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

Why Your Personality Is So Important to Your Dog with Cancer

Updated: October 10th, 2018


Dr. Dressler, author of the best-selling book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, points out that every dog owner has different approaches, values, and ideas when it comes to treating their dog’s cancer. As in every other area of life, choosing cancer treatments is not a one-size-fits-all situation.

That said, most dog owners do fit into one of three types, each of which makes really different choices when it comes to treatments for their dogs.

Each type has different priorities, and knowing where you fit – or where you fit best – is important, because it will help you establish your own priorities and make decisions easier. Some Guardians even use these “types” to talk to their veterinarians about their decisions.

Which type sounds most like you?

Type A Personality

“I will do everything I can to stop the cancer. Quality of life is important, and my main goal is to keep my dog alive for as long as possible, so he has every chance to beat the cancer. I understand that side effects can occur, as a result of treatment and I’m willing to deal with them when they arise. The risk is worth it, because the ultimate payoff is remission and/or more time with my dog.”

Type B Personality

“I want to keep my dog’s life quality high, while prolonging her life as much as possible. I understand that there may be some side effects with treatment and I’m willing to deal with them as they arise.  However, if they are too extreme, I will not be happy. My main goal is to balance life quality and life expectancy.”

Type C Personality

“I want to keep my dog as comfortable as possible. I understand that side effects may arise as a result of treatments, and I want to avoid any but the most minor. My main concern is my dog’s quality of life, so, I am not willing to prolong life, if life quality suffers.”

Why Your Type Is Important to Your Dog

Each Type loves their dog to pieces. But they may handle things differently.

Over the many years we’ve been talking to guardians with cancer, we’ve come to realize that Dr. D is correct: knowing your own Type may be critical to understanding how you should approach dog cancer. No one type is “best,” but each type has their own values to consider.

We have met Type A guardians spending tens of thousands of dollars on treatments, who could easily afford it. We have also known Type A guardians who took second (or third) jobs or who refinanced his home to pay for treatments.

On the other hand, we’ve met Type C guardians who are very comfortable financially and could afford to spend tons of money, but declined expensive conventional treatments, because they were not in line with their values.

Your personality type will also play out in how much time you can spend with your dog, what types of treatments you choose, and whether you hire an oncologist or a massage therapist.

No matter what type of guardian you happen to be, using Dr. Dressler’s Full Spectrum approach to cancer care will help. It covers conventional treatments, nutraceuticals, supplements, diet, and mind-body strategies, and there’s something (and more and more and more) for everyone.

Part IV of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, which deals with making confident decisions about your dog’s treatment, will be especially helpful. Dr. Dressler walks you through each step and helps you to clarify your own thinking, so you can really work with your team, as the leader.

(Because all Types are the “pack leaders” when it comes to their dog’s care. Right? Right.)

You can register for the Dog Cancer Kit, which includes the paperback and digital editions of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, along with many other goodies, here: [button icon=heart]Get the Dog Cancer Kit[/button]

Best Wishes & Doggy Kisses from Our Homes to Yours,

Dog Cancer Vet Team

(The Team of Dog Lovers Who Understand What It Means to Have a Dog with Cancer)

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