Owning a pet is a rewarding opportunity but requires a high degree of responsibility and care, more so when caring for a pet with special needs. Looking after a disabled dog means putting in additional time, patience, and commitment to ensure they lead a happy life.
Whether your canine companion has mobility issues, vision impairment, or other ability challenges, understanding the right care to provide them with can make a world of difference. To help you out, we’ve come up with some essential insights and practical tips to help you navigate the journey of caring for your disabled pet with expertise.
Consult with A Professional
The first step in caring for your disabled pet is to see the vet, who will be able to assess your furry friend and help you understand the extent of their underlying condition. They will provide guidance on ways to adapt routine, manage pain, maintain a healthy diet, etc. A vet will also be able to prescribe necessary medication that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
Creative a Supportive Environment
Modifying your home to meet your dog’s needs will allow them to navigate their surroundings much easier. Use slip-resistant surfaces or ramps where possible to aid with mobility, and make sure that their food and water bowls are accessible.
It’s also important to provide them with comfortable and cosy areas where they can relax, particularly if they suffer from sore joints or arthritis. All you need to do is place some luxury dog beds around the home, particularly in the rooms that your dog prefers to spend more time in. Ensure that any toys are suitable for their needs and won’t damage their health.
Implement a Consistent Routine
Dogs thrive on routine, and this is especially important for dogs with special needs. Try to maintain a regular schedule for things like exercise, feeding, toilet breaks, and medication. Predictability is key to ensuring they feel secure and helps to reduce their stress levels.
Giving them their medication each day can be difficult if they aren’t so forthcoming, so you may need to get creative. Liquid medication can be added to food or treats. To make sure that your dog swallows the medication, hand feeds them the food rather than leaving them to it. Additionally, you can hide medication in pill form in treats or coat them in foods your dog loves, such as Xylitol-free peanut butter.
Adapt Play and Exercise
While physical limitations may affect the way that your dog plays and exercises, it’s still highly important for their mental and physical health. This means you may need to alter things slightly. Try to get your dog to engage in low-impact activities that are suitable for their condition, like water therapy, gentle walks, or puzzle games. Their minds need to be stimulated, especially if they’re unable to move around and explore as much.