Enhancing the life of our dogs!

We truly do want our dogs to live to a grand old age.

In recent posts I have included photographs of Cleo and Brandy. (As I will now do again!)

Cleo, the listening dog par excellence!


Brandy – as pure as it gets!

However, one of the sad aspects of our bigger dogs is that their lifespan is usually shorter than our smaller dogs.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could live longer lives.

That is the reason that I didn’t hesitate for a moment in wanting to share an essay that was recently published on the Care2 site.


Want Your Dog to Live to 30? Add This to Their Bowl

a Care2 favorite by Lisa Spector

About Lisa Follow Lisa at @throughadogsear

As I watched pet nutrition blogger Rodney Habib’s TedX video below, I found it simultaneously jaw-dropping and not surprising. After his dog, Sammie, was diagnosed with cancer, Habib went on a mission to find out why canine cancer is a growing epidemic. Currently, one out of every two dogs will be diagnosed with cancer at sometime in their life, mostly between age 6 and 12.

I have a 13-year-old Labrador. Admittedly, I’m obsessed with my awareness that he’s approaching the end of his life. But, what if he weren’t? What if he could live until he’s 30 like Maggie, the Kelpie, from Australia. Maggie was possibly the world’s oldest dog.

During Habib’s trek around the world, he spoke with researchers and scientists. He learned that dogs have a higher rate of cancer than any other mammal. In the ’70s, dogs lived to age 17; today the average life span is 11. Why?

Diabetes is up 900 percent in dogs in the last five years. Obesity is up 60 percent. While 10 percent of all cancer cases are genetic, 90 percent are the results of lifestyle and environmental influences, including stress, obesity, infection, sedentary lifestyle, toxins, pollution and most importantly diet.

Habib spoke with Norwegian scientist, Thomas Sandberg, who is conducting a 30-year-old study (the longest observational study to date). Sandberg is hoping to prove that poor quality food may cause cancer to develop in dogs and cats, mainly due to a compromised immune system.

Natural and dry dog's food

Here’s the part of Rodney’s TedX Talk that was jaw-dropping for me: Research shows that dogs on a diet of dry commercial pet food fed leafy green vegetables at least three times a week were 90 percent less likely to develop cancer than dogs that weren’t. And dogs fed yellow/orange vegetables at least three times a week were 70 percent less likely to develop cancer.

I feed Sanchez and Gina organic kale, spinach, green beans and carrots, along with many fruits. Personally, I wasn’t surprised by the benefits, but by the research showing that just a little bit of produce added to kibble could have such a profound effect on canine health.

Thomas Sandberg has Great Danes, who typically live only six to eight years. In a 6-year study of 80 dogs fed a completely raw diet with low amounts of carbs, only one dog developed cancer.

Another study at Purdue University showed a 90 percent decrease risk of cancer when they added green leafy vegetables to a bowl of processed food three times a week.

Remember Maggie, the world’s oldest dog? In addition to a diet that included raw fed grass milk, she also self fasted some days. She lived on a dairy farm and exercised all day long, often getting in 9 kilometers (5 1/2 miles ). Obesity is also now known to be a contributing factor to canine cancer, which is why exercising with your pet is so important.

We have dogs because we love them. We bring them into our human world and expect them to adjust. They do, because they want to please us. We expect them to follow our house rules, listen to the music we choose,  build their life around our schedules, and accept the food we choose for them. But, what if we knew more and chose differently for them? How long would they live?

Do your pets eat green leafy veggies?


Now if you have read down to this point but not yet watched Rodney Habib’s talk then …. STOP!

Go back and watch that talk!

Then you can truly appreciate the value of looking at the diets of our beautiful dogs!

Love to hear your thoughts on this!

Oh, and both Brandy and little Pedy are great vegetable eaters. But we will be following the recommendations of Rodney Habib and will share our findings with you all later on.


33 thoughts on “Enhancing the life of our dogs!

  1. Actually, our boxer Sophie enjoyed carrots! Abby liked celery. Mags will eat lettuce. It seems like dogs should eat the same types of healthy foods as us to avoid cancer! Thank you, Paul! I would love Mags to be 30.


  2. Lotta loves spinach and will steal it off the kitchen worktop if I’m not careful! The diet of dogs is a huge topic of conversation. Lotta refused to eat kibble recently so have changed her to canned food with vegetables, a mix of five oils and something to help keep the plaque off her teeth. Her skin has dramatically changed for the better.


  3. Sounds like common sense to me. If we humans had to live on that dry kibble, we’d not live as long, either. I habitually fed both my goldens (one lived 13 years, the next one 13 also) green peppers, lettuce, blueberries, apples, carrots, tomatoes etc. They both loved ALL veggies except celery. Both of them (and one came after the other, they never knew each other) would take one little bite of celery and then politely spit it out.


    1. Kimberly, (I’m assuming that is your correct name) thank you so much for stopping by and leaving that reply. A very warm welcome to you. Hope to see you again.


      1. Yes that is my name 🙂
        Of course, I think that your post was very fruitful and kind, and it is something worth thinking about as we keep animals in our homes as pets. We love them, and of course many of us would do anything in our power to care for them the best we can. Take care!


  4. My german shepherd Rommy lived over 15 years. The vet was surprised a large dog was so healthy and lived so long. I cook 1/2 of my dogs’ food from scratch, including seasonal fruits and veggies each batch. Perhaps if I cooked all food from scratch he would have made it to 30!


  5. Best info in a long time. I feed my dogs carrots and frozen green beans that I cook each day. A few days they might not get any but for most days they do. I have not added green leafy vegs but, I will now. I also cook a huge pot of 5 minute oatmeal each day and the vegs, oatmeal and about 3 tbsp. of unsulfured molasses are all stirred together, I add ground flax and some olive oil. It all goes in large stainless steel bucket and then I mix in Purina One. I add water to the mix if there is not enough vegetable water left over. I began doing this on my own thinking that natural foods would make them healthier. Green beans are the frozen ones and the carrots I buy in miniature size, I cook them because some dogs aren’t able to digest raw carrots very well. The two dogs with arthritis get one ml of industrial hemp that I add to the top of their food.

    I have not always fed my dogs in this manner. I merely had an ah-ha moment and decided that if I was eating for my health then my dogs should as well. I began about six months ago. My cats get this diet also but of course the dry food is Purina Naturals. Some of my cats get canned salmon and this mix or RX diet by Hill’s. I have no idea if this will lengthen their lives or not but they are alert and healthy. In addition some cats get canned pumpkin. If I have lots of squash I cook that as well. The idea is not to over cook the vegs- just cook until tender but a bit crisp.

    I don’t use flea or tick meds or heartworm med year round either. I only use if there is a flea or tick problem. I have my dogs re-rested each spring for heartworms. Thus far none have gotten heart worms. They get the meds on average about 6 months of the year. My found Border Collie (last October) had heartworms and thus she is getting the slow kill method 2x monthly using Heartguard.


  6. Great post! I feed Sabrina Dr. Harvey’s once per day (oats supplemented with veg) supplemented by chicken or beef or turkey. Sometimes instead of the Dr. Harvey’s, I give you a half of yam. Her treats? Carrots and broccoli! We do feed her a high grade type of kibble in the morning, strictly out of convenience. Maybe I should reconsider the “convenience.”


  7. Yup! We feed the best. It’s $100.00 a bag for Orijen Acana food, but well worth it. And I purchase freshly-slaughtered meat from a local rancher who range grazes his cattle (sheep, goats, etc). So our dogs get the Acana kibble, fresh cut-up grass-fed meat, a dollop of goat yogurt (for probiotics) and a couple of fish oil gel caps on their food. Our Lab just died at 16-1/2. Our pup gets this from the start of his life (the Lab didn’t – we didn’t know). And Lucy the foundling is, at 8 years of age and after a broken spine, in top shape to train the pup! 😀 Thanks for sharing this valuable information, Paul. We ARE what we eat. And so are our beloved pets.


  8. I make all the food and treats for my dogs that include delicious vegetables, fruit and vitamin supplements. I don’t believe in using commercial dog foods, too many additives and preservatives that can definitely shorten our dogs lives.


  9. HuMom has watched Rodney Habib’s TedTalk & enjoyed it.
    My favourite veggie is cucumber & my favourite fruit is watermelon but I love them all including asparagus. I don’t eat citrus because it can interfere with my antiseizure medication. Otherwise, I would love to eat it.
    3 bum swings! 3 more!
    My diet consist of healthy organic whole foods!

    Nose nudges,
    CEO Olivia


  10. What a great read! My Piper has so many allergies and food sensitivities that it has taken years to keep everything, as in her, running smoothly. Unfortunately a raw diet just didn’t work for her but she LOVES a lot of veggies, especially carrots. Jack and Leo aren’t into the vegetation as much but I’ll still offer it. Anything to keep the little ones healthy.


  11. An interesting study Paul, yet not so surprising when you consider the diet we humans consume.. Those who eat more healthier diets usually have less problems with disease.. Cabbage a well know healing veggie.. The problem is we do not know half the time what we humans are being fed.. As farm animals are injected with all kinds of inoculations vaccines and eat goodness knows what is fed to them.. Then we digest the animal meat..

    And which is why we grow much of our own food without the chemicals that get sprayed upon them.. :-D.

    Oh as you can see I am picking up where I left off not working backwards today in catch ups xx 🙂


    1. Sue, I so treasure your ‘catch ups’. Thank you. Yes, I’m starting to realise that this blog could do much more on the topic of dog food, where to check it out, where best to buy it from, etc., etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your alerts I am sure have been a treasure also to many a pet owner… The problem is we do not know half of what goes into Human consumption of foods ( horse-meat ) being in Beef Burgers for one.. And the scandal of what was being fed cows some years back here in the UK leading to Mad Cows Disease.. So it is important to educate people in this area Paul..


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