Our Beginning: A Keto Sanctuary for Dogs with Cancer
KetoPet was founded in 2014 as a flagship program under the 501(c)(3) non-profit, Epigenix Foundation. The KetoPet Sanctuary (KPS) was started to give shelter dogs with terminal cancer a “forever home” and save them from euthanization. Some of these dogs were given just weeks to live when they arrived at the KetoPet sanctuary.
Once at KPS, each dog was placed on a ketogenic diet (high fat, adequate protein, and low carbohydrates) as a form of cancer treatment. Most nutritional protocols rely on faith, lacking objective metrics from which the diet can be analyzed. However, the ketogenic diet can be assessed by examining blood glucose and ketone levels. While at the KetoPet Sanctuary, blood was tested and monitored to ensure that ketosis was achieved for each dog with cancer.
In addition to nutritional therapy, KetoPet offered dogs the highest standard of veterinary and oncology care. Depending on each dog’s condition, we used therapies including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, personalized exercise programs, and hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT). These forms of cancer therapy are considered to be best-in-class for humans. We felt it necessary to do everything in our power to help dogs with cancer that came to us at KPS.
Importantly, we even used a diagnostic imaging technique called fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to image tumors and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. PET scanning is the gold standard of human diagnostics and is typically only used with humans for several reasons, including the costs and complexity of the PET device. The ability to image disease and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment through PET scanning allowed us to gain an invaluable understanding of each dog’s treatment and results. PET scanning also allowed us to visualize the incredible results we saw with implementing a ketogenic diet for dogs with hemangiosarcoma, mast cell and other forms of canine cancer.
The Keto Diet for Every Dog
While we don’t call it a cure, we’ve found that a ketogenic diet can be effective in improving outcomes when treating dogs with cancer. As well, our data support the idea that a raw keto diet can lower blood glucose, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation. Many dogs were given just weeks to live when they arrived at the KetoPet Sanctuary, often with late-stage terminal cancer.
Remarkably, 55% of the dogs who graduated from the KPS program are still going for long walks, enjoying belly rubs, eating a raw keto diet, and experiencing a quality of life far beyond their original prognosis. Some of these sanctuary dogs are even living cancer-free today. Based on these findings and data collected during our studies, we now believe that a ketogenic diet is the optimal diet for all adult dogs.
When KetoPet was originally established, our team would only work with dogs on site at the sanctuary to maintain perfect control over every aspect of the cancer therapy protocol. After these incredible outcomes, we are now determined to share what we’ve learned and bring the benefits of a raw keto diet to pet parents everywhere!
To get you started and support your keto journey, we’ve made the following resources available to all keto pet parents: