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Adopting A Specially-Abled Pet

May 1, 2024

May 3rd is a meaningful day for a few of our adorable companions: it’s National Specially-Abled Pets Day. While we think that these adorable and brave animals should be honored throughout the entire year, we’re happy to put them in the spotlight. Continue reading to gain insights from a local Lowell, MI, veterinarian about pets with special needs.

What Are Specially-Abled Pets?

Pets with unique abilities can also be referred to as special needs. The term ‘specially-abled’ pets just carries a more positive connotation.   

Interestingly, the holiday was initially named National Disabled Pets Day. The founder made adjustments to give it a more positive tone and shifted the emphasis towards highlighting the abilities of these pets. They have the remarkable ability to love, entertain us, cuddle, and effortlessly capture our hearts.

Basically, specially-abled pets can be described as a bit less than perfect. They are for the most part just like any other pet, except that they may have a few broken or missing parts. Some examples of specially-abled pets would include pets that are blind, deaf, missing limbs, partially paralyzed. Occasionally, pets with special needs may experience behavioral challenges, including anxiety.

In addition to that, we have dogs and cats who have diabetes on our roster. An FeLV positive feline would also fit the bill.

What do all of these guys have in common? A remarkable ability to experience love and be loved!

Pets are incredibly resilient and can quickly recover from illness and injury. One of the reasons behind this is that pets have a different way of perceiving things compared to humans. They embrace the present. While trauma can definitely affect a pet’s psyche, we also often find that pets can bounce back from injuries.   

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

There are actually some incredibly special advantages to adopting one of these overlooked, underappreciated pets. These cute, sweet pets want the same things as any other pet: love and affection. Many form very strong emotional bonds with those who help them.

Why adopt one? The same reasons you’d adopt any other pet! They enrich our lives, fill our days with love, offer unwavering companionship and boundless affection, provide comfort, and entertain us.  

The biggest reason? You may very well find that taking in a pet with special needs can be extremely fulfilling and enriching!

Do Pets With Special Needs Require Extra Care?

Some do, but it may not be as much as you think. Many pets with special needs don’t need much more care than any other animal. For instance, a deaf dog can learn to respond to hand signals and a waving flashlight, instead of spoken commands. A blind pup may require additional measures to ensure their safety, such as petproofing their environment and using an extra harness and leash during walks. A blind dog can be just as silly and endearing as any other puppy: you may just need to take some additional measures to ensure their safety.  In many cases, it’s not so much extra care as slightly different care.

For instance, there are lots of tri-paweds, who use wheelchairs. Over the past few years, there have been significant advancements in pet wheelchairs. while there may be an additional device to manage, you’ll discover that taking care of a dog who lacks the use of one or more of their legs is remarkably similar to caring for any other canine companion. It’s incredibly heartwarming to witness the pure happiness on the faces of these adorable dogs and cats as they run (or roll) and play!

How Should I Prepare For Adopting A Specially-Abled Pet?

The specific steps you’ll need to take will vary depending on the type of pet you are getting. For example, if you’re adopting a blind dog, it might be helpful to get carpet runners to help your canine pal find his way around. (Tip: Stick-on air fresheners can also serve as useful markers for puppies with limited vision.)  

Petproofing is crucial, as it is with any pet. You’ll need to remove or secure any potential hazards. That includes things like toxic plants, small or sharp objects, ropes and cords, plastic bags, and any sort of chemical or medication.  It’s also important to ensure that any potential hazards, like a fireplace or stairs, are properly blocked off. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Next, of course, you’d want to contact your Lowell, MI  veterinary hospital and schedule an appointment.  

How Much Does Adopting Specially-Abled Pets Cost?

It’s difficult to provide a definitive answer regarding price, as there is a wide range of variations. Nevertheless, numerous shelters and rescues provide specially-abled pets at reduced prices, solely to assist them in finding loving homes. Insurance may also help, though you’d of course need to get custom quotes. Reach out to the shelter or rescue organization as well as your vet, and ask for specific information. It definitely won’t hurt to learn more! 

How Can I Assist Pets With Special Needs?

There are other ways to support specially-abled pets besides adopting them. 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! Raising awareness is one of the best things you can do! 

Why Do Specially-Abled Pets Get Passed Over So Much?

Regrettably, misinformation and misconceptions are the primary reasons. A lot of people overlook these pets without giving them a fair chance. This is often based on assumptions, which may be incorrect. For instance, some believe that adopters should have medical or veterinary care experience, while others worry about the potential costs of veterinary care. And sometimes, people just assume that these pets will need a lot of extra care. That isn’t always the case, though. A pet that has undergone a limb amputation may not require any additional veterinary care once they have fully recovered. A diabetic pet may require a specialized diet and potentially insulin injections. Initially, it might seem intimidating, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it will only require a few minutes of your time each day. And when it comes to adopting deaf or blind animals, remember that Fido and Fluffy heavily depend on their sense of smell.

Ultimately, every one of these pets is unique and requires individualized care. One of the reasons why this awareness day holds significance is because it encourages people to take a closer look and inquire, rather than making assumptions.

That said, it is important to pick the right pet. Adoption is forever, so we can’t understate how crucial it is to make an appropriate match. For example, a blind dog may not be the most suitable choice for someone who likes to go hiking in the mountains.

Schedule An Appointment At Our Lowell, MI Pet Clinic

 Do you need assistance with a pet that requires special care? Does your furry friend need to schedule an appointment? Get in touch with us, your nearby Lowell, MI pet hospital, today!