Caring for Disabled Pets
Pets that are deaf, blind, or have problems walking don't typically notice their differences and usually adjust to their environment easily. Still, they need special care and attention.
Caring for disabled pets is never easy, but it can be fulfilling—for you and your pets! Your beloved Fluffy Friend can still have a happy and content life, regardless of how the illness developed—whether it’s from an injury, sickness, or old age.
Don't feel bad for them! With your help, they’ll be able to adjust to their circumstances easily.
With your love and support, healthy nutrition and veterinary care, your disabled pets can strive and live a longer and happier life.
Whether your pet has mobility issues, is blind, deaf, or both, you take on the role of their service provider. He'll be more reliant on you than a healthy pet would be.
Nonetheless, these dogs and cats still make excellent companions. In this blog post, we'll look at tips and tricks to help your disabled pet live life comfortably and happily!
Caring for a Blind Pet
Identifying odours is a dog's strongest sense, not sight.
It may take time to notice that your dog can no longer see or has difficulty seeing.
Alternatively, cats rely heavily on their vision.
You can help your pet cope with blindness with the following steps:
- Speak to your fur baby as they find your voice soothing.
- Keep them attentive by giving them dental toys with hidden treats that have distinct fragrances.
- If you must replace or rearrange furnishings, make sure to lead your pet around the new arrangement so they can get used to the change. It would also be best to pet-proof sharp edges.
Add a soft furniture cover so your Fluffy Friend can always be cosy, even around new furnishings.
- View your interiors from their vantage point while keeping floors and pathways clear.
- Keep your yard safe for them by dog-proofing it.
- Assist your pooch by acting as their eyes when you're out with him. Try to avoid canines that may seem aggressive.
- A pet going blind may feel anxious during the first couple of weeks. Comfort them with an anti-anxiety pet bed.
- Consider replacing tall climbing trees with shorter ones to keep your tabby from potential accidents.
- Add ramps to your stairs, as they are easier to traverse when you allow your pup outdoors.
Related: Pet First Aid: What You Should Know
Caring for a Deaf Pet
Hearing-impaired companions, like any pet, must be trained.
In this scenario, training should be done using hand signals instead of voice orders.
To keep a hearing-impaired pet safe, do the following:
- Make eye contact, lightly touch them, or let them feel your footsteps to get their attention.
- Don't allow dogs off-leash, except if you have a fenced-in area, as they won't be able to hear traffic.
- Use light to alert them at night.
- Alert people that your furball is deaf through their collars. It would be best to buy collars with large lettering.
- When going for walks outside, choose a customizable power harness to help control your canine.
- Avoid approaching your pet while asleep. A surprised companion might bite or scratch you out of fear.
Related: Pet Adoption vs Buying: Pros and Cons
Caring for a Pet with Physical Issues
Whether the injury is temporary or permanent, semi-paralyzed or paralyzed pets can still relieve themselves.
Disabled pets can travel safely using carts, slings, and harnesses.
As they become accustomed to a device, keep a watchful eye to ensure that they're safe and comfortable.
Massages, chiropractic adjustments, and acupunctures also help some dogs with walking difficulties.
A rehabilitation therapy specialist can assist in enhancing a dog's movement.
Animal therapists use a rehabilitation plan created with a veterinarian to accomplish specific goals, much like physical therapists for humans.
Here are more tips:
- Keep your pets fur trimmed and lean because extra weight pressures the limbs and joints. Remember that two-legged animals may have limited functions compared to three-legged pets.
- Regular, low-impact exercise is vital for maintaining mobility and muscle strength. Avoid rough play and strenuous exercise since these activities can place excessive stress on their body and cause harm.
- Put carpet runners down on slippery floors, construct ramps adjacent to stairs, and keep your pet's space to one level with all necessary supplies like adjustable pet bowls, toys, and beds on the same floor.
- Invest in an orthopaedic pillow to protect your companion from hard surfaces.
Related: 10 Signs and Symptoms of a Sick Cat
Five Tips on How to Take Care of Disabled Pets
Caring for disabled pets is all about being patient and ready to give them some extra attention.
We have listed additional helpful tips that can make your journey a little bit easier:
1. Create a Routine
Establishing a routine is one of the best tips when caring for a disabled pet.
For example, when you get up make sure you give your pet their medication.
Alternatively, check their blood sugar levels first thing in the morning.
This will of course vary depending on your doggie’s needs!
It's much simpler to stay motivated when you establish a routine.
With a routine, you'll soon notice that everything just comes naturally.
Your pet will value the structure and pattern and is less likely to become anxious or upset if he is used to what will happen daily.
2. A Second Opinion Always Helps
Though disheartening, many disabled pets are admittedly written off as lost causes.
If you think there's another way, there is no harm in looking for a second opinion.
Look for a neurological or other specialist's diagnosis.
They might have additional information and treatment strategies.
Frankly, the expense of these consultations may be higher.
Then again, the new diagnosis could significantly improve your pet's quality of life.
It will also provide the professionals with invaluable experience and information about what works and what doesn't.
3. Join a Support Group
When you think you're the only pet parent dealing with a crippled pet, it can be challenging to care for them. No one else seems to understand. You're not alone.
When you don't have to, avoid attempting to handle things on your own.
Go online and search for local support groups to connect with other pet owners going through a similar scenario. There are multiple online support groups like Living with Dogs with Disabilities on Facebook.
A support group comes with resources that are undoubtedly helpful. You'll find real-world advice from people who have "been there, done that" about how to care for your disabled pet.
4. Do Your Research
How to care for pets with special needs is only one of the many topics covered on the internet!
You'll find some good points and advice.
Additionally, you can learn about different support networks and resources offered in your area.
You can also find used equipment like wheelchairs or collars for free or at a reduced price.
You might also find nearby businesses that have gear for pets in need.
5. Ask for Help
Consult your veterinarian for assistance.
You may have questions about administering medication, what exercises you should prioritise, etc.
If you're lucky, your veterinarian could even be willing to visit you at home. In the early phases of care, when you are still trying to adapt and learn everything, this will be extremely helpful to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
A guide who can demonstrate how to perform specific tasks, such as moving or lifting your pet, will be beneficial. Search online to check if another animal professional in your area can visit your home if your veterinarian can't.
Finally, and probably the most vital tip we can give you, is to take care of YOURSELF. The sadness you may experience over your pet's health as well as the added time, patience, and effort needed to care for a disabled fur baby can have an impact on your mental and physical health.
To provide the best care for your pet, you must also care for your well-being.
Often, all that is required is a slight shift in perspective. Don't linger over what you/they lost; focus your energy on the progress of your pet, who also wants to keep their strength up for you!
Your dedication to your pet's welfare will go a long way toward assisting in their ability to lead a comfortable and contented life.
At MrFluffyFriend we hope that you found this article helpful in caring for your pets. Let us know about your experience down below, let’s all learn from each other!
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Here are some useful products in relation to this blog post:
MrFluffyFriend - #1 Anti-Anxiety Furniture Cover Deluxe
MrFluffyFriend - Adjustable Dog Bowls
MrFluffyFriend - Customizable Powerharness
MrFluffyFriend - World's #1 Anxiety Relieving Pet Bed