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10 Facts about Pet Cancer

10 Facts about Pet Cancer

By Dr. Kelly Diehl
Scientific Communications Adviser
Morris Animal Foundation

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May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to learn about the risks of cancer, and what that means for your beloved pet. Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in older dogs and cats, and affects one in four pets in their lifetime. Our pets share many of the same types of cancer that affect humans, as well as the same diagnostic tests and therapeutics. Here are 10 facts you should know about pet cancer:

  • An estimated 6 million dogs and 6 million cats are diagnosed with cancer each year
  • 50 percent of dogs over 10 years of age develop cancer
  • Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancer in both dogs and cats
  • Second-hand smoke increases cancer risk in dogs and cats
  • Obesity has been linked to the development of certain forms of cancer in animals
  • Spaying a dog or cat before their first heat cycle significantly reduces a dog or cat’s chances of developing breast cancer
  • Skin cancers are more common in white-haired cats than in cats of other colors
  • There are more than 100 different types of pet cancer
  • Dog breeds with a higher risk for cancer include golden retrievers, Bernese mountain dogs, Scottish terriers and boxers
  • Dog breeds with decreased cancer risk include Chihuahuas, toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers and dachshunds

You can help protect your pet from cancer by checking out these Pet Cancer Prevention Tips.

Morris Animal Foundation has been funding pet cancer studies since 1962, and we’ve invested almost $7 million dollars to study cancer in not only dogs and cats, but in horses and wildlife, too. Read about our current cancer studies, and learn how you can join our fight against pet cancer.