Together we will beat cancer


Pet therapy for cancer patients?

22 Feb 2017 14:13

Can canine companionship help to heal? Does cuddling a furry friend make you feel better?

This article about pet therapy for cancer patients certainly thinks so, and I’m inclined to agree! According to the piece, pet therapy has been studied extensively and found to have an ‘extremely positive effect on the emotional well-being and quality of life of mesothelioma patients.’

Apparently, those who’ve used this type of therapy have reported reductions in their feelings of stress, grief, loneliness and isolation.

It sounds brilliant (if you’re an animal lover!), and something that could make treatment and recovery feel a whole lot more bearable.

What do you think? Would you welcome pet therapy? Do you have a pet who provides warmth, comfort and love after a hard day? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


Pet therapy for cancer patients?

4 Mar 2017 05:51 in response to Moderator Helen

I would love to have a soft fury friend to cuddle, but my husband doesn't want another dog. I know how wonderful that kind of therapy can be. I am experiencing many side effects from chemo and radiation for anul cancer. It's been 3 months since my last radiation treatment. So sad

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

5 Mar 2017 07:09 in response to golf71

Hi this may sound bizarre but what about a childs cuddly toy dog. I read years ago about pet therapy and it said it's the stroking action that relaxes you and.lowers stress and heart rate. Would your husband compromise and agree on a different pet, rabbits make good indoor pets and can be toilet trained to use a cat litter tray. Good luck with your recovery

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

14 Mar 2017 18:23 in response to Moderator Helen

Following surgery for Oesophageal cancer I got cocker spaniel puppy as a well done present. We picked him up on the first day of the start of 9 weeks of chemo. Lots of family and friends thought I was made taking on such a big responsibility. Although I had an easy time of pre op chemo, post op hit me hard. I can honestly say, there were many days when I really did not want to face the world, many days when I wS violently ill, many days when I had no strength. But I had a new puppy, my husband had had to return to work and we had no support network. Scout, my saviour had to be house and leash trained and I had to get up and moving everyday. Scout got me through that horrendous time, simply looking after him and enjoying cuddles took aware my fears, and anxiety. Scout is now six months old and I have returned to work for a few hours a day. I am still recovering, but he is my constant companion, everyday is a joy .i think pet therapy of any kind should always play a vital part in cancer patients recovery. To see Scouts sheer joy in life always gladdens my heart and a stroke and cuddle with him calms my anxiety. 

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

3 Jul 2017 21:38 in response to Moderator Helen

I used to have a border collie who was a therapy dog. I used to take him to the local hospital and my local hospice. I am not too sure who enjoyed it the most the patients , the nurses or my dog !

we no longer have a dog as he sadly passed away but I can say nothing beats the way of that tail and the unconditional love. 

The smiles and uplifted mood that used to happen not just in my life but the lives of everyone my dog met certainly makes me think this is a big yes.

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

13 Aug 2017 14:56 in response to Moderator Helen


I also had breast cancer 8 years ago and i have got 2 more years of being in remission.

Having being diagnosed with cancer i took a different vieew on life especially when i lost all of my hair i was told to wear a wig when i was outside but i would not wear one.

Having cancer is draining and tiring but it's weather we have the determination and will power to suceed. So i  know what you went through.

I would welcome that idea 


Louise ( Cancer surviver )

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

28 Aug 2017 18:41 in response to Jasperthebear
Hi Jasperthebear, I am a nurse working on oncology/haematology unit. I got a cockapoo puppy this spring, and the therapeutic benefit of having a dog around is far more greater than I anticipated. I then started thinking about training my puppy to be a therapy dog and bring her to the hospital where I work on my off days because I am so sure that there will be many patients who would enjoy visits from a furry four legged friend. What I do not know is how I can exactly train my dog to be a therapy dog. If you have got any advice, it is greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

28 Aug 2017 19:23 in response to Moderator Helen

Yet again I appear to be the odd one out. Though it's obvious that pets have a positive effect on patients, in all circumstances I've heard about, we have a labrador, a great dog, but I rarely go near him.

Due to my being overly cautious with infection.

So far I've avoided infection, even though I'm immunocompromised, apart from sepsis due to radiotherapy induced colitis.

Pet therapy for cancer patients?

28 Aug 2017 21:36 in response to Amber2017

Hi Amber. Check out Pets As Therapy. They are an organisation who assess your dog and register it as a therapy dog. Basically as long as your dog is good with strangers and doesn't react badly to a sudden bang ( a broom dropping on the floor ) and doesn't steal food or snap I think you will find you are fine. I remember having to walk my dog on the lead and show I had full control too. But once you are registered ( thus includes proving all the dogs vaccinations are up to date ) you are on your own when you visit so just be very aware of your dog and that it doesn't get too tired or probably too fat from all the treats it will get given . Good luck and let me know how you get on