Roughly 50% of our dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives. There are so many factors beyond our control as owners, but it's important to do everything possible to try and deal with the situation appropriately.The only positive lining you could find when your dog is diagnosed with cancer will be how many other dog parents you'll find who feel exactly the same way. As it's such a common disease for pets, you'll be in good company of other stressed and heartbroken pet owners.
Source: Nashua Animal Hospital
Here are some things you can do once your dog is diagnosed, while bearing in mind that a diagnosis is not a death sentence.1 Trust yourselfDon't allow yourself to be pressured by everyone around you into making decisions... Do what's right for you, your family and your dog. Some people choose to put their pup down right away to avoid suffering, while others don't have the money for treatment, and some people go ahead with treatment because it's their belief.
It's important to be true to yourself - there is no right or wrong answer. Take advice from your veterinarian and discuss your dog's health, age, overall wellbeing and chances of survival with them. Make an informed decision but don't let anyone persuade you to do something you feel uncomfortable with.2 Trust your medical teamIf you decide to treat your pup, get the best medical team you can find and afford. Canine oncologists are veterinarians that specialise in cancer and you will be working closely with them and their team. It's important to form a strong bond with this group of people as they'll be the ones answering all your questions, and you're going to want honest and informed answers.
3 Trust your support groupsEven if you don't have any support groups in your area, we live in a technological age. There are hundreds of groups and communities on the internet that offer support for animal lovers who are suffering through a difficult time with their pets.Find comfort in family and friends that love your dog too, but stay away from friends who tell you to "get over it" because it's "just a dog". Millions of dog lovers and parents out there will understand exactly what you're going through, as well as be able to provide some good advice from their first-hand experiences.
Search for groups like Project Cleo, aimed at providing "Bliss sessions" for families in Minnesota who would like to capture special moments with their dogs. There are many people in this community who have experienced the loss of a pet and will be able to provide support.Featured image: Project Cleo