How small dogs help cancer patients:  Having a Small Dog Can Boost Positivity for Cancer Patients

Small Dogs Help Cancer Patients, by Frankie Wallace  Published 03-24-2024

Cancer is a battle you never wanted to have to fight, but now you are in it, and you’re determined to win. The good news is you don’t have to fight your battle alone.

The support of friends, family, and healthcare providers is essential, of course. But we’re not talking about them. We’re talking about a little being that’s a lot smaller, a lot furrier, and, from ear tip to wagging tail, overflowing with joy.

How small dogs help cancer patients:  A Corgi in the snowHow Small Dogs Help Cancer Patients

If you’re fighting cancer, the prospect of welcoming a tiny fur baby into your life might feel overwhelming. But as you fight to regain your health, there is nothing like having a little ten-pound bundle of love right beside you.

This article will show how having a small dog may be the perfect prescription for your physical, emotional, and psychological health during what may be the most challenging time in your life.

Body and Soul

If you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, you don’t need anyone to tell you that stress and anxiety are the prices of admission into this warriors’ club.

You may recover from treatments and procedures more slowly, and you may even have more frequent and more prolonged hospital admissions.

One of the best ways to manage anxiety is to get out and to be active. Regular, gentle exercise such as taking a walk around the neighborhood each evening, can help you control your anxiety and reduce your overall stress.

When you’re undergoing cancer treatment, though, it can be hard to find the physical stamina or even the mental wherewithal to get out and get moving.

If you’re a fur parent, though, you don’t have a choice. Nature’s call waits for no man or woman. Unless you enjoy your little Fifi, Bruno, or Chainsaw leaving presents around the house, you’re going to find the motivation you need to take that walk after all.

That means that you’ll be getting the benefits of regular physical activity, which supports your cardiovascular and immune health. You’ll also be working off those daily fears, worries, and frustrations that are part and parcel of living with a cancer diagnosis.

And you’ll have a reason to keep it up even when you may not much feel like it because you have a little life depending on you. Little Guido can give you the reason you need to get out of bed and through the front door when you can’t find much of one on your own.

Stress Relief in a Fur Coat  

Any fur parent knows that the benefits of having a pet are far more than physical. It’s not just about the physical activities involved in their care. It’s also about the social and the spiritual gifts that such unconditional love and such unmitigated joy provide.

When you have your fur baby with you, you’re just going to enjoy life more. Whether you’re sitting on the couch watching television or taking your fur child on her daily walks, you’ll have the best little companion in the world.

And as you get out into the fresh air and watch your fur child’s wonder as she explores the big world, you might just find yourself filled with wonder too. Their joy is contagious. Their cuteness is irresistible. You’ll also find yourself connecting with new people, thanks to that tiny fuzzy magnet by your side.

You’ll find yourself reminded to take joy in the present moment. Following the example of your wet-nosed little guru, you’ll forget to worry about tomorrow or regret yesterday.

In other words, you’ll learn to practice mindfulness because your furry companion will accept nothing less than your absolute attention. 

The Takeaway From Small Dogs Help Cancer Patients

Cancer is a cruel beast. It has no mercy, and it takes no pity. And the only way to fight it, to indeed win against it, is through the power of love, joy, and positivity.

As humans, those are gifts that can be hard to hold onto, especially in challenging times.  As any pet parent knows, however, those are precisely the gifts animals bring to us in infinite amounts.

And it seems that the smaller the package, the greater the love, the more unrestrained the happiness.

The benefits that a small dog can bring to the life of someone fighting cancer are seemingly endless. Taking care of your fur child means getting the physical activity you need to build your strength and keep your body moving.

But even more important, your tiny housemate may also become your greatest strength and your best teacher.  They show you how to connect with others and find joy in the moment. Your small dog will show you how love can and does cast out fear.

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Author Bio (Small Dogs Help Cancer Patients)

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. If her spirit animal could be anything, it would be a beagle--inquisitive, and always searching for food.

Other Articles on Small Dog Place by Frankie Wallace

Small Dog Obesity: Your Dog Isn't Chunky--It's Obese

The Benefits and Challenges of Having Pets in the Workplace

How-to - Guide Your Senior Dog Into Aging with Ease

How A Dog Can Promote Healthy Living

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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