I mentioned that Greg found a diet for dogs that is shown to help their bodies respond to cancer. Here’s an excerpt from The Dog Cancer Survival Guide:
Did you know you can help your dog fight cancer at his next meal?
The right foods – many of which you probably have in your house right now – can be powerful weapons for a dog with cancer. Putting your dog on a Dog Cancer Diet, as outlined in this report, accomplishes two things.
The Dog Cancer Diet:
1. Fights Cancer. It’s probably what you want the most – for the cancer to just go away. While no food is that kind of “miracle cure,” there are some that can “go after” cancer tumors.
2. Supports Immune Response. The body has a natural defense system for cancer, called the immune system. Unfortunately, dogs with cancer have a suppressed immune system, which means cancer can run roughshod over the body. Foods that boost the immune system help the body’s natural defenses repair themselves.
Greg is absolutely convinced that this diet — and the supplements, of course! — are going to help Argus cure himself of cancer. I am not convinced. I agree with the logic, mostly because it’s the same logic that applies to humans. And the author of the book is correct, actually. I DO have many of those foods in my home right now, because Greg and I eat them and we eat them for those cancer-fighting reasons. I assure you that it isn’t because brussels sprouts are my favorite vegetable.
But the data for osteosarcoma is clear: my dog will die of this disease. Now that he has gotten it, it’s too late. And, let me remind you that we were not feeding him Ol’ Roy to begin with. Argus was being fed a raw diet. Raw chicken backs, turkey necks, lamb necks, turkey hearts, and his favorite — tripe. Pretty healthy stuff, all things considered.
Even if my heart isn’t totally into all the claims surrounding this diet, I have agreed to put it into practice. Lucky for Greg that I have, as it is really a two-person job (unless you have all day to spend at this). After our first batch took pretty much an entire Saturday afternoon and netted us only four days worth of meals, we knew we had to streamline our process. If this were a raw diet and/or my dog enjoyed vegetables as much as I do, this would be a piece of cake. It’s not and he doesn’t, which leads us to why there is a process involved at all and why we need to fix it in bulk.
Whole Grains — brown rice or slow-cook oatmeal
Protein — chicken, turkey, lean beef cuts, liver, fish
Vegetables — shiitake mushrooms, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, red/yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, parsley, garlic, banana, apple (I realize these last two are fruits)
Calcium — cottage cheese
Other — fish oil, krill oil, shark liver oil, enzymes, black strap molasses, egg, apple cider vinegar
Part of the rationale behind this diet is that your dog’s body is busy trying to fight off cancer, so you should make digesting his food easier for him. Here’s how to do that:
- Cook the meat at a certain temperature as not to cook all the good stuff out.
- Grind the vegetables up and hide them amidst a bunch of meat so your dog can’t taste them.
- Dissolve the oil pills in hot water because he will suss them out if they’re whole.
- Add cottage cheese just before serving so it doesn’t separate.
- Sprinkle enzymes on so they can begin breaking down the food before it goes into the dog’s body. This means preparing his dinner 30 minutes before it’s time to eat so the enzymes can begin doing their job.
- Explain to your dog why his food is sitting on the counter and he is not yet allowed to eat it.
On our first attempt, Greg and I were working side-by-side in the kitchen. I got the whole grain brown rice going on the stove and began cutting a selection of the vegetables, then quickly steaming them to soften them a bit. Then I put batches of them in the blender to form a puree. Greg was working on the meat. Cutting it, quickly boiling it, removing fish bones. When the rice was done, we added the veggie glop to it. Then the chunks of meat. After a good mixing, it went into the freezer in individual portions. We were both exhausted and we didn’t even know if he’d eat it!
The good news/bad news is that Argus LOVES his new food.
Here’s what we’re doing now:
Borrowing Pete’s Vita-Mix so we can grind the veggies with minimal chopping and no steaming. Cutting meat into bite-sized pieces and adding them to the Crock Pot, along with the rice. Combining all ingredients and putting them into individual servings.
We got 10 servings out of this batch, which is much more reasonable. He’s been on the diet for a week now and he really does love it, so we’ll keep at it. Of course, there is no way of knowing if it is helping or not, but if it makes Greg feel good, I feel good.
If you weren’t convinced we are crazy for all the endurance sports we willingly participate in, what do you think now?