Whats’ needed to know about adopting a Special Needs Dog

By nakedbarra | May 17, 2013

What you need to know before adopting a Special Needs Dog

A Special Needs dog is any dog that requires help or assistance doing the things that other dogs can do without help. Like humans, special needs in dogs may be a physical or mental disability.IMG_0896

The term special needs can cover a wide range of issues. It may be something simple like an amputation, or something as difficult as mental issues that make your pup afraid of everything, including his own shadow. Caring for a ‘special needs’ animal may be a daunting task if you’re not prepared and knowledgeable about the disability that the particular dog has.

Many people see physical disabilities in a dog as a sign of a broken and unfixable pet. This isn’t the case, most dogs with physical disabilities can live happy lives if they have the right owners. Most dogs need no special medications, just an owner that can for see potential barriers and issues before they become a problem. Its also untrue that a dog with a medical or mental issue is any less of a good pet, if anything, these dogs are usually much more affectionate and appreciative of the care they get.

The only thing you must remember is that they will require extra care and supervision to keep them safe and happy. Some special needs dogs require medications, a special diet, or a piece of equipment to allow them to get around. This will often equate to spending more money, so people who are thinking about taking on a “special needs” dog need to keep these things in mind.

IMG_1202While special needs dogs are usually thought of as dogs that require help because of a physical or mental issue, many dogs that are rescued have been neglected or abused. These dogs can have emotional scars that require special attention.

Adopting a special needs dog is similar to adopting a regular dog, but there are a few additional things to consider. Instead of just jumping in to it, you really must think about all of the circumstances surrounding the dog’s needs. The worst thing that you can do is to take on a dog that you are not prepared to care for. It doesn’t help you or the dog if you are forced to return or surrender the dog you’ve just adopted.

If you’re thinking about adopting a special needs or older dog, there are a few things you need to ask yourself, including:

1.) What are the additional financial costs? Medications, treatments or a special diet may be required. Dogs with mobility issues may need therapy or more frequent vet visits or surgeries. Older dogs will need to have their teeth cleaned more often and may need more surgeries for health issues.

2.) Can I accommodate the dogs needs? As a caregiver, you’ll need to make sure you are available to meet the needs of a special needs dog. Medications may need to be given several times per day or they may need to be let outside. It’s your responsibility to find a way to address them before introducing the dog into your home.images

3.) How will the dog fit in with the rest of the family? Animals with emotional issues may feel overwhelmed with young children or other dogs. They may panic and try to attack someone if there is a lot of frantic activity in the house. Additionally, introducing a new dog into your home when you already have pets can be a challenge. Before you adopt, inquire about any conditions the dog may not be able to tolerate. Some shelters and rescues allow you a short-term “fostering” period to make sure the dog would be comfortable living in your home. They vary in length from an overnight stay to a few days.

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