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special needs dogs

Special Needs Dogs: How To Give Your Disabled Pets The Best Life

Taking care of special needs animals will always involve a lot of efforts. It’s in no way an easy job even for people with experience. Sadly, this is also the reason why so many animals with disabilities can’t find their forever home. People are afraid of having to bear those struggles, thus many special needs dogs are confined to the shelter all their life. They are either abandoned by irresponsible owners, or no one is willing to adopt them.

So, what can we do about this situation? Is caring for a special needs dog really worth the efforts?

Why Should You Adopt A Dog With Disabilities?

You can imagine having an impaired dog will resemble having a disabled child, and even their disabilities can be quite similar. Apart from physical impairments, dogs can even show symptoms similar to autism and down syndrome as well.

However, having a special needs dog is such a meaningful experience. They require more of your attention and patience, therefore strengthen the love between you two. 

With all the stories and knowledge shared all around, taking care of dogs with disabilities is not as much of a difficulty as it used to be. Many people now feel encouraged to take on this wonderful journey and start adopting more. They strive to give their special needs canine friend the love they deserve. You can check out the story of Smiley – the blind dog who had spread positivity to everyone.

special needs dogs
Smiley the blind therapy dog, who brought joy to everyone with his smie
This is certainly great news to animal lovers. But before you consider adopting a special needs dog yourself, pay attention to these important information. There is a lot of research required for the task, and we hope that you take careful reviews before going to a shelter near you.

What You Should Prepare Before Adopting

Finance

Let’s be honest, tending to a special needs animal requires not just effort, but money as well. Depending on the condition and disabled degree of the dog, the expenses to support their demand will be different.
However, in general, you’d still need to prepare for the extra costs such as therapy, equipment, medicine, … Not to mention, there are also fees for professional veterinary care if the animal’s condition unexpectedly affects its well-being.
This is especially important for first time owners who are looking to adopt. Consider your financial status and ability to pay the vet bills before making the final decision.

Proper equipment

Different disabilities also call for different supplementary equipment. For example, dogs might need wheelchairs, diapers or special harnesses if they have physical disabilities. You may need to install ramps, door barriers and other safety gears as well. Make sure to know the exact condition of the dog you wish to adopt, so that you can be well prepared for any situation.
special needs dogs
It's important to be well prepared before adopting a special needs dog

A safe environment

Another important necessity for any house with a special needs dog. Because of their impairment, they are more prone to run into accidents and hurt themselves. They are also more sensitive than normal dogs. Make sure that your home is free of unwanted hazards, or anything that can stress out the animal.

Available time for your dog

You’d need to spend as much time with your dog as possible. This is to manage their condition and take care of them whenever they need. This doesn’t mean you have to always be with the dog, but the time you spend together should be maximized. If you have a busy schedule and need to leave your dog at home alone most of the day, this might not work out well.
Special needs dogs need extra care and attention, so make sure you have the time for them

Consultation with a professional

Finally, before adopting a special needs dog, you might want to consult with a professional for all of the above. They will give you more detailed advice on your situation and what you need for the dog’s condition. It’s important to get properly informed in order to lessen the stressful experience you might have in the future.

Once you are certain that you can meet all the requirements, and are prepared both financially and mentally, then you’re ready to take on this amazing journey.

How To Take Care Of Special Needs Dogs

Plan out a specific schedule for special needs dogs

It’s extremely important for owners of handicapped dogs to plan out a precise daily routine. Creating this routine can be challenging at first, since you have to constantly alter it to match with both you and your dog’s demands. Occasionally, unexpected changes can happen, and adjusting them into a routine that’s already too familiar can confuse the dog.
special needs dogs
However, don’t be discouraged – building schedules and habits like this will eventually make everything easier. You can regularly manage the care needed for the dog without missing any exercise or medication. At the same time, your dog will be less likely to misbehave, since they know what will happen in the day.
Remember, the purpose of the schedule is to benefit both you and your canine friend. Therefore, to achieve the best result, it’s essential to keep following the schedule and maintain it strictly.

Prepare all required equipment for special needs dogs

As we previously suggested, the correct equipment will play important roles in aiding the life of your disabled dog. For example, after adopting a blind dog, you should already install safety barriers inside the house, so that he doesn’t run into accidents. The gears vary depending on the dog’s condition, some even need to be customized to its size and special demands.
See how a proper equipment can make a dog extra happy in this video:

Find support for special needs dogs

It’s great if you are an experienced disabled pet owner and already know what you need to do. However, for the first time owners reading, you should not try to deal with the problems on your own. There is plenty of support around you, and you can always learn one thing or another from them.
It can be other special needs dog owners around your area. It can be your vet, or any dog training video you find on Youtube. What’s important is that this will have longer term effects on the way you care for special needs animals. Getting the right knowledge and recommendations from other experienced owners will undoubtedly help a lot.
There will always be support around for you and your special needs dogs
In all honesty, it’s not easy taking care of special needs pets. You’ll sometimes feel that you’re alone with the struggles, without anyone to relate to. As a responsible owner, you should also carefully consider a dog that fits your lifestyle, and your ability to provide them with required support before adopting.
However, it’s extremely rewarding joy seeing the progress your furry friend has made. They will bring you the joy worth all the extra love and care you gave to them.

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