© 2012

Therapy Dogs in Cancer Care

A Valuable Complementary Treatment

  • Ground-breaking title on incorporating dogs into the cancer care arena

  • Evidence-based and developed by an expert in the field

  • Highly practical and easy to read, with tips and strategies to optimize patient outcomes

  • Dog-themed exercise program for cancer survivors


Table of contents

About this book


Dogs that visit patients with cancer have been convincingly shown to reduce stress, loneliness, and mood disturbance that may complicate cancer care. In addition, dogs may provide important motivation for patients to maintain rehabilitation programs that have been shown to reduce cancer risk and improve cancer survival. Outlining all of these issues and many more, Therapy Dogs in Cancer Care: A Valuable Complementary Treatment is a ground-breaking, highly innovative addition to the literature on cancer care.  Detailing a comprehensive summary of truly impressive research demonstrating the ability of dogs to serve an important therapeutic role within the cancer arena and in other serious medical conditions, the text provides highly practical advice and very helpful “tips” to ensure that those who wish to employ dogs to assist the cancer patient have the necessary knowledge and “tools” to optimize outcomes.  Authored by Dawn A. Marcus, MD, an expert in both pain management and health improvement through human and dog interaction, Therapy Dogs in Cancer Care: A Valuable Complementary Treatment is an extremely well-organized, well-researched, and highly readable book.   Providing practical suggestions to effectively incorporate dogs into cancer care, with detailed instructions about requirements for therapy dogs to ensure visits are safe and limit unwanted spread of infection, Therapy Dogs in Cancer Care: A Valuable Complementary Treatment is an invaluable reference that will inform and delight both the clinician desiring a “how-to” text as well as the casual reader.  

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1., Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

About the authors

Dawn A. Marcus, MD

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Oncology & Hematology


From the reviews:

“Begins with an excellent overview of how complementary therapies can help relieve cancer-related symptoms … and goes on to detail how physical activity can reduce the risk of developing and then relapsing from certain cancers. … this is a highly accessible and informative book, which is recommended for both oncology specialists and cancer patients.” (Heidi Sowter, Oncology News, Vol. 8 (3), July-August, 2013)

“An excellent resource on the use of therapy dogs as complementary treatment for cancer patients of all ages. … The book is intended for … nurses, social workers, child life specialists, patients and their family members, physical therapists, and other caregivers. This book would be beneficial for those involved in the care of patients with any serious disease modality. … should be part of the toolkit for physicians caring not only for cancer patients, but also for any patients with serious medical or psychological conditions.” (Julia D. Grimes, Doody’s Book Reviews, November, 2012)