what you can do to decrease your dog's chances of getting respiratory cancer

The Rise of Canine Respiratory Cancer and How You Can Decrease Your Dog's Exposure To Lung Cancer Triggers

At the 2023 Healthy Dog Expo, we were chatting with Dr Kendra Pope, DVM, who practices at Prism Integrative Veterinary Health in Trinton Falls, NJ.

Dr. Pope is a board-certified veterinary oncologist.

While our focus was on the #1 diagnosed cancer in dogs... skin cancer, Dr. Pope said something that we knew we had to bring to your attention: The fastest growing segment of canine cancer is respiratory.

What Is Causing the Increase of Lung Cancer In Dogs

Dr. Pope was VERY clear why respiratory cancer is on the rise: artificial fragrances.

Various items in your household can contribute to artificial fragrances. Some common sources include:

  1. Air fresheners and room sprays
  2. Scented candles and wax melts
  3. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets
  4. Perfumes and colognes
  5. Cleaning products (such as multi-purpose sprays, floor cleaners, and dish soaps)
  6. Personal care products (such as shampoos, body washes, and lotions)
  7. Laundry detergents and fabric conditioners
  8. Carpet cleaners
  9. Scented trash bags and garbage deodorizers
  10. Plug-in air fresheners and fragrance diffusers
  11. Artificially scented pet products (such as pet shampoos and deodorizing sprays)

These items often contain synthetic fragrances that can emit potentially harmful chemicals into the air and may cause allergic reactions or respiratory issues in some individuals and many pets.

Long term exposure to these chemicals are thought, by Dr. Pope, to be the trigger causing respiratory cancer.

Choosing fragrance-free or naturally scented alternatives can help minimize your dog's exposure to artificial fragrances.

Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer In Dogs

Many dogs with a lung tumor show no related symptoms until the cancer is advanced but some dogs will display one or more of the following symptoms depending on the size and location of the tumor:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid breathing
  • Labored breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lameness
  • Hair loss
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Reduced exercise tolerance
  • Fever
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers

What You Can Do To Lower Your Dog's Chances of Lung Cancer

Good News: You can do something to lower your dog's chance of being diagnosed with lung cancer. 

It is super easy... STOP using products with artificial fragrances.  Look at the ingredients and put back on the shelf any product with description using the words “artificial”, “synthetic”, “fragrance”, “perfume”, “scent”, “aromatic”, “floral”, to name a few.  All of these descriptors must be considered questionable until further evaluated and clarified by the manufacturer.  

Simple, right? Look for and use products that are safer and healthier! And for your dog’s grooming routine,  choose only 100% natural options like 4-Legger! Our commitment to USDA Certification through the National Organic Program ensures that every ingredient, including the essential oils used for scent are 100% natural. Nothing artificial, nothing synthetic - ever!

4-Legger's dog deodorizing sprays are formulated with high-quality essential oils, purified water, organic olive oil, and organic rose hip oil making them a safer alternative to traditional dog perfumes or cologne. Super simple ingredients that are safe and non-toxic.

4-Legger organic pet shampoos are made from saponified organic oils, high quality essential oils, and herbal extracts. Nothing artificial. Nothing synthetic. 

4-Legger organic dog conditioner contains apple cider vinegar along with beneficial organic herbs and essential oils to restore natural skin and coat balance. When used in conjunction with a bath, it provides relief from itchy skin by acting as a natural astringent and toner, cleaning the skin and coat, and balancing sebum. It can also be used as an in-between bath spritz as a spot treatment on problem areas! It is effective against yeasty skin, with anti-fungal properties that reduce bacteria and yeast. It can also be used as part of a flea treatment routine and to address 'Frito Feet'—itchy, stinky yeasty feet—all without the need for rinsing!

The 4-Legger way - Just all natural ingredients that are effective for a safe and clean grooming routine while reducing exposures to toxins known to cause disease. That’s a win for everyone one and every dog!