How to Prevent Breast Tumors in Dogs

How to Prevent Breast Tumors in Dogs
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Breast tumors in dogs are abnormal masses that develop from the uncontrolled and accelerated multiplication of mammary cells. They are associated with female hormones, but breast tumors do not just affect females.

It is important to clarify that a tumor is not synonymous with cancer. Tumors are also benign masses that can be harmless or have limited topical effects. These are generally removed without causing any damage to the body.

Malignant tumors are associated with a cancer diagnosis, behaving aggressively, and are capable of spreading to other tissues and organs throughout the body. This causes the phenomenon known as, metastasis.

Preventing breast tumors in dogs

It is not completely clear what causes the formation of abnormal masses in different parts of the body. Some assumptions suggest genetic predisposition of some breeds, but this has not been confirmed.

prevent breast tumors in dogs

So, the prevention of breast tumors in dogs is not always specific. However, it encompasses a series of habits and preventative actions to strengthen the dog’s immune system and keep them healthy. Below, you can find some tips for keeping your dog healthy in order to reduce the risk of developing tumors.

Preventative medicine and regular check-ups

All pets, independent of species, breed, and age, should have preventative medicine. Additionally, it is advisable to go to the veterinarian regularly, to keep vaccinations and deworming in date.

Furthermore, animals who have previously been diagnosed with a disease need to have regular check-ups. The veterinarian will order the corresponding analyses to check up on their health.

Well-balanced diet and appropriate weight

Maintaining an optimal weight is essential for the health of all species. Obesity has countless chronic diseases associated with it, such as hypertension and diabetes. Moreover, it accelerates the deterioration of the heart and increases the risk of degenerative processes in muscles and bones.

Therefore, a well-balanced diet is considered the determining factor for weight management. You need to choose a good quality food as the base of your pet’s diet, as well as avoiding a diet of human food or food rich in fats and condiments.

Older dogs need special attention. Starting at seven years old, dogs gain weight, experience a slower metabolism, have concentrated lipid cells, and lose muscle mass. This is why their diet must have a decrease in carbohydrates and fats, that is rich in high-quality proteins.

Regular physical exercise

Physical activity supplements a well-balanced diet to guarantee an active and healthy routine. Any dog diagnosed with heart disease needs short walks with regular breaks.

For that matter, a healthy and young animal should have daily walks of at least 30 minutes, with the exception of animals diagnosed with a disease that requires reduced physical activity.

Spaying and neutering: key for preventing breast tumors in dogs

Around 90 percent of breast tumors in dogs are diagnosed in adult females that have not been spayed. Furthermore, it is necessary to stress that a dog that has not been spayed, is more prone to develop diseases in the uterus and ovaries.

In addition, spaying also helps to ease hormonal and behavioral changes in females when they are in heat. The dog is calmer, stops attracting males, and does not try to escape.

In males, neutering is excellent for preventing aggressive behavior when marking their territory. Moreover, it makes training and socialization with other male dogs easier. When is the best time to neuter or spay your dog? It depends mainly on the animal’s appearance and age.

Experts recommend spaying at between six and nine months old in miniature or small females. Then, the procedure can prevent most uterine diseases and decrease the risk of breast tumors.

breast tumors dogs

As for males, they should be  neutered in the first year of their life in order to prevent both tumors and prostate diseases.

For medium-sized females and males, it is best to wait until they are 18 months old. Spaying or neutering before then could leave their body susceptible to bone cancer.

In conclusion, we understand that breast tumors in dogs usually develop and advance silently. You should watch for behavioral changes. It is important to get an early diagnosis in order to increase the chances of a cure.


The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.