Finding Support When a Pet Has Cancer
A cancer diagnosis for a cherished pet companion can be devastating. It is a time of uncertainty as you walk this journey of diagnosis and treatment with your best friend and knowing what to expect or how to work through your own feelings can be hard.
During these difficult times, support groups can be tremendously beneficial. Pet owners can draw upon the support and compassion of those who have been in or are going through similar circumstances with their pets. Pet support groups can also help to alleviate isolation by connecting you to others who truly understand when dealing while a pet has cancer.
Pet Support Groups
Pet support groups range in focus from dealing with difficult pets to pet grief and loss support and can be found in most urban areas throughout the U.S. For pet parents whose beloved fur friends are going through cancer treatments, these groups not only provide empathy but also can be informative, including hearing from others who are caring for pets with cancer.
When a pet is ill and going through treatments like radiation or chemotherapy, it can be difficult to remember the importance of self-care. Being surrounded by understanding pet owners can help engage you to your own emotions, remember to be gentle with yourself and allow you the chance to talk through some of your feelings and concerns.
Recommended in-person and online support groups:
- Day by Day – Offering pet caregiver support and both local (Mid-Atlantic Region) and online support circles
- University of Pennsylvania, Chloe’s Caregivers Group – In-person group support and phone consultation for those with chronically or terminally ill pets (or those who have recently lost a pet)
- Sanctuary Counseling – Grief and loss support groups in Douglassville and Collegeville, PA
- Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, (215) 746-8247 – Pet cancer support group offered on the 3rd Thursday of every month, along with counseling services
- Georgia’s Legacy – Online pet cancer support
- Delphi Pet Cancer Support Group – Online forum
- Pets with Cahttp://www.fightcaninecancer.com/petcancersupport.htmlncer Group – Yahoo online group for anyone with a pet currently struggling with a cancer diagnosis
The team at Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center also offer a list of resources and support services to assist pet owners.
Other Sources of Support When Your Pet Has Cancer
Along with in-person and online peer groups, there are other resources for self-care, healing, sharing, connection, and support through your pet’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. Some individuals find personal counseling to be empowering and a good resource for ongoing support and encouragement.
Reaching out to friends and loved ones for help with errands, assistance with car rides to appointments and treatments and a shoulder to cry on or someone to share with can be wonderful ways to get support.
We also encourage you to contact your friends at VOSRC for additional recommendations on resources, as well as support groups and counseling services. While this journey with your pet can be scary, we want to stress that you are not alone; there are many friends who understand how you are feeling and the love you have for your precious pet.
Please call us for more information.