Endorsed by the European Oncology Nursing Society

Who can help with pet care?

Who can help with pet care? image

Pets bring their owners affection, love, companionship, and a sense of security.1 They can provide comfort while you are undergoing active cancer treatment.1,2 But what happens if you cannot take care of your pet for a while?

Here are some tips to help you with pet care at this time:3

  • Ask any friends, family, and neighbours living close by; they may be able to help care for your pets while you are unwell by dropping in to feed them, or by taking your dog out for a walk
  • Ask trusted friends or family to look after your pet in their own home; this is a good option if you know you will not be away from home for long
  • Consult with your vet; he or she may know of local volunteer organisations ready to help you
  • Take your pet to a boarding kennel
  • If a boarding kennel is too expensive, perhaps consider fostering services
  • Plan for emergencies; find one or two people who can look after your pet at short notice

Look for a second home for your pet. Although you may not be ready to part now, it is a good idea to plan ahead and find a friend, relative, or re-housing scheme to take care of your pet in the future. You can also include care instructions in your will.






  1. Walsh F. Human-animal bonds II: the role of pets in family systems and family therapy. Fam Process. 2009;48:481-99.
  2. Larson BR, et al. Cancer patients and their companion animals: results from a 309­patient survey on pet­related concerns and anxieties during chemotherapy. J Cancer Educ. 2010;25:396-400.
  3. NHS. Care of your pets. Accessed March 2016.