Some pet parent’s choose the less traveled path of taking on a specially-abled pet. Others may unexpectedly find themselves in that role by an unfortunate accident or simply age. Whether you are a specially-abled pet parent, plan to be, or may end up as one, we are hoping to provide you some information and resources here to help with the task. Specially-abled pets often have just the same desires and love for life as any other pet, they just need a little extra care to have the chance to enjoy it! A word of caution though, specially-abled pets require extra time and money. Do not willingly take on the task unless you are prepared to provide both of these. It’s also always a good idea to have a safety net of funds and a support network should you find your pet becomes specially-abled in the future.
Specially-abled Pet Basics
The first thing pet owners need to know about specially-abled pets is that animals don’t feel sorry for themselves. Disabilities don’t break their spirit. Don’t make the mistake of euthanizing a pet because you feel sorry for them. There are lots of disabilities out there that, with humans help, pets can overcome and live a fulfilling pain-free life.
Expect to do things a little differently. Many disabilities make bathroom habits harder to cope with so you may need to make some changes in your home to better accommodate. You may also need to make areas of your home handicap accessible, and be more attentive and available than you once did.
Find a support group. A quick googling can lead you to many websites that host forums allowing other specially-abled pet owners to discuss the struggles and successes of caregiving. Having a supportive community of people who understand and can help answer questions can make a big difference in your ability to cope. Some groups can even direct you toward charities that help cover the cost of pet care