Adopting a dog with disabilities is never an easy choice. The first step all the dog owners do in such a case is to go to their veterinarian. And they are right. Together you can develop an ongoing treatment plan, choose the correct veterinary care or medications to make your dog feel good.
However, you shouldn’t be scared when adopting a handicapped dog. It is a long but rewarding road. Every small improvement will make you and your pet happy. And there are certain things you can do to help your disabled dog feel good.
Estimate the quality of life for your Handicapped Dog
Happiness is what makes our life full. So keep an eye on your dog’s daily activities. If it plays all day long, shows interest in new treats you bought at the supermarket and meets you at the door, that’s a good sign.
There are a number of symptoms that can be a sign of future problems. Loss of motion and lack of appetite are the first signals of the low quality of your dog’s life. Go to your veterinarian and ask him/her for help. Develop an everyday schedule with lots of activities. Get your dog tested to make sure it doesn’t have any new health problems.
Handicapped dogs also need to exercise. However, pets with degenerative myelopathy or a birth defect can’t do it fully. Your task is to find a series of exercises that work for them.
If you go for a walk, minimize the timing. Do some exercises in the swimming pool – canine hydrotherapy is extremely effective for handicapped and senior dogs. Whatever exercise you choose, you must be sure your dog likes to do it and it is not too tired and exhausted in the end.
Sometimes it is hard to be patient when you have a dog with disabilities. But you need to pull yourself together. Of course, it can hurt when you see your pet trying to play; especially when it loses its eyesight or ability to run. However, you need to remember that the quality of life depends on good emotions. So let yourself enjoy the moment and don’t think about things that are expecting you at the next turn of the road.
A disabled dog will require more help with daily hygiene routine. You may be used to brushing your pet’s teeth, but now you’ll have some new rituals. If your pup is not able to clean itself, its long fur may become soiled. So you need to trim it regularly. If you are afraid of the task, you should consult a professional groomer.
However, a good brush can do the work perfectly well. It can help to get rid of all the loose hair. It will also keep knots and mats from developing. That’s how your dog’s coat will look shiny and healthy all day long.
Buy a dog wheelchair or dog harness
Limb weakness or paralysis always leads to limited mobility. Loss of motion is a road to depression, lack of appetite, and other serious problems.
In such a case, mobility aid is what your dog needs to feel okay again. A dog harness will help your pet get upstairs as fast as it used to. There are also different types of wheelchairs for back legs or a full support cart which are very easy in use. Your dog will feel happy and independent with these devices. However, it would be great if you consult your vet before buying a wheelchair or a harness. Choose the most appropriate variant together.
You can also restore your pet’s independence by buying a litter box for handicapped pets. It is designed for dogs to get to the litter spot easily.
Check your dog every day
A handicapped dog doesn’t always feel pain when it’s injured. So it is very important to check your pet at least once a day for any kind of injury.
Blind dogs may also have some problems with finding a way to its bowl when navigating through the house. So make sure it won’t get injured and follow your pet while it is adapting to its lack of sight.