Just like humans, when a dog is disabled they need special care and assistance to accommodate their needs. This may vary significantly depending on the type of disability but when a dog is disabled it does not necessarily mean they just need extra love (though it never hurts!) it may mean they need special medications, assistive devices, respite care, special accommodations for dog boarding, etc. A dog that has a disability should not be left to rescue facilities or put down, many can live a very full life when they receive the special care that they need. Below are some tips to aid you in caring for your disabled dog.
- Assist Movement
- Movement is critical to health so, as much as possible; it is a good idea for you to assist their movement. If your dog is missing a limb they can learn to walk without the limb. If your dog is missing two or more limbs they may need an assistive device such as a wheelchair to help with mobility. If your dog has mobility issues or is recovering from an injury and needs assistance getting up and down there are also lifting harnesses available to help your dog safely get into a standing position without causing you injury, which is particularly beneficial for those with larger dogs that are quite heavy. Further, if your dog struggles with incontinence or other problems managing their bowel movements, there are also dog diapers to help you protect your home from damage and give your dog dignity.
- Weight Management
- Disabled dogs can sometimes have difficulty managing their weight because they may be less mobile than other dogs, or have conditions in which managing their weight is challenging. If this is the case, it is important for you to carefully monitor their food intake and also consider investing in special dog food designed for weight management. Additionally, weight can be managed by getting as much exercise as possible within your dog’s means. And don’t forget, when it comes to feeding time, there are also specially designed feeding devices for disabled pets so that they can eat comfortably and safely.
- Keep Them Comfortable
- There are a variety of dog beds and other assistive devices such as stairs and ramps that help keep your dog comfortable while accessing safe and relaxing places to lay down. There are special beds built on a platform that are designed to keep pets cool, there are beds designed for incontinent dogs that have easy-to-remove, washable pads, there are special orthopedic beds for dogs, and more!