Are you planning to adopt a special needs dog? Or maybe you already have one, and you’re not quite sure how to take care of them? Then this article will help you keep your special needs dog happy and healthy.
Caring for one can be challenging and scary but with the right help, support, and resources, caring for your pet can be fulfilling and worthwhile.
And so without further delay, here are some tips for keeping your special needs dog happy and healthy:
1. Talk to a Specialist
Your first step should always be to talk to a specialist of special needs dogs. Talk to your local veterinarian about a diagnosis, and they will create a treatment plan for your pet. Special needs dogs need special care, and a specialist will help you manage your pet’s needs.
Depending on your dog’s condition, they might need particular medication and equipment to help them with their disability. Though there may be specific challenges, it’s essential to know that you can do things to make your dog healthy, happy, and maintain a certain level of comfort.
2. Evaluate Your Dog’s Quality of Life at Home
A happy dog can be hard to tell, so you must keep your eye out for certain behaviors that could mean there’s something wrong.
A disabled dog that’s eating well, showing interest in things, and engaging with you is likely happy and healthy. In contrast, an apathetic dog that seems disinterested in activities and is not responsive to you may be feeling low.
A special needs dog requires more attention, and if you want to keep them happy and healthy, you’d have to evaluate their quality of life frequently.
3. Invest in Special Equipment
If your dog is missing a limb or has issues with mobility, then maybe a dog wheelchair or harness is just what they need. The loss of motion in your pet can result in depression and other negative behaviors, affecting their quality of life.
If your dog is experiencing limb weakness, a dog harness can help with mobility, while a dog wheelchair is ideal for dogs that may suffer from hip and leg problems. The medical conditions that may need a dog wheelchair include arthritis, hip dysplasia, paralysis, soreness, slipped sickness, degenerative myelopathy, or if your dog is recovering from an injury or surgery.
4. Exercise Together
A special needs dog can still enjoy walking and frolicking outdoors or doing some indoor exercise. In fact, they need it more than regular dogs to keep them active, happy, and healthy.
With the use of a dog wheelchair, your pet can go outside, walk, run, play around, and live life normally, as if they don’t have a disability.
Find an activity that both of you are comfortable with and can easily do. It could be as simple as walking around the block, playing catch in the park, or other simple exercises that can bring moments of joy to your special needs dog.
Consider: Surprise your dog with BarkBox toy box
5. Formulate a Routine
A daily routine can give comfort and stability to you and your dog. It will also make sure that you meet all of the essential tasks required for your dog to be healthy and happy. That can include administering medication, exercise, hygiene, a good diet, and ensuring they enjoy a good quality of life.
6. Find Support
Though you may be able to create a daily routine, your dog may be healthy and happy, and you may be able to give them a good quality of life, but that doesn’t mean caring for a special needs dog isn’t exhausting and challenging.
There will be days wherein you will feel tired, you will doubt yourself, and you may feel alone. Seeking support, such as an online community group on social media or an in-person support group, can help you with the day-to-day challenges of caring for a dog that needs extra care.
What is a Special Needs Dog?
It’s important to note that there is a broad range of what entails special needs animals. A dog may not be physically impaired but maybe emotionally disabled due to abuse and trauma, and they might suffer from extreme separation anxiety and depression. A dog that suffers from these conditions can be a special needs dog.
A dog suffering from a chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, and other diseases, can also be a special needs dog.
And lastly, a physically impaired dog that suffers from blindness, deafness, missing a limb, and other physical disabilities is a special needs dog that requires special care.
Also Read: Dog breeds with health problems
Caring for a dog with a disability, whether the condition is emotional, physical, or functional, can be a challenge. These pets require more attention, more vet visits; some may require medical care, a special diet, and other needs.
However, the good news is that once you have a routine and you’ve met your pet’s needs, caring for them can be as easy as caring for a regular dog. Though you may wonder whether or not you can provide the comfort, care, and happiness your pet needs, it’s important to note that proper research, resources, and help from a specialist can make your life, and that of your pet’s, comfortable and happy.