In the works (draft): Ketosis and Fasting – considering these nutritional strategies for increasing longevity in dogs/cats, the many health benefits and some adaptations for carnivores

Why this is just a draft: I was putting together a Facebook post that just got longer & longer as I wrote it..I soon realized this should really be a blog post instead.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do a full blog post on this BIG and very important , SUPER interesting (to me!) topic right now — but, I promise to come back to add more to this ASAP.

For now…please check out an extended version of my original Facebook post:

This episode of the Dr. Ruscio podcast contains information that I think is helpful for all my SFRAW people managing/dealing with cancer in their dogs/cats and with a focus on a ketogenic diet/ketosis in their animals. The discussion is about human treatments/protocols, but it provides some useful information that we can utilize when considering dietary strategy for our animals when managing a cancer Dx.

Of particular interest to me right now is cycling in/out of ketosis, and when to do this. This is newer to me and may be helpful to learn about.  There are so many good resources on this topic right now — I’ll soon list my favorite resources here.


And, while this is not new, it may be new/helpful to some to learn that a ketogenic diet is not always the most suitable or effective nutritional plan for every type of cancer.

Check out Dr. Kresser’s episode about ketosis and cancer for even more research based information on this interesting topic.

Also, I very strongly suggest learning more from Valter Longo’s excellent work/research on fasting, and how important this may be for longevity/cancer prevention. Of course, his program’s focus on consuming beneficial fat and deriving most of our nutrients from vegetable matter would not be suitable for our carnivores at all (dogs and cats can’t convert/metabolize nutrition from vegetable sources the way that humans can/do).

Please note that Dr. Longo’s vitamin C recommendation may not be applicable to anyone eating a primarily carnivorous diet and some dogs cannot tolerate any added vitamin C in the diet at all — dogs actually do make their own! — but the fasting information and focus on exercise is key to achieving longevity and wellness for our animals, IMO.

When fasting is utilized as part of a cancer treatment protocol, we are seeing even more effective results and reduced side-effects from allopathic care. In my opinion, incorporating fasting into our animal’s nutrition schedule is even more vitally important for our dogs & cats, as carnivores, than it is for us.

Fasting can be done in many different ways for dogs/cats. Below please find my usual suggestions:


  • follow a daily 18/6-hour fasted/feeding window or similarly scheduled intermittent fasting routine (this works best for dogs with health issues, especially skin/GI and autoimmune conditions or cancer);
  • feed one meal per day – at night;
  • feeding a mid-day meal and evening meal – Juliette de Bairacli Levy recommended 12-noon & 7pm mealtimes for dogs/cats;
  • feeding two evening meals — one main early evening meal and one small snack just before bed;
  • regular, few days/week partial fasting = “bone-only” days, minimizing volume of food/caloric intake on certain days or every other day, for example
  • schedule one full day a week for fasting = the standard raw feeding suggestion. When I first started raw feeding in 1989, I did this for years with my animals or we had a “bone-only” day – fasting as part of the weekly routine is a basic raw feeding/Natural Rearing suggestion.

OPPORTUNISTIC OR “AS NEEDED” SPONTANEOUS FASTING SCHEDULE  You may choose to incorporate fasting into your dog/cat’s life in other ways that are less rigorously followed or regularly scheduled. For example:

  • allow for periods of fasting whenever their bodies are unwell/overwhelmed/taxed/stressed by infection or other acute conditions and need a break; a 3-4 day fast “reset” and break on the GI tract/metabolism can provide miraculous recovery/health gains for dogs/cats in acute crisis *most* of the time
  • use a more relaxed fasting schedule where you use fasting any time the animals are crashed out after a big day and/or not “asking” for dinner or seeking a meal;
  • fasting whenever you don’t have something defrosted /ready to feed – view these “oops” days as a fasting opportunity, not a fail! Yay.

Spontaneous fasting days are welcome and occur, as needed. I also fast on the first day of any travel with my dogs — it makes traveling easier on them, I have found.

You can learn a little more from Dr. Karen Becker on the topic of fasting dogs & cats here.

Several key health benefits of fasting that our animals may also benefit from are listed here.

One thought on “In the works (draft): Ketosis and Fasting – considering these nutritional strategies for increasing longevity in dogs/cats, the many health benefits and some adaptations for carnivores

Leave a Reply