Adding a pet to your family comes with numerous benefits. You will never feel lonely again. Your furry friend will add lots of goofy moments and laughter that will brighten up the darkest days. Your children will have playdates and will learn from an early age how to be more compassionate and less selfish by taking care of someone else other than themselves. Unconditional love and moments of tenderness are almost always guaranteed.
Getting a baby pet could be challenging. So could be adopting a senior furry companion, too. When your pet comes with special needs, though, lots of hard work, patience, and determination are to follow. Though not always valid, animals with special needs tend to require additional attention, devices, medicines, and care. Does that mean that you should give up on them? Absolutely not.
What You Need To Know Before You Get A Pet With Special Needs
If you do not the dedication and time, you may be quite eager to welcome a disabled pet in your home. Most of these animals will reward you with unparalleled affection, as they deeply appreciate your efforts.
If you are adopting a senior special needs pet from a rescue organization or a shelter, be prepared for a bit of extra work. On top of their disability, they may suffer from separation anxiety and severe psychological distress. This is not valid for all pets coming from these circumstances but should be anticipated.
If you have decided to take upon the extra responsibility with a young/baby pet with a disability, you should know that they will most likely exert standard behaviors for youngsters. It will be up to you to train them accordingly, adapt to their unique circumstances, and find ways to stimulate their brain that are not hurdled by their special needs. If the standard trick training or scratch posts are not feasible, you will have to get creative. Your pet’s standard demands will not disappear only because they have special ones, too.
Do Your Research Ahead Of Time
Based on your pet’s disability, they will require unique care. Learn about the condition of your furry companion before you welcome them into the family. Extensive research allows the carer to prepare both their home and mindset better for any future challenges. Often, disabled animals have special dietary restrictions. Investigate what type of food and exercise will be most appropriate for your furry friend’s unique illness. Pet supplements may be an inseparable part of your pet’s diet.
All these factors will have an impact on your daily routines, budget, and family activities. Knowing this in advance will give you ample time to evaluate the risks, complications, and responsibilities you will be taking upon. Remember that once you have committed to your pet, you will mean the world to them. Plan accordingly, so you never have to surrender them.
Top 3 Priorities For Helping Pets With Special Needs
Your pet’s illness will dictate the most suitable type of care based on their unique condition. In most cases, though, the following should be your top three priorities:
Though not universal, most disabled animals experience pain to some extent. The severity and type will depend on the illness. Appropriate pain management strategies incorporate a mixture of massage, nutrition, medications, acupuncture, and rehabilitation.
When tending to a senior animal, you need to remember that his body may be deteriorating more rapidly due to his illness. In this case, consider a health booster, like immune support supplements for cats.
It may sound unpleasant at first, but your fur baby’s elimination should be on top of your list. It is one of the most common concerns for paralyzed pets. If constipation happens frequently, consider adding probiotics for cats or dogs into their diet. Regular meds could also upset their tummy, so be mindful of that and strive for optimal gut health.
After you have addressed pain and elimination, mobility follows. Based on the disability, you may need to invest or invent devices, tools, and apparatus to aid mobility. Every pet needs some sort of exercise in her life. If your furry companion is blind, remember to give them lots of verbal cues. Clicker or whistle training will also play a vital role in their mobility journey.
Routine Is Key To Happy Life
Establishing a routine will put you at ease when there are additional steps in the care of your pet. It will take some trial and error until you get in the swing of medications, machines, and daily measurements. Providing a regular schedule for your fur companion will take away a lot of stress & anxiety. Knowing the order of steps that they need to follow will make them feel like they have more control over their disability, which could be empowering for them.
Seek A Second Opinion
Your vet may be knowledgeable and caring. If he has never worked with a special needs animal, though, he may not be able to provide the most appropriate care plan for your pet. Though you should not disregard their tips and instructions, it is advisable to get a second opinion. You should find a specialist who has helped animals with similar conditions. Often, they will be able to provide you with tried and true recommendations. They may also offer you a referral for a neurologist or another suitable expert that they have collaborated with on previous cases.
Join A Community Of Special Needs Pet Carers
Though you may feel strong and confident in your abilities, becoming a part of a compassionate community will make a difference. People in similar situations often find innovative ways to better address their pet’s disability. You can search for a local group on social media or ask your groomer & vet for recommendations. Once you have found a suitable circle of pet carers, do not forget to contribute with your own experience. You can also organize monthly events, so your special needs furry companion could socialize without feeling like he is different from his peers.