Pets as Models

Naturally-occurring animal models are increasingly being understood as a valuable tool for studying disease and its treatment in humans. The diseases our pets face are very similar to those that occur in humans.


Why Domestic Pets?

Compared to other animals, domestic pets have:

  • - Increased life expectancy
  • - Better preventative medicine (dog owners spend an average of $225 annually on routine veterinary visits)
  • - Similar environmental exposure to toxins and carcinogens as humans


Why Dogs?

There are 77.5 million owned dogs in the US, and 39 percent of American households own at least one.  Twenty-five percent of all dogs will develop some form of cancer, and they are:


  • - Twice as likely to develop lymphoma as humans
  • - Four times more likely to suffer from breast cancer
  • - Eight times more likely to develop bone cancer
  • - Thirty-five times more at risk than humans for developing some times of skin cancer.


What cancers affect both owners and pets?

Many of the cancers in dogs and humans are similar. For example, the most common tumor of dogs, B- cell lymphoma, is nearly indistinguishable from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans. Similarly, osteosarcoma of large breed dogs is nearly identical to the most common bone tumor of children.


The TVCR will provide a resource for owners of pets with naturally-occurring disease in order to help identify clinical studies and experimental treatments. This will provide treatment that is helpful to the animal as well as provide data that may help advance research into the same diseases of humans. If you would like to include your pet in research to benefit your pet and people, please register your pet today.