Caring for a Special Needs Dog

Caring for a Special Needs Dog

If you’re like most animal lovers, you’ve got a special place in your heart for animals with special needs. While it can be tempting to bring them into your home and care for them, it’s important to understand the extra care and provisions a special needs dog requires. You need to be willing to take on those responsibilities before deciding to adopt a pet with special needs. Chances are if the pet you’ve had develops special needs, you’re going to jump into doing whatever they need. These care tips can help in both cases.

Coordinate with Your Vet

If you’re considering adopting a special needs dog, talk to your vet about what specific care he or she will need. A blind dog or cat will require a different set of care and lifestyle changes than a pet with diabetes. Your vet can help you understand the modifications you may need to make to properly care for this pet.

If you see signs that your pet may be developing a special need such as blindness, deafness or diabetes, consulting with your vet will help you confirm or disprove the suspicions. If the vet does confirm your suspicions, he or she will also be able to provide you with care instructions.

Keep a Consistent Schedule

Pets with special needs often do better with a consistent schedule. Diabetes medication needs to be administered at specific times. Blind or deaf pets can also be anxious or confused. Keeping a consistent schedule helps them stay calm and understand the expectations of the household.

Put It on Their Collar

Special needs dogs should always be walked on a leash and cats with special needs shouldn’t be allowed outside. Even with those precautions, it’s possible that the pet will slip out and get lost. In addition to the usual contact information on the ID tag, add a line or two about your pet’s special needs. That way, when the pet is found by a kind stranger they’re more likely to receive the care they need while waiting to be reunited with you.

What other tricks have you used to help your special needs pet?

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Sarah Woodard is a freelance writer based in Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys bringing stories, issues and topics to life with words and pictures. In addition to writing, Sarah is a beekeeper, Reiki Master Teacher and black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and playing with their four cats.

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