A supportive, whole food dog cancer diet you could eat is here.
Developed by JustFoodForDogs, “the world’s first dog food kitchen,” a small, growing, independently-owned company, the Neoplasia Support diet helps give optimum health to your dog with cancer. (N.B.: Neoplasia means “the formation or presence of a new, abnormal growth of tissue.”)
Real Food for Your Dog
Made by hand with 100% human-grade ingredients and 100% human grade nutraceuticals (as regulated by the USDA and FDA), lightly cooked and then frozen in small batches at one of their five sleek kitchens, this diet addresses general issues that cancer dogs may face: digestion and cachexia (weakness/emaciation). It uses limited antioxidants to avoid disrupting conventional drugs used in chemotherapy.
There are no preservatives, fillers or by-products. All meat is sourced from the United States or New Zealand; there are no ingredients from China. It can be gently warmed — something that can help with making the food attractive to cancer dogs with low appetite.
It also contains long grain brown rice. While dogs do not have an essential requirement for carbohydrates, it is added as a source of energy for the sometimes weak cancer dog and because it is included in its whole form, it is a true phytonutrient. Find the full ingredient list here.
This diet, and all of their others — including a variety of everyday diets, vet-support diets and do-it-yourself diets — were developed with the guidance of their director of veterinary nutrition and education, Dr. Oscar Chavez, a veterinarian and professor of clinical nutrition at Cal Poly Pomona University.
The Neoplasia Support diet is the in-house food for some well-established veterinary providers in Southern California:
- Advanced Critical Care, Emergency and Specialty Services (ACCESS) – a multi-specialty medical treatment and emergency facility
- Animal Specialty & Emergency Center (ASEC) – a multi-specialty veterinary referral hospital
- Veterinary Cancer Group at City of Angels Veterinary Specialty Center – a veterinary oncology practice
Impressed by the quality ingredients and preparation methods I found on their site, to learn more, I took a field trip to one of their retail stores and talked with JustFoodForDogs founder, Shawn Buckley.
Amidst a spotless kitchen, well-organized freezer units and inviting treat displays (photo gallery), I discovered that this is a company that’s not only all about the dogs — it’s backed by science.
An Innovative, Humane Feeding Trial
To prove the “nutritional adequacy”of their food, the company went above and beyond what is recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) by conducting a self-funded, groundbreaking feeding trial.
For example, AAFCO requires that six dogs are enrolled in a feeding trial. JustFoodForDogs had 30. AAFCO requires the testing of four blood parameters. JustFoodForDogs tested 25.
What is really unique is that their trial used “real-world” dogs living in their own homes. Typically, dog food companies use “purpose-bred” dogs in labs. This approach gave findings that better mimic real life.
In an article at PolyCentric, Cal Poly Pomona’s official news source, Dr. Broc Sandelin, chair of their Animal and Veterinary Sciences department, said: “The field method we developed takes significantly more effort than the standard ‘industry approach’, but to JFFD it was absolutely worth it. The dogs are happy, and the data are scientifically valid.”
A patient’s ability to tolerate cancer therapy can be impacted by their nutritional status, so maintaining adequate calorie and nutrient intake is essential in the cancer patient. The moderate protein levels in Neoplasia Support help prevent muscle breakdown and support tissue repair and immune system function…”
— Dr. Sara Fiocchi, DVM, DACVIM, Veterinary Cancer Group
On their site, Dr. Chavez said, “We are proud to report every single dog passed the feeding trial on both a group and an individual basis. All participants were found to be happy and healthy, and a majority offered to volunteer again.”
The company is serious about quality. Shawn gave me a tour of the kitchen and it was absolutely immaculate. Each team member holds the same certification they would need to work in a restaurant. They also receive 30 hours of instruction by the vets on staff. The company is RACE approved and holds classes for professionals (RACE is one of four key programs provided by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards).
I wondered why the company had retail locations when it seemed an online model would suffice.
“We believe in 100% transparency. We want our customers to see where the food is made,” wrote Kristen Pollock spokeswoman at JustFoodforDogs in an email. “A lot of people like that face to face experience.”
A Custom Cancer Diet
If the Neoplasia Support diet isn’t quite right for your dog due to food sensitivities or other considerations, the company will create a custom cancer diet for your dog by working with your vet.
You’ll provide a current blood panel and completed questionnaire and you’ll receive the recipe and a quote for preparation of the food — you can even request that your dog’s food be made with certified organic ingredients. This service costs $195 and usually takes 7-14 days. To get started, learn more here.
How to Order
The Neoplasia Support diet is available by prescription from your veterinarian. To purchase, call 866.726.9509 or visit a retail location in Southern California (open 7 days a week). Dr. Chavez or one of the company’s registered veterinary technicians are available to answer questions.
$7.95 each, 14 oz. pack
$34.95 each, 72 oz. pack
Monthly average for a 30 lb. dog:
$240, 14 oz. packs
$210, 72 oz. packs
$165, 25 lb. bucket (available in West Hollywood only)
Packs can be kept frozen for a year and will last 5-6 days in the refrigerator.
About Neoplasia Support from JustFoodForDogs
Download Fact Sheet
Formulated to achieve restrictions in simple carbohydrates, increased calories from protein and fat and increased omega 3 fatty acids. This highly palatable, nutrient rich diet is intended to manage cancer cachexia and is formulated to meet the following key nutritional factors for nutritional management of Neoplastic Disease.
- Ingredients are 100% certified, inspected and approved by the USDA/FDA for human consumption
- Moderate protein to meet energy requirements
- High level of fat to address nutrient density and palatability
- Tightly controlled simple carbohydrates to avoid feeding tumor cells
- Limited antioxidants to avoid interference with chemotherapy drugs
- Increased Highly Digestible, High Quality Protein
- Increased Highly Digestible, High Quality Fat
- Increased Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- High Caloric Density for Weight Gain or Maintenance
- Balanced for long-term feeding under veterinary supervision
- USDA Certified Ground Beef is considered a high quality source of protein and is also rich in iron and zinc, as well as vitamins B12 and B6
- USDA Certified Chicken Thigh is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B-6, panthothenic acid, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and niacin, and delivers more vitamin B, iron, and antioxidants than its white meat counterparts
- USDA Certified Beef Liver is a nutrient dense food. Ounce for ounce, it contains the most concentrated, high in bioavailable copper, folate, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus and zinc
- Long Grain Brown Rice is loaded with B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc and is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates
- USDA Certified Chicken Liver heme-iron, a highly bioavailable form of iron, and is also high in bioavailable copper, folate, riboflavin and niacin.
- Olive Oil and Flaxseed are high in essential fatty acids including linoleic and linolenic acids, which have been linked to reports of improvement in coat quality/sheen and anti-inflammatory properties
- Icelandic Premium Fish Oil. This exclusive supplement is pure, potent, natural and detoxified, and provides Omega 3 fatty acids in highly biologically available forms of EPA and DHA
- JustFoodForDogs Nutrient Blend is formulated specifically to meet NRC standards. The blend is compounded from 100% human grade nutraceuticals regulated by the FDA
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