Our pets are important to us. So, when dog owners are stroking their dog’s fur and feel a lump that wasn’t there before, of course they’re concerned. Tumors mean cancer, right? Actually, it isn’t automatically the case that tumors in dogs indicate a serious illness.

There are certainly benign tumors as well. Many types of fatty tumors are harmless. Even if the tumor size has you alarmed, try not to worry. Once you find out what you’re dealing with, knowing how to shrink a tumor in a dog in the next step. Let’s take a look at the types of tumors dogs experience and how to manage them.

Types of Tumors in Dogs

Types of Tumors in Dogs

Basically, tumors in dogs are either benign or malignant, and the latter is a sign of cancer. A benign tumor and a cancerous one can look similar. Therefore, determining which type of tumor your doggo has is best left to a veterinarian.

Any unusual lump or excess skin you find on your pup needs to be examined by a vet. It’s important to know that tumors that were previously benign can become malignant – another reason to check in regularly with your veterinarian.

Regarding tumors, there’s generally a difference between small and large breed dogs. Tumors in small breeds are more often benign while the tumors large breed dogs present with tend to be malignant.

Non-cancerous fatty tumors, or lipomas, are made up of fat cells and collect in fatty lumps just under the skin’s surface. You should be able to move them around a bit. Benign lipomas may feel like small soft pebbles when you find them early. Although they’re able to grow to tennis ball size, they won’t cause your pooch any pain unless they’re in a place where they restrict your dog’s movement.

Fatty tumors have cancerous cells within them but the cells are unable to spread. As your dog ages, expect that they’ll develop more of these canine lipomas. The cancerous cells in malignant tumors, on the other hand, do spread in your dog’s body.

How to Shrink a Tumor in a Dog

How to Shrink a Tumor in a Dog

When it comes to how to shrink a tumor in a dog, there are a number of different options for dog owners. Of course, some will depend on the type of tumor and the health status of your furry friend.

Medical Ways to Shrink a Tumor

Veterinary medicine offers several solutions to dealing with canine tumors. The treatments we’re going to talk about for pets are not unlike those available to human patients.


An often-used cancer treatment to shrink the size of tumors in dogs is chemotherapy. Whether or not your vet recommends this therapy will depend on what type of cancer Fido or Flo has. Some types of cancerous tumors require chemotherapy treatments in combination with surgery, while others don’t need a treatment plan that includes chemotherapy.

Skin cancers respond well to these therapy treatments. While this method is most often used for malignant tumors, chemotherapy can also be used for some benign lipomas. In this case, chemotherapy might be the method to shrink a tumor in a dog if a non-cancerous growth is impacting a dog’s life significantly.

The other thing to know about chemotherapy is that your veterinarian will take into account your dog’s age, breed, health and immune function. Some canines respond well to one type of this therapy and have poor results with others. You’ll need to be watchful for side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, loss of body weight, skin irritation and others.

If your doggo has a melanoma, hemangioscarcoma or a mast cell tumor, chemotherapy is normally prescribed. Although the treatment won’t completely get rid of the tumor, it will shrink the size and improve your pet’s quality of life and longevity.


Radiation is another common approach for how to shrink a tumor in a dog. Machines target powerful beams of radiation at the site of the dog’s tumor. The treatment effectively breaks down cancer cells, supporting the dog’s body to eliminate them.

Canine cancer patients may suffer some damage to nearby tissue that’s otherwise healthy. Results might include a rash or redness on surrounding skin and there could be some fur thinning. But these side effects are short lived. During radiation treatments your fur baby will be given anesthesia.

Dogs with particular cancers like liposarcoma, or mastocytoma may be recommended for radiation. Diseases like prostate cancer, on the other hand, are typically treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Radiation may also be prescribed for osteosarcoma (bone cancer), usually for palliative care cases.


Dogs, and human patients alike, may require surgery to remove cancerous cells. Bone cancer, for example, may require amputation of a limb. That’s because osteosarcoma or bone cancer can spread very quickly. When determining how to shrink a tumor in a dog, veterinarians will look at this option closely.

Surgery may involve removal of a benign lipoma where it’s decidedly interfering with your dog’s mobility. Bentley or Beauty needs to be able to walk and move around comfortably and if they can’t, then surgery might be necessary.

Rest assured, once pets are feeling better, they’ll adjust quite readily to the loss of a leg. They just need your care and support.

Natural, Holistic Ways to Shrink a Tumor

Alternatively, veterinarians might recommend less invasive methods to shrink the size of a tumor. If a lipoma is non-cancerous and isn’t getting in the way of your dog’s movement, trying natural remedies is an excellent course of action. Here’s a selection of some that are effective for any dog owner to use with their pooch.

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey Tail mushroom is recognized for its immune-boosting properties and ability to support cancer patients. The beta-glucans, or polysaccharopeptides, found in these mushrooms have been discovered by scientists to benefit quality of life, and prolong life expectancy with cancer.

This supplement can be an alternative to harsher treatments like chemotherapy for your canine friend, helping to prevent tumor growth. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine found that Turkey Tail mushroom actually increased the length of time dogs with cancer of the blood vessels lived.

The research looked at dogs who had been treated with chemotherapy versus others who’d only received a Turkey Tail supplement. Amazingly, the difference in survival time increased by about three months to more than 12 months for some pets in the second group of dogs. This supplement is also rich in nutrients like vitamin E.


This herb has been used medicinally for centuries. CBD oil that’s extracted from the cannabis plant is quite powerful. It’s a type of cannabinoid and is one of many naturally-occurring chemicals in the plant.

There may not be long-term clinical animal studies of dogs with cancer that were given CBD. That said, there’s considerable compelling research that CBE may have cancer-fighting qualities.

Unlike regular ones, cancer cells don’t die off on their own. This is where CBD comes it. There’s a lot of research showing that CBD may actually kill cancerous cells, preventing cancer from spreading through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.

In addition to its ability to help shrink tumors, this compound has other health benefits. It can assist with heart function, pain relief, eye and skin problems.


Turmeric powder is something else to consider when you’re looking for a natural method to help shrink the size of dog tumors. The active ingredient in this popular anti-inflammatory is curcumin. Both turmeric and curcumin have long been researched for their role in cancer treatment.

According to the American Cancer Society, “Curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread.” The substance has been demonstrated to prevent mast cell activation, assist killing osteosarcoma cancer cells, and prevent bladder cancer.

By reducing inflammation, turmeric assists with certain other chronic illness pets may have − arthritis, allergies and kidney disease to name a few. Not only that, but this helpful supplement supports increased blood flow, improves digestion, protects the liver, supports the gallbladder to secret bile, and helps control pain.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride that’s found in alcohol, might be suggested by your vet if your pooch has small tumors. Veterinarians will inject this substance to help shrink benign lipomas. One positive thing is that your doggo will not need anesthesia.

The calcium chloride procedure is relatively easy and can relieve your pup of pain associated with problematic tumors. The only discomfort might be from skin necrosis and irritation.

Hemp Seed Oil

Your dog’s immune system can get a boost from using hemp seed oil. While hemp oil and CBD oil both come from the Cannabis sativa plant species, the plants themselves have distinct qualities.

Hemp seed oil has omega-3 and omega-6 fats, both of which are anti-inflammatories and assist with immune system function. There’s definite evidence that hemp seed oil can inhibit cancer growth. Furthermore, hemp seed oil has an array of minerals such as zinc and manganese that are critical for your dog’s health.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Adding organic apple cider vinegar to dog food is another way to go. This substance can help treat lipomas and may assist in preventing them as well. Basically, apple cider vinegar supports liver detoxification while stimulating circulation and increasing energy. It works with the lymphatic system and the body’s elimination processes.

Chamomile and Dandelion

These herbs are home remedy methods that can be added to dog food by way of a tincture. They support the stomach lining and have both been used to stimulate the body’s digestion, breaking down fats. In addition, they assist the circulatory system, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the gallbladder to release bile. Cancer-fighting benefit is due to the role the herbs have in working with the liver and kidneys to remove toxins.


Chickweed is another herb that has some great attributes for treating dog lipomas. It’s an anti-inflammatory, moves fluids through your dog’s body and supports removal of toxins from tissues. A tincture of chickweed can be applied externally to your dog’s skin or taken internally by adding it to dog food.

Talking to Your Vet about Your Dog's Tumor

Talking to Your Vet about Your Dog's Tumor

As soon as you notice any lumps or bumps on your dog’s body, make an appointment for your pup with the veterinarian. In the meantime, don’t panic! Chances are, these masses are benign lipomas that can be readily taken care of.

Write down a few questions to ask your vet. It’s always a good idea to do a little of your own research. This helps you to be better prepared. For instance, you may have some thoughts about using particular supplements to try to shrink the size of a tumor and you want your vet’s opinion.

It’s crucial to listen to your veterinarian’s experience and work with them on a reasonable treatment plan to help Jasper or Jujube recover. Even if the diagnosis is a malignancy that needs to be treated surgically or with medicine, holistic treatments may still be worthwhile. Be sure that your vet is open to using natural supplements.

Our Final Thoughts

Although finding a lump on their pet can be alarming for a dog owner, there are some simple steps to sort out the problem. Most times, there’s nothing to be concerned about.

However, even if it’s cancer of the lymph nodes or brain tumors, vets have the expertise to diagnose and will know the best treatment method for your pet. Early detection is the key.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I shrink my dog's tumor naturally?

Trying natural remedies like Turkey Tail mushroom, CBD, turmeric, hemp seed oil and calcium chloride is an excellent idea.

Can CBD oil shrink tumors in dogs?

Yes, CBD oil has been shown to assist in both preventing and treating cancer.

Can turmeric shrink tumors on dogs?

Research results have demonstrated that turmeric can prevent mast cell activation, help kill osteosarcoma cancer cells, and prevent bladder cancer.