like Bone Broth Dr. Premium Salmon Frozen Bone Broth For Dogs is a great way of keeping your pup’s morale and appetite high.

      Caring for Dogs With Cancer

      Good options for dog cancer diets include PetCubes’ Complete Gently Cooked King Salmon Frozen Dog Food. Delicious and chock full of fresh ingredients, this single protein diet also has no salt or additives. 


      Be Prepared

      In order to give your pup the best care that you can, arm yourself with the right information. Ask your vet as many questions as you can - from what the best dog food for cancer is, to how you can help them stay comfortable and even to how you can recognise pain.

      The latter is especially important with canine cancer patients as cancer pain can be a huge source of discomfort. Understanding when your dog is experiencing pain and discomfort can help you address their living situation better. It may also help you inform your vet more effectively on your dog’s condition.

      Caring for Dogs With Cancer

      Most importantly, prep your house for your dog’s comfort.Get more comfortable dog beds like PETKIT Memory Foam Cooling Dog Bed and position their play area strategically. You may also want to get suitable supplements to help boost your pup’s general health when you can, such as Augustine Approved’s Faith’s Cleanse & Detox Supplement Powder.


      Be Happy

      This tip may seem strange, but dogs are often hyper aware of their owners’ mood. Your mood and anxiety can also make your pup more anxious than they should be. If possible, set up rituals and a daily habit that can help your pup reduce their stress levels.

      If your dog is particularly stressed or unhappy, make sure to spend more time with them and inform your vet if their behaviour is abnormal.

      Caring for Dogs With Cancer

      At the end of the day, caring for a pup with cancer will definitely be challenging and often heartbreaking. Thankfully, with the right amount of preparation and research, you’ll be well equipped to take care of your pups needs, whatever they may be. Quell any doubts and worries you may have with your veterinarian and prepare whatever your dog may need ahead of time.

      Most importantly, build more memories and enjoy the precious moments you have with your furry friend. Instead of spending too much time worrying about them or about things you may not be able to change, be present and with them, to make sure they’re as comfortable and happy as they can be.






        Tammi ChngTAMMI CHNG
        Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog. 

        1 Response

        Denise Liu
        Denise Liu

        May 11, 2021

        It would be great if you could write an article specific to the Singapore context. For example, there are no certified vet oncologists in Singapore to best of my knowledge, and certain more experimental treatments are also not available. I feel that it would be very helpful to pawrents like myself who lack relevant information

        Leave a comment

        Comments will be approved before showing up.

        Also in Academy

        How to Socialise an Older Dog
        How to Socialise an Older Dog

        by Terry Peh January 26, 2023 5 min read

        Most dog owners will agree that the best time to socialise a dog is when they are still a puppy....
        Can Dogs Forget Their Training Sometimes?
        Can Dogs Forget Their Training Sometimes?

        by Katherine Khoo January 19, 2023 5 min read

        Yes, dogs can forget their training if a cue is not repeated frequently. Sometimes, health issues or pain can lead...
        Functional and Fashionable Dog Accessories
        Functional and Fashionable Dog Accessories

        by Katherine Khoo January 13, 2023 5 min read

        Our pups’ daily wear should be comfortable and functional. As much as we love dressing up our pups in fashionable...