Two years ago, we had to say goodbye to our Golden Retriever. She was an amazing dog who struggled with cancer tumors for a few years. Each time a tumor grew, we would have it surgically removed, but a new larger tumor quickly returned. This process continued until her quality of life diminished. It’s a heartbreaking and challenging process to go through.

When she was first diagnosed with cancer, I started digging around online and was shocked to learn there is a cancer epidemic in dogs. Purdue University conducted a survey and found that 61% of Golden Retrievers die from cancer. In fact, cancer is the number one killer of all dogs over the age of 2 years old.

If you’ve lost a pet in the past, there is a high probability cancer was the cause.

After losing our dog, I vowed not to get another dog. Losing a dog is so hard and I honestly didn’t want to go through it again. Our dog does everything with me. She runs with me. She works with me. She swims with me. She reads with me. She is by my side the majority of the day. Losing a pet like this is losing a close family member.

Well, my kids went to work on me and we got a puppy last summer. Meet Sadie…

Sadie(Photo by Hannah Minton)

And after watching this TED talk with Rodney Habib, I realized we may be making her sick by feeding her processed dog food. Since watching this video last week, we’ve started mixing real food in with her meals. We plan on transitioning completely away from processed food over the next few weeks.

There is obviously no guarantee this change will prevent cancer, or allow her to live longer. However, continuing to feed her processed dog food doesn’t seem to make much sense considering the overwhelming rates of cancer in pets. If you have pets, invest the 15 minutes and watch this TED Talk.

Oh and I’m sure you’ve probably heard there is a growing body of evidence showing that we may be able to reduce our risk of cancer by changing how we eat. Check out Dom D’Agostino and his research on nutrition and cancer. And guess what?

The changes we can make to improve our health are the exact same changes Rodney suggests for our pets.

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