Scottish Terriers, among their many other unique attributes, have unfortunately been historically shown to be much more prone to certain types of cancers than other breeds. In particular, they are at a very high risk for bladder cancer, speaking comparatively to other terriers. Though the reasons behind this aren't exactly well known, it's almost certain that some genetic component is the primary reason. That said, there are many steps we can take to help reduce the likelihood of our Scottish Terriers contracting a potentially fatal disease.
Keep exposure to pesticides to an absolute minimum. This is especially important advice as it's likely that your Scottie will be spending a lot of time outdoors and being taken on walks. Never let him or her roam onto lawns or even into public parks where you aren't entirely sure what chemicals have been used. In addition, many public indoor areas that are carpeted, such as hotels, will have used pesticides. Find out for certain if you're going to be taking your Scottie into such an environment.
Studies have shown a definitive link between obesity and cancer in Scottish Terriers. For this reason, it's very important that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet for your Scottie. In general, your Scottie should be trim but muscular, and it's acceptable to be able to feel his or her ribs when laying your hands on the Scottie's sides. If you feel your Scottie is overweight, you'll want to get this under control as soon as possible with an improved diet and exercise.
Just as with humans, exposure to carcinogens like cigarette smoke can negatively affect the likelihood of a Scottie developing cancer.
Flea control is important to the Scottish Terrier because of their tendency to possess strong allergies. You must be careful though, when choosing which products to employ in your flea control regimen. In general, the older types of medication such as dips and powders seem to be more likely to have negative side-effects than newer products like spot-on treatments that are applied to the back of the neck.
When feeding your Scottish Terrier, try and use organic food as much as possible. In addition, feeding them certain healthy "people foods" might be beneficial. Grinding up certain types of high-fiber vegetables and berries has been shown to have very positive effects on a Scottie's diet.
Recent studies have shown that Scotties can benefit from the addition of a multivitamin to their diet. This is the case even if they are being fed premium dog foods that purport to be more nutritious than the competition.
With the prominence of cancer among the Scottish Terrier, it's very important to remain aware and vigilant of any unnecessary risks to which you are exposing your pet. Their lives just might depend on you.