Dogs and chemo

Recently diagnosed, mastectomy and stage two clearance 15th May and then most likely chemo. My husband has promised me a puppy to help me get through all of this, with the risk of infections with chemo is this wise? How have others coped with dogs and puppies at this time?

Hi there,

It’s a lovely idea but I’de wait till after the chemo.  It probably isn’t a good idea to have to be clearing up puppy mess during chemo and even if your OH agrees to do it they do require lots of energy.  Wait till after the chemo is over but have fun choosing a pup now and getting all the stuff ready for his /her arrival.



Hi Ski,


One of the February Valentines 2013 had a puppy shortly after starting her chemo. It’s just a matter of being sensible about cleaning after the pup. Perhaps you could invest in some good quality disposable gloves and hand gel. My friend found her puppy a real comfort and after her treatment she had a second one. They are delightful. It might be worth looking at the Valentines thread to see how she got on.


When and if you do start chemo, I would advise you to join one of the monthly threads for support.


Best wishes


poemsgalore xx

Hi Ski

my husband brought me a puppy after my surgery and prior to my chemo… she is sat by me as I type…she has been a welcome distraction and no trouble at all. Admittedly she is tiny…cross between yorkie and chihuahua… I am now about to have 3rd chemo next Thursday…I have always been sensible with hand hygiene etc…and have alcohol  gel dotted around the house…I would recommend to anyone…but probably not a great dane lol xxxx Good luck x

Hi Ski45 I am currently ondergoing chemo at the moment 4th session on Thursday. We have a 4 year old pointer X and I wash my hands after I have stroked her and if I have to pick up her mess I use a bag to scoop it up with. We watch her diet so any mess is solid and doesn’t smear!! A puppy will be demanding and you will feel tired also it will nees house training. I think I would wait until chemo is over for a puppy! Hope this helps.

When I went through chemo more than two years ago, my two Springer Spaniels were great company and they made sure that I took them out to take for a walk.  Admittely the walks got more flat and slower as chemo went on, but they helped me so much.



Just thought I would pop over from April thread- I am on 3rd FEC and have 2 very active border collies who keep me sane: I have to walk them and even if feel rubbish I find once I am out in the fresh air it is very uplifting! They give you so much in return and are great company and seem to know when you are feeling poorly and I wouldn’t be without mine!

As long as you know what you are letting yourself in for go for it but I do say consider a rescue. We have a rescue Springer Spaniel who is a joy and there are so many unwanted dogs out there. We got ours from the Dogs Trust about six months ago and they were very helpful we could bring her home just to see how we got on. One thing I do say though consider the cost especially if you cann’t work. Our beloved Chow Chow had to be put to sleep three weeks to the day before I got diagnosed. He was only three but had severe ostioarthritus if he could have been treated it would have cost over £20,000, as it was the treatment he did have went to over £2000 so insurance is a real must have! Our rescue although a pedigree has no papers so is classed as a cross breed so the insurance is half the price. I also have 5 parrots 4 of which are rescues and having the animals is the best therapy ever, you have to get up and look after them I was cleaning parrot cages two days after my mastectomy (don’t tell the doc!!) but am sure it has helped me regain movement and the love of the animals is unconditional they don’t mind I have bits missing!!!