Parenting a special needs pet can often be a difficult experience. Although special needs pets are every bit as lovable, unique and important as healthy pets, caring for them may be time-consuming, confusing and demanding for people. Fortunately, there are a variety of steps that pet parents can take to make caring for a special needs pet easier for both the human and the animal itself.
Understand the Pet’s Need
Each special needs pet will have a unique and specific set of care requirements. In order to provide the best possible care, pet parents need to understand these needs as well as they can. Of course, knowing what a pet needs also means knowing what a pet does not need. By developing a routine of high quality care without going overboard with needless treatments, medications and supplements, pet parents can look after special needs animals with a minimal amount of stress and extra expense.
Establish a Routine
Developing a daily schedule for a special needs pet’s daily care can greatly reduce difficulty for the pet parent, while also providing consistency and dependability for the pet. Medications should be given at the same time every day, exercises should be done for the same amount of time daily and feedings should be consistent, predictable and timely. In addition to keeping people from feeling overwhelmed, a schedule also provides special needs pets with a sense of security.
Get the Right Tools for the Job
Caring for a special needs pet is difficult enough but it is made much harder when the parent does not have the proper equipment needed. For example, caring for an animal with paralysis in the back limbs would be nearly impossible, not to mention uncomfortable, without the help of a wheelchair or harness. Parents of special needs pets can benefit greatly from understanding their pet’s unique condition and scanning the pet market for tools, equipment and materials that may help the animal lead a more normal life.
Understand the Importance
Although it can be difficult, caring for a special needs pet is an important job. Special needs pets are often abandoned due to their complex care schedules and may later find themselves in shelters, where they are unlikely to be adopted due to their respective disabilities. Pet parents that care for special needs pets deserve to know that the job they are doing is an honorable and important one. This awareness helps to make even the most difficult days joyful and fulfilling. In fact, some studies even suggest that caring for a special needs pet can benefit a person’s health.
Although caring for a special needs pet presents a unique set of challenges, it is a rewarding job. When properly cared for, special needs animals can provide a lifetime of companionship, happiness, joy and love. By providing a predictable schedule of care, limiting care to only what is helpful and enlisting the right equipment for the job, pet parents can ensure that their special needs pet is happy, comfortable and content for many years to come.