Cancer CarePet Parenting

Should You Worry About Other Pets When One is Undergoing Chemotherapy?

Here’s what you need to know if you have other pets living with one that is undergoing chemotherapy.

two dogs with owner on beach

Article Highlights

  • Your other pets can be protected if one is undergoing chemotherapy.

  • There are some things to avoid during this time.

  • You can make little changes to keep your pets safe.

If you have multiple pets living under the same roof, you’ll need to take some precautions when one of them is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

The key is this: chemotherapy drugs are often in your pet’s system for up to 72 hours. So, the precautions you’ll be taking are only required for the 72 hours after treatment. Mark your calendar and soon this will be second nature.

The biggest risk for other pets is coming in contact with the pet undergoing chemotherapy’s urine, stool, or saliva.

Social hour

You should avoid taking your dog undergoing chemotherapy to the dog park for the 72 hour period. There is a lot of interaction with other dogs and the risk of exposure to strangers is too great. Take this time to have private playtime with your dog.

At home

There are some precautions you should take to make your home a safe environment for all the pets. The precautions at home are about saliva transfer. If your pets normally share a water bowl, you’ll need to teach them to use separate ones. You should also not let the pets play with the same toys for the first 72 hours following treatment. If you have cats, you should frequently change out the litter box during this time.

The simplest solution might be to isolate the dog undergoing treatment. This is already a stressful time for your family, so maybe there is a combination of solutions to keep the pets safe without leading them to feel they’re being punished. The pets who aren’t sick could stay with friends. The pet who is undergoing treatment could get a lot of quality time in isolation with their favorite human.