Just like people, no two pets are the same. Even two dogs of the same breed can have totally different personalities. Similarly, differently abled pets also have a range of needs that vary from case to case. We recommend these tips to serve as a broad idea of how to handle differently abled pets, but please also remember to consult your veterinarian for specific treatments for your pet.
Pets that have special needs might have less mobility, which means that they can be prone to being overweight. It’s important to take this into consideration with your pet’s diet. It could mean something as small as cutting back on treats. You might even need to put your pet on a special diet. Either way, food is an important factor in keeping your pet at a healthy weight when vigorous exercise isn’t possible.
You must take your pets needs into account when taking them out into new situations. Dogs (and cats) that are blind or deaf can experience higher levels of anxiety when placed into unfamiliar situations than dogs that see and hear. Be picky about what kind of situations you bring your pet into, and make sure you ease them slowly into unfamiliar settings. Be patient with your pet at every step of the way and try and stay near them—your close presence can be comforting if they feel threatened or nervous in an unfamiliar place.
While it is important to take every pet to the veterinarian for regular checkups, differently abled pets might need more checkups than your average pet. Ask your vet if they have a special payment plan that you can utilize to help keep costs down. Also, use your vet as a valuable resource for questions. The Internet is a great tool for finding information, but nothing beats the opinion of an expert who knows your pet, and you, personally.
Differently abled pets and pets with special needs are no different than any other pet in that they can bring joy and happiness to our lives. All pets deserve our love and care; differently abled pets just need a little extra time and devotion.