One of the biggest things that causes cancer in dogs is ...... STRESS......
Stress comes in a lot of different forms and most of the stress triggers we know (being home alone, even if they don't ruin your stuff or bark incessantly, not enough exercise, stress from domestic home situations like fights, etc).
What really hit me in a lecture I recently followed and I would like to share with you is that stress also comes in the form of being a domesticated dog
It makes perfect sense to me.
This form of stress is totally being ignored. Over the past decades we have seen an influx in dogs, dogs are everywhere. We also see an incredible influx in cancer in dogs. Where you used to see a dog here and there, especially in urban settings, are now dogs galore. Totally adjusted to our city life and a perfect addition to our city lives.
Think about it, where dogs used to run and play, had sex haphazardly, sniffing other dogs crotches taunting our neighbourhood cats, this is now viewed as totally unacceptable behavior.
A research is ongoing at the moment about the effect of Oxytocin in humans and cancer( Oxytocin is a central nervous system neuropeptide hormone, which is composed of nine amino acids) . The production of oxytocin seems to inhibit cancer growth. To me it makes perfect sense. People who never show their feelings have way more health problems. Why not the same for dogs.
Dogs are not allowed to be dogs anymore, and in this day and age, it is not acceptable or safe to have your dog roam around, mate with just any dog, sniff dogs, eat poop, sniff human crotches and the list goes on.
To avoid this type of stress f nt being a dog, we can do more stimulating things with our dogs. It is proven that even looking into your dog's eyes, really seeing your dog, really getting the connection, will produce oxytocin (much like people in love).
Put your phone or computer down for a few extra minutes here and there and truly spent quality time with your dog just sitting on the floor connecting, go for an invigorating walk with your dog, dance and be silly with him/her for a minute, do games you can easily find on youtube, include your dog in daily life more, do a dog sport where you both have to constantly interact. etc etc etc.
Make quality interaction a part of your daily routine, a great habit for life. So many things you can do to get the unseen stress levels down and oxytocin flowing through the body.
Think about it. A compliant well trained dog is a good thing but a compliant eager to please incredibly happy dog is a great thing!
Isn’t it a great incentive to try to have the longest living Bernese Mountain Dog just by being happy.