How to Look After Yourself When Dealing With Caregiver Burden

with Veterinarian and Social Worker Dr. Katherine Goldberg

Welcome back to Your Dog Wants You To Know This!

How do you deal with taking on the role of pet caregiver?

We are lucky to have Dr. Katherine Goldberg with us for two episodes, so we are starting with talking about caregiver burden and pet owner self-care.

When a dog is diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, the focus is typically on them. What can we do to make them feel better? What can we do to help them? What can we do to extend their life?

Amongst all of that, we often forget about ourselves. We are not taking care of our emotional health or even our physical health sometimes. That can really take a toll on a pet parent.

We're going to cover how to care for yourself so you can take the best care of your dog, how to deal with guilt, how to deal with the stress of the illness and more.

Dr. Katherine Goldberg, DVM, LMSW, is a veterinarian and social worker. She pursued her LMSW at Syracuse University after recognizing the significant human needs that arise in medical environments – for both family members of seriously ill patients, and medical team members themselves.

A 2004 graduate of Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, she has been instrumental in developing the field of palliative medicine in veterinary environments.

She is grateful to have found a “home” in the social work profession, where social justice and the dignity and worth of each individual are core values.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

What the pet owner’s experience has to do with creating a treatment plan for an animal

Why pet owners need emotional support

How to care for yourself so that you can best care for your dog

How to overcome guilt about wanting to be a good caregiver

Why caring for a pet can feel like such a big burden

The importance of being on the same page and working towards the same goals as your veterinary team

Allowing yourself to feel the emotions that come with grieving

What anticipatory grief is

Ideas and practices to consider to help cope with grief

How to get clear on what self-care you need

We’ll be covering even more with Dr. Goldberg next week, so don’t forget to check back for the second part of this discussion. I know it will be just as good as the first!

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