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Learning that your dog has cancer can be a devastating experience. But after letting the news sink in, the best course of action is to learn as much as you can about the illness and what you can do to fight it. Here are some tips on what to do and how to cope when your dog has cancer.

sad dog with cancer

“My Dog Has Cancer”: What to Do and How to Cope with Canine Cancer


Take time to grieve.

Often, trying to deny our feelings and our emotions only makes things worse. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad and grieving about your dog having the disease. It sometimes helps to write about your feelings and talk to others about what you are experiencing.

Keep in mind, , you want to maintain good spirits around your pet — he or she can read your emotions, and if you are acting depressed, it will affect your dog and make him anxious or out of sorts as well.

Learn all you can.

If you want to know how to fight cancer in your dog, you need to learn as much as you can about it. You are probably familiar with some cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, but the more you know about each cancer treatment option available, the better decisions you will be able to make for your pet. We know how cancer is generally treated with humans, but cancer treatment for dogs is not exactly the same. For example, chemotherapy for dogs is just used to slow the growth of the cancer or reduce the size of a tumor. It is not intended as a cure, as with humans.

The most common types of cancer in dogs are: 

  • Osteosarcoma -a type of bone cancer that usually affects older animals; 
  • mast cell tumors – nodular skin tumors; 
  • Lymphoma – cancer of lymph nodes; 
  • Hemangiosarcoma – cancer of blood vessels
  • Breast, mouth and throat cancer

It is especially important to learn all you can so that you can make informed, rational decisions about your dog’s cancer treatment, rather than relying on emotions and hearsay.

There are many good books on canine cancer, how the disease grows and spreads, and the varieties of treatment available.  Another good source of information is PetMD.

Talk about it.

When making decisions about your dog’s cancer treatment, you want to get everyone involved. Talk to your spouse, your family, your vet, a veterinary oncologist, or any other specialist who has been recommended to you.

Try to have a forthright and wide ranging discussion about all of the options that are accessible before making a decision regarding treatment.


Leaving town for vacation or business? Board your dog here with us at Barney’s Ranch in Carrollton, Texas. Give us a call at (469) 273-1661 to learn more about our day- and night-boarding services.