Cancer is one of those topics that can quickly sour any dinner conversation. Many of our lives have been touched by it in some way, whether we’ve struggled to overcome it ourselves or know a loved one who has. There seem to be few redeeming things about this illness, and it can be even more discouraging to realize our four-legged friends can suffer from it just like humans can. It actually is the #1 cause of death in dogs and cats these days. Dogs even get it at nearly the same rate as we humans. So what can we do? How do we find hope in what seem like such gloomy circumstances?
That’s what National Pet Cancer Awareness Month is all about.
One of the best ways to give your pet a fighting chance against cancer is to catch it as early as possible. The more cancer advances, the harder it can be to deal with. So the first step is prevention. Know the signs to look for that might be symptoms of cancer. This includes growing lumps on their bodies, chronic weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea, constant coughing, or bleeding. Check the link for a more comprehensive list, and know that these symptoms may be signs of other problems that need dealing with as well.
Another preventative second step is making your home as safe as possible for your pet, eliminating possibly cancer-causing elements or simply endanger them in general. Most people don’t realize that common household cleaning products are quite toxic to dogs and cats, for instance. Gardening products, auto gear, and metal polish are just a few examples. Try swapping out your usual cleaning pantry of supplies with non-toxic, plant-based alternatives as well as fragrance-free brands.
Lastly, if you have a pet who is or used to suffer from cancer, another helpful thing you can do is share your story. Nothing provides a ray of hope than a community of pet-lovers coming together in support. But how will they if they don’t know what you’re dealing with? Reach out on Facebook, share photos of your pet, tell their story, and we can assure you that you’ll be amazed by the outpouring of love in return.
It’s one of the things pets inspire most in us!
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