Pets can be a source of comfort and companionship during cancer treatment, especially if you are on your own a lot.
However you need to be aware that when you are undergoing chemo you are more prone to catching infections from your dogs as the chemo drugs can lower the amount of white blood cells which are needed to fight disease.
The American Cancer Society has advice on their website about how to protect yourself from your pets while on chemo.
They recommend washing your hands after stroking your dog and avoiding handling any animal waste such as litter trays as this can increase your chance of getting an infection.
They also suggest having your dogs checked for any infection or illness before you start treatment.
Being on chemo should not cause any harm to your dogs and there is no reason not to walk your dogs while you are on chemo as long as you feel up to it.
It might be a good idea to discuss your concerns with your oncology team when you next see them.
You could also call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
Please note our Helpline will be closed on Saturday 17 November for training purposes.
Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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I'm about to start chemo hopefully. It's just me and my husband at home now with our two dogs. My dogs are really tuned in to things being different and are unsettled. Is it safe for them to sleep on bed during day while I have chemo? My husband will be at work and I feel guilty that they seem abandoned at times. No dog walkers available I'm my area so want to make sure they are happy. When they're with me upstairs they just settle and sleep. Obviously they're vaccinations are up to date, they don't jump around so no real fear of scratches although I'm aware to clean right away. What is best approach? Also could my chemo harm them?