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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

What Are Some Psychosomatic Tools to Help My Dog’s Cancer?

Updated: March 16th, 2020

In the last post, we looked at the connection between your dog’s brain chemistry and an explanation of general ways you can use this knowledge to help fight canine cancer.

Now, let’s focus on some specific techniques that can be used in day to day life.

Brain Chemistry Modification in Dog Cancer Treatments??

It is clear now that your dog’s brain chemistry has a major impact on cancer development and progression.  By changing this brain chemistry, we can help your dog. (This is the fifth step of Full Spectrum cancer care.)

Long-term mental states like boredom, lack of social interactions (loneliness), aggravation, lack of physical release (little exercise), and few opportunities to build self-esteem all lead to stress. And stress is bad for healing. This is extensively documented in published studies.

Translation? Address boredom, loneliness, exercise, and self esteem, and you may get longer and (maybe more importantly) better life.

There is an entire chapter on brain chemistry modification … scratch that. Basically, the whole book is focused on quality of life. If your dog has cancer, you should get it.

It is clear that we need to pay attention to our four-legged family members to make sure we fix the brain chemistry that leads to cancers.

How to Change Our Dog’s Brain Chemistry for the Better

Some of the best ways to help our dog’s brain chemistry are by stimulation.  This can be done in many different ways, depending on your dog’s preferences and abilities.  Build these into your daily calendar, and make sure you:

  • Praise, praise, and praise more for accomplishments, big and small!  Let your dog feel your excitement for their accomplishments.
  • “Beam” at your dog when you see them. Let them see how happy you are just to see them.
  • Alter your dog’s environment. Take trips to new places.
  • Change the route you take to walk your dog.
  • Increase your dog’s number of walks.
  • Provide your dog with new toys and use them to interact.
  • Schedule play dates with other dogs.
  • Bring your dog to dog parks for social interaction.
  • Bring your dog to places where there are new people, or bring new people to your dog.
  • Engage in new physical activities (stairs, hikes, change the pace of the walk, etc.)
  • Start new gentle training programs (sit, shake, fetch, roll, stay, heel, catch, etc.)
  • Use different brushes and combs and switch them up for frequent home grooming sessions.
  • For older dogs, try warm compresses before exercise, then cool ones afterward.
  • Massage your dog.  Meditate with your dog. Question and talk to your dog.

Your own dog probably has his own list of things that makes him super happy. Be sure to add her specific favorites to the list above. Don’t put limitations on these things.  You will be surprised at what your loved dog is still capable of!

Consistency Matters

Don’t just do these things a few times, and then forget. Do them consistently, as many as possible. Stick to this fiercely.  Without discipline, life’s flow will carry you downstream, leaving your dog on the bank of the river.

You will be amazed at how good it makes both you and your dog feel. Life quality matters, people!

The Dog Cancer Survival Guide gives you the roadmap and tools you need in this difficult time.


Dr D


Leave a Comment

  1. Judith Conigliaro on July 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Aside from the best nutrition, Dr. Jones’ Supplement formula and proper follow-up vet care, is why my dog has lived two years after being diagnosed with bladder cancer and given six months to live. I elected not to have the surgery or chemo or radiation. I am home everyday with her and I my interaction with her on a daily basis as well as making sure she’s exercised and walked every day has proved the best possible care. I talk to my dog all the time. Even my vet is surprised at how this tumor has been kept at bay. This is a great article and it should be taken seriously. Do your dog and yourself a favor – enjoy life together. Make time to be active with your pet and communicate with them on a regular basis. It works!

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