7 Pet Cancer Prevention Tips

July 29, 2020

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Cancer is a complex disease! Genetics, environment, nutrition, hormone and viral exposure play a role in different degrees. No one knows exactly why some pets get cancer, while others do not. However, there are preventative steps we can take to minimize the risk of developing cancer in our pets. Here are 7 ways you can help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

1. Monitor your pet’s weight

Obese pets suffer from several illnesses including diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. Some studies suggest obesity may be a risk factor for certain cancer.

2. Exercise your pet regularly

Keep them in shape! Regular exercise will keep your pets mentally stimulated.  It will also help lower the risk of health problems.

3. Consider spaying or neutering your pet

Spaying (removing of uterus and ovaries) before a first heat cycle can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in female dogs. Neutering (removal of testicles) decreases the risk of testicular cancer.

4. Avoid smoking

Cancer risk is increased in pets exposed to second hand smoke. Pets have a greater risk of developing nasal cancer (dogs), lymphoma (dogs and cats) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (cats).

5. Minimize sun exposure

Pets with light colored fur have an increased risk of developing some cancers. For example, light coated cats with thin fur around their eyes, nose, and ears can develop squamous cell carcinoma.  That’s due to prolonged sun exposure. Additionally, light coated dogs can develop skin cancer in their tummies when sun bathing on their backs. Try to avoid the midday sun when the harmful rays are the strongest.  That’s between the hours of 10am to 2 pm.  Click to read these articles on sunscreen for pets and 5 best dog sunscreens.

6. Avoid contact with lawn chemicals/pesticides

There is some evidence for an increased risk of pet cancer, in animals exposed to applied lawn chemicals.

7. Schedule regular check ups with your pet’s veterinarian

Regular checkups (every six months or yearly) including complete physical examinations and baseline blood work can help identify abnormalities.  It can also help determine the best course of action for further assessment.

Be sure to check out The Cancer Center at AVCC’s Comprehensive Guide to Pet Cancer Care here.

The Cancer Center at AVCC is located in South Florida in Broward County.
8920 W. State Road 84,
Davie, Florida 33324


The Cancer Center at AVCC offers the following oncology services:

Diagnostic tests including:

  • Fine needle aspirates/cytology
  • Bone marrow aspirates
  • Bone biopsies
  • Incisional and punch biopsies
  • Personalized genomic testing


  • Traditional chemotherapy (intravenous/intracavitary)
  • Metronomic chemotherapy
  • Targeted chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Palliative care and pain management
  • Hospice counseling
  • Nutritional counseling and referral
  • Referral for pet radiation therapy

Keep your paws on the latest pet news, food recalls, safety tips and more from the board-certified veterinary experts at Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Davie.

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