Adopting a Pet with Special Needs

On May 3rd, we celebrate a significant day for our beloved animal companions: it’s National Specially-Abled Pets Day. Naturally, we think that the entire year should be dedicated to honoring these brave and endearing creatures! A local veterinarian talks about pets with special needs in this article.

What Are Specially-Abled Pets?

A whole slew of adorable pets fall under this umbrella. That list includes pets that are visually or hearing impaired, paralyzed, or perhaps afflicted with diseases, diabetes or FeLV. Pets with severe anxiety may very make the cut. Fido may have been born with a deformed paw, or Fluffy may have lost an ear to frostbite. Pets that are missing limbs also count!

And then we have the tri-paweds, or the pets who use wheelchairs. Over the past few years, there have been significant advancements in pet wheelchairs. In fact, you can even make them using 3-D printers! It’s incredibly heartwarming to witness the pure happiness on the faces of these adorable dogs and cats as they run and play.

What do all of these guys have in common? A remarkable ability to experience and reciprocate love. Remember that pets are incredibly resilient and can recover quickly from illness and injury. One of the reasons for this is that pets have a different way of thinking that humans. They embrace the present.  One example of this is deaf or blind animals. Fido and Fluffy heavily rely on their sense of smell, and often adjust very quickly to the loss of sight or hearing.

What Does National Specially-Abled Pets Day Entail?

Specially-abled pets could also be defined as having special needs; the term ‘specially-abled’ pets just has a much more positive connotation. Originally, National Specially-Abled Pets Day was known as National Disabled Pets Day. The founder changed it to give it a more positive tone and shift the focus towards the abilities of these pets, turning the spotlight on what they can do. For instance, they can love us, entertain us, cuddle with us, and completely capture our hearts.

Are Specially-Abled Pets High-Maintenance?

Taking care of specially-abled pets is not necessarily very different from caring for any other animal.  For instance, a deaf dog can learn to follow hand signals and the motion of a waving flashlight instead of relying on verbal commands. That said, some pets are definitely more high-maintenance than others. Ultimately, it’s going to depend on the pet. If you see a pet you’re interested, ask your Bel Air, MD vet or the shelter for more information. 

Why Do So Many Specially Abled Pets Struggle to Be Adopted?

Misinformation and misconceptions are the primary causes. A lot of individuals tend to overlook these pets, and often pass them by without really considering them. One issue here is the common misconception that special needs pets require a lot of veterinary care. Some people believe that adopters should have medical or veterinary care experience, while others worry about the potential costs of veterinary care.

However, a lot of those things simply don’t apply. Take the case of a pet that has undergone limb amputation. They may not need any extra veterinary care once they have fully healed. A diabetic pet may only require a specialized diet and, in some cases, insulin injections. Initially, that might seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it can be done in just a few minutes each day.

Ultimately, every pet is unique and requires individualized care. That’s part of why this awareness day is significant: it prompts people to investigate and inquire rather than make assumptions.

If you happen to come across an adorable pet that may perhaps have a few missing or malfunctioning parts,  it’s definitely worth considering.

How Can I Get Ready To Adopt A Pet With Special Needs?

Preparing for a specially-abled pet is quite similar in many ways to preparing for any other pet. Without a doubt, it is essential to petproof your home. The specific steps you’ll need to take will vary depending on the type of pet you’re getting. For example, if you’re adopting a blind dog, it might be helpful to place carpet runners to help your canine buddy in navigating his surroundings. Stick-on air fresheners can also serve as helpful markers for puppies with vision problems. It’s also important to ensure that any potential hazards, like a fireplace or stairs, are properly blocked off. Seek additional information from your veterinarian.

Why Adopt A Specially-Abled Pet?

The same reason you’d adopt any pet: to enrich our lives, fill our days with love, offer unwavering friendship and countless cuddles, bring us comfort, and bring laughter to our days.  

It’s also worth noting that taking in a specially-abled pet can be extremely fulfilling, and can bring great joy and satisfaction. It’s incredibly rewarding to give that one pet nobody wanted a wonderful, loving home. Don’t be surprised if your new animal companion completely melts your heart. In fact, many people report that these guys are even more affectionate and lovable than the average pet. That makes sense to us: animals are definitely appreciative of those who show them kindness.

How Much Does A Specially-Abled Pet Cost?

Prices can vary quite a bit, so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer. However, many shelters and rescues offer specially-abled pets at reduced prices, solely to facilitate their adoption. Wellness plans and/or insurance might additionally offer some assistance with costs and budgeting. Reach out to the shelter or rescue organization as well as your Bel Air, MD vet for assistance. It won’t hurt to learn more!

What Are The Benefits Of Adopting A Specially-Abled Pet?

There are actually some unique benefits to adopting one of these overlooked pets. Many pets with special needs simply desire the same things as any other pet: love, care, and the simple joys of getting pets, treats, and belly rubs or ear scritches. Did we mention unconditional love? Oh, and how cute they are? And how rewarding this can be?

Aside From Adopting, How Else Can I Help Pets With Special Needs?

One option is to support a rescue or shelter that focuses on pets with special needs. If you have some spare time, you might want to consider volunteering or even fostering. Of course, financial aid is also fantastic. There are numerous amazing rescue organizations that could greatly benefit from assistance!  Last but not least, remember to share the information with others! We love watching heartwarming videos of puppies in wheelchairs enjoying life to the fullest!

Even the smallest contribution can make a difference. That applies to all worthwhile endeavors. It is crucial to prioritize simplicity and clarity, particularly in the context of animal welfare. Raising awareness about issues in this field is highly impactful and can ignite significant changes.

In Conclusion, National Specially-Abled Pets Day is a special occasion that honors and raises awareness for adorable pets who may have some unique needs, but still deserve to find caring homes. It serves as a reminder for people to think about adopting these wonderful animals. 

Schedule An Appointment At Our Bel Air, MD Pet Clinic.

 Are you seeking information about caring for a pet with special needs? Does your furry friend need to schedule an appointment? Get in touch with us, your Bel Air, MD  pet hospital, right away!

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