Could a Change in Diet Cure Your Dog’s Cancer?

Could a Change in Diet Cure Your Dog’s Cancer?
Could a Change in Diet Cure Your Dog’s Cancer?
KetoPet Sanctuary thinks so


In an unassuming gated compound in Georgetown, Texas, something amazing is taking place. KetoPet Sanctuary is taking in shelter dogs with incurable, terminal cancer—dogs with no other options who would otherwise be euthanized—and giving them a second chance, providing them with state of the art cancer treatment to miraculous result. 

Upon pulling up at the sanctuary, located along a rural road 45 minutes outside of Austin, Texas, pretty much the first thing one notes is the enthusiasm of all present. The team’s passion and excitement is contagious. Also visiting are representatives from two local shelters, both of which have sent their dogs with cancer to the sanctuary for treatment. They sing glowing praises of the efforts of the KetoPet team. Together we wander the idyllic 53-acre facility, currently housing 26 dogs undergoing cancer treatment, including Pit Bull-mix Bill Murray and white-muzzled Dachshund cross Martha, petting dogs and getting the low-down on the ground-breaking work being done here. 

The foundation of the KetoPet Sanctuary’s cancer-fighting approach is the ketogenic diet, which is designed to slow or halt tumor growth. The diet looks like this: 80 to 90% fat (oil such as coconut, olive or MCT), 5 to 15% protein (beef) and 5% carbohydrates (vegetables). Yes, the diet is extreme, but with reason. It’s predicated on the Warburg theory, put forth by Otto Warburg in 1924. Warburg hypothesized that cancer feeds on sugar (which is what carbohydrates break down to) but that it doesn’t process fats well. The takeaway: cut out the sugars/carbs and you’ll slow or stop the cancer. 

All the dogs have weekly blood work done to monitor and evaluate the metabolic impact of the diet. CT and PET scans, conducted every 60 days, evaluate their cancers and the results being seen—results that have some prominent cancer researchers, even ones who were initially skeptical, excited. 

The folks behind this remarkable initiative are the founders of Quest Nutrition, aka the makers of Quest Protein Bars. In 2014, Quest was the second fastest growing company in the US. With a stunning half a billion dollars in current annual sales, they’ve decided to put their deep pockets behind one of the most flummoxing problems humans have ever encountered: curing cancer. Despite the tremendous money and thought that has thus far been devoted to cancer’s defeat (approximately $30 billion has been devoted to cancer research funding since 2011), frustrating little headway has been made. Undeterred by the daunting nature of the task before them, the Quest founders decided to throw themselves into the fray. 

Fortunately, the Quest team isn’t easily dissuaded. Co-founder Shannan Penna created the first 15 varieties of Quest Bars flavours by herself in her kitchen six years ago. Near everyone advised not to enter the glutted energy bar market but Shannan and her husband Ron saw an opening and went for it, proving the naysayers spectacularly wrong. 

Rather than rest on Quest’s staggering success, they’ve now created the Epigenix Foundation to fund research on how to reverse metabolic disease, asking questions—and finding answers—about the profound effect diet has in our lives. They are also dog lovers to the core. Many of the L.A.-based team meets in Santa Monica every Sunday morning with their dogs for a Bulletproof coffee—that would be coffee with butter or high-fat cream in it, a keto diet (for people) specialty—and to recap the week. Shannan had long wanted to open an animal sanctuary, and they began to see that combining the two projects could be a natural fit. From this the KetoPet Sanctuary was born.

One of the really cool things about their efforts at the KetoPet Sanctuary is that they’re not dependent on grant money and there is no lucrative drug patent at the end of the rainbow. They simply have the will and the finances to devote themselves to this problem. 

“It's a diet that is halting and reversing cancer,” says Ron, “because only nutrition works on the many, many levels required to make the reversals to metabolism required to create an environment where cancer can't take hold. We don't use nutrition as our main tool against cancer because we have some sort of ideological leaning towards food as medicine but rather because the nutritional protocol we use is more powerful than any drug currently available. And since there's no drug at the end of this rainbow, no one has been putting any money into researching this approach—until now.”

Not ones to do things in a small way, they built out a beautiful facility. The 50-plus acre complex boasts a water park for the dogs and the interior is outfitted with beds, sofas, blankets, toys, and lots of love from the staff. But the really mind-blowing features are the human-grade diagnostics they have at their disposal.

Outfitted with state of the art (and very expensive) equipment like the PET/CT scan (a nuclear medicine imaging test that uses a form of radioactive sugar to create images of body function and metabolism and can be used to evaluate normal and abnormal biological function of cells and organs), they’re devoting themselves to answer some very interesting cancer questions by assessing the ketogenic diet’s effects. 

They also have two hyperbaric oxygen chambers they employ as a complementary therapy and all of the dogs take part in metabolic conditioning or MetCon, as they call it. MetCon is another key tenant of their cancer-fighting approach, involving strenuous physical activity comprised of a very high work rate, using exercises designed to burn more calories during the workout and maximize calories burned after the workout. This type of physical activity provides a host of benefits for both humans as well as dogs, including increased heart rate (leading to greater heart health and conditioning), increased mitochondrial function and efficiency, and better nutrient partitioning abilities.

One of their most impressive success stories to date is that of Cali, a six-year-old Vizsla who underwent treatment at the KetoPet Sanctuary for hemangiosarcoma and, through the protocol, reversed six tumors and is now cancer free. Following her successful treatment, Cali was officially adopted by Shannan and Ron and was entered in this year’s American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in the Emerging Hero Dog category. The nomination was in recognition of Cali’s part in the research on nutritional intervention in the fight against cancer, the findings from which have promising applications for both people and dogs. 

A Los Angeles counterpart to the Georgetown Sanctuary is in the works, eventually, a keto diet for pets you can purchase. The KetoPet team readily acknowledges that it’s hard for owners to manage this diet on their own and aims to make it more accessible. Until then, if you know of a dog that needs help or would be a good fit for the program, email And if you’d like to donate to their efforts (the non-profit sanctuary is 501-C status pending) or want to get involved with their groundbreaking research, they would love to have your assistance. Visit to learn more about their mission and help spread the word.

What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is typically defined as a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet, but it goes beyond that. The true meaning of the ketogenic diet is any nutritional approach that encourages the body to produce ketones.

What are ketones? Ketones are simply short-chain fats that are produced in your liver to be used for energy.

Eating ketogenically and using ketones for fuel has been shown to provide a host of overall health benefits, including increased cognitive function, improved insulin sensitivity, and enhanced performance.

Add a comment

Comments (28)

Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I
can figure things out pretty quick. I'm thinking about setting up my own but I'm not sure where to begin.
Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks
Sat, 06/30/2018 - 09:16
Does your site have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd like
to send you an email. I've got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.
Thu, 08/30/2018 - 06:37
Hi it's me, I am also visiting this website daily, this web site is really
pleasant and the visitors are actually sharing good thoughts.
Sat, 09/22/2018 - 04:47
Hello, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am
also glad to share my know-how here with colleagues.
Mon, 10/15/2018 - 06:57
A good web designer should treat a text as an end
user interface. Following are a few very important tips on SEO that will work for you anytime.
Virtually method imaginable is on hand for by using blogging.
Sun, 12/30/2018 - 21:34
You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the finest blogs on the net.
I'm going to recommend this site!
Wed, 01/30/2019 - 16:23
Blogging demonstrates true commitment and passion to your
industry that you can't fake long-term. At the end, they were not able to get a desired
result and achieve nothing. Just make sure it is good,
quality subject matter!
Wed, 02/06/2019 - 12:59
I'm amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that's both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you
have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that
too few people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I found this during my search
for something concerning this.
Fri, 01/18/2019 - 15:18
I'm really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout
on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it's rare to see
a great blog like this one nowadays.
Sun, 12/02/2018 - 22:53
Or did you forget this article immediately and at the positioning?
Staying active is method to talked about on Youtube.
Unfortunately, it sometimes really is actually to make money.
Sat, 01/12/2019 - 11:43
Hi, this weekend iis good in favor off me, because this time i am reading this impressive informative article here at my house. http://xn--80aaglioc0an2al0d.xn--p1ai/bitrix/rk.php?goto=
Wed, 02/20/2019 - 07:16
This is just a short explanation goods you can potentially should reinforce, or
support, the headline. Success Story #2 - Recently I heard on a guy who
used in the form of farm side.
Sun, 12/09/2018 - 06:19
I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here.
The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over thazt you wish be delivering the
following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.
Thu, 02/07/2019 - 05:42
After looking into a number of the articles on your web
site, I seriously like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be cheking back
soon. Please visit my website as well and tell me how you feel.
Sat, 02/16/2019 - 01:36
Exactly what I was searching for, thank you foor putting up.
Sun, 02/17/2019 - 04:29
These initiatives could be at work, dwelling, or their work.
Make sure you can do too is compulsory. You need to determine what
your calorific requirements are and you can do this by looking on internet.
Sun, 09/30/2018 - 21:51
We are a group of volunteers and opening a new
scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable
info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole
community will be thankful to you.
Mon, 10/15/2018 - 23:39
Hi, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am also happy to
share my knowledge here with friends.
Sat, 10/20/2018 - 23:33
Loving the info on this web site, you have done
great job on the blog posts.
Fri, 02/15/2019 - 00:17
Every weekend i used to goo to see this web page, because i
wish for enjoyment, as this this site conations truly fastiious funny material too.
Sat, 02/16/2019 - 07:18
Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I
can figure things out pretty quick. I'm thinking about creating my own but I'm
not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
Appreciate it
Thu, 01/03/2019 - 09:18
This piece of writing will assist the internet people for creating new weblog
or even a blog from start to end.;u=51967
Fri, 02/01/2019 - 20:50
I've recently started a webb site, the info you offer on this web site has helped me greatly.
Thank you ffor all of your time & work.
Sat, 02/16/2019 - 07:08
Actually no matter if someone doesn't be aware of afterward its up to other users that they will help, so here it occurs.
Sun, 09/09/2018 - 12:30
Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I'd figured I'd
ask. Would you bbe interested iin exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?

My blog goes over a lot off the same topics as
yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you are interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic
bllog by the way!
Wed, 02/06/2019 - 17:20
If some one needs expert view about blogging after that i suggest him/her to visit this web site, Keep
up the fastidious job.
Fri, 12/07/2018 - 16:28
Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, regards.
Sun, 02/17/2019 - 17:50
It is not my first time to visit this web site, i am browsing this site dailly and take pleasant information from here everyday.
Fri, 12/28/2018 - 05:17


Dog of the Week!

Meet: Bella

More Modern Dog