In most cases, only those who have experienced their dog having cancer understand the stress associated with being their caregiver. I have personally experienced both my own dog with cancer as well as hundreds of canine cancer clients. And, I can tell you, the stress of knowing your furry best friend has cancer can be overwhelming.
If you have a dog with cancer, and you’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed, please understand those feelings are completely normal.
It’s difficult on most of us financially, emotionally, and physically. There are bills that often get shifted around cancer treatments and medications. If you’re following a specialized dog cancer diet, there is more cooking to do and more exhaustion.
Helping Yourself for Your Dog with Cancer
There’s a reason on airplanes that the flight attendant tells you to grab a mask before you help someone else. Make sure you’re okay before you help someone else. And, that’s because, how can you help anyone if you aren’t okay?
The following tips will help you take care of yourself. And, if you need to, write these down on a poster board to remind yourself daily what you need to do for yourself to care for your dog with cancer.
Drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Or, you will be too fatigued to do much of anything.
Try as hard as you can not to binge eat junk food. When people are depressed, they generally dive right into junk food and television. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting in even a little bit of exercise can prove extremely helpful.
Don’t be afraid to get help
If it’s offered, let someone help you. And, if you need to, don’t hesitate to ask. If you’re afraid to leave your dog alone, ask someone to come over for a little while so you can get out of the house. And, try not to feel guilty about it. You need time away to clear your mind and get back on track to fight along the cancer journey.
Remind yourself you’re doing the best you can
It’s normal to feel guilty, but it’s important to understand you are doing the best you can and, to your dog, that’s more than enough.
Don’t be afraid to say no
If there’s anything you’re uncomfortable with or don’t have time for, don’t be afraid to say no. If you can’t make it to a dinner party, it’s okay. Take that time to cuddle with your dog or get some rest.
Join a support group
If you look through social media outlets, you’ll likely find a slew of dog cancer support groups. These are often people who have either gone through the experience or are currently along the cancer journey. These people are invaluable.
Take a relaxing bath
For some people, a simple quiet bath can work wonders. Grab some epsom salt, light some candles, and relax in the peace and aroma.
What are you doing to take care of yourself during this difficult time?
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