Caring for a disabled dog is a much greater responsibility. Life with a healthy pet has its own challenges but it is even more demanding with a disabled pooch. And while it can be overwhelming, it’s not all worries and uneasiness.
Dog disability is the result of aging, health complications, unfortunate accidents, or being born with a disability. There are considerations, extra patience, and tons of love when caring for a disabled dog and with all of these plus high-quality care, your special pooch will be able to live a healthy and happy life.
Caring for a Disabled Dog: How to Care for Dogs with Disabilities
Disabled dogs have it rough. Don’t make their life extra difficult by being inconsiderate and bothered by their difficulties. Like healthy dogs, dogs with disabilities need and deserve the love their owners can give them.
They might be suffering from:
- Birth defects
- Loss of limbs
… and more disabilities that make everyday activities a bit harder to conquer. That’s why you must know how to care for your disabled pooch to make life a bit easier, enjoyable, and worth living for them.
Here are 6 ways that you can care for your special pooch to make sure that they live a happy life!
Evaluate your dog’s life
You should know your dog better than anyone else. Evaluate its life and take note of his needs and behaviors. This makes it easier for your vet to make informed decisions regarding its health.
You can ask yourself the following questions to evaluate your dog’s health:
- Is your dog still eating and drinking?
- Are they showing interest in things?
- Do they still interact with you?
If your dog isn’t doing so well, you might be able to spot the following signs:
- Experiencing pain
Aside from your evaluation, regular vet checkups are also highly recommended. Sometimes, veterinarians might be able to spot disabilities before they develop through symptoms.
If the disability had already developed, then regularly scheduled vet checkups are a must for professional diagnosis and recommendations, as well as medication prescriptions. If your disabled dog requires adaptive equipment, your vet will be able to help you too!
Develop a routine
Developing a daily routine helps structure their day, making daily activities easier. It helps them establish good habits and since their every day is predictable, it allows them to enjoy a more comfortable life. Enjoyable routines include walking your dog and taking them to a familiar dog park with dogs they are already acquainted with.
A daily routine is also beneficial for dog owners. Caring for a disabled dog is not an easy feat but with good habits cultivated through routine, it becomes easier. Because of continual practice, taking care of the additional needs of your disabled dog becomes second nature.
Invest in quality adaptive equipment
Dogs with disabilities might experience limb pains, weakened bones, and paralysis. These health conditions limits their mobility or worse stops them from moving at all and without proper care from the owner, it’ll lead to depression and lack of appetite.
To help your dog cope with its disabilities, invest in quality adaptive equipment such as a wheelchair or harness. These are mobility aids that provide support, allowing your dog to move around safely. It’ll also keep them active and healthy.
Make sure its environment is safe
With a disabled dog, some changes need to be made around the house. Blind dogs, for example, can no longer see dangers in their path so as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to look around the home for any hazard that can cause harm to your blind dog. If you have stairs, use dog or baby gates to block them and avoid accidents.
Paralyzed canines or dogs with weak legs might find walking difficult on tile or hardwood floors so it might be better to put in random carpets around the house or have your pooch wear non-slip socks for traction.
If your disabled dog needs adaptive equipment like a wheelchair, make sure that your house is safe and spacious enough for your dog to walk around.
Always check for injuries
A disabled dog might have lost one or two of its senses. A paralyzed dog, for example, has lost its sense of feeling, which means it won’t be able to know if it is injured. Dogs with disabilities are prone to sores so always check for injuries daily and seek veterinary care.
As mentioned, you can prevent injuries if you make sure your dog’s living area is safe and free from harmful objects that can cause unfortunate incidents.
Help your disabled dog live normally as possible. Even though they might not be able to move freely like other healthy dogs, regular exercise is still necessary to ensure good health and weight management.
Consult your veterinarian about the possible exercises and physical activities that your dog can do and include playtime in his routine.