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Adopting the Oddballs: Special Needs Pets

If you’ve ever gone to the shelter looking for a new pet, you have probably been overwhelmed with the number of animals that need to be adopted. Statistics show that over 2 million pets are adopted from animal shelters each year. That’s an astounding number!

When looking for a new pet, did you ever consider the pet with 3 legs? Or the deaf or blind pet? Pets with physical challenges are also looking for forever homes, some of them through shelters and some through rescue organizations. Special needs pets can make amazing companions, too, and we’re here to tell you how.

Not A Disabled Spirit

You may consider a pet with 3 legs, kidney disease, or one eye “disabled”, but these pets don’t have a disabled spirit! One of the most amazing things about animals is their resilience. You’ll never see a dog or a cat feeling sorry for her or himself.

When you adopt an oddball, you literally save a life. Many special needs pets in shelters have a greater chance of being put down compared to the other animals there. Adoption saves them, giving them a chance of a happy forever home.

You’ll inspire others, and your pet will inspire you every day with their love for life, even in their situation.

Special Needs Pets

Some physical challenges in pets are more common than others. Here are some ideas for looking at pets with special needs differently.

Blind pets – pets don’t need to read, write, or drive a car. Blind pets can do very well and lead almost normal lives, especially if they have another dog to go for walks with. If you don’t move your furniture around, you’ll be amazed that your blind dog doesn’t even bump into things! Blind pets require special training, with sound signals only, but this is a small hurdle for them to get over.

Deafness – deaf pets require special training and considerations, similar to blind pets. You’ll need to learn how to train your dog with visual hand signals, make sure not to startle them, and be vigilant when they’re outside (only on leash, only with you or another attentive guardian). Aside from those things, you’ll have a loyal, loving, and largely normal pet.

Three leggedness – often called “tripods”, pets who have lost a leg don’t seem to know that they’re disabled. Cats can still jump, dogs can still run – almost as fast and as high as they could with 4 legs. Don’t let this one deter you in the least!

Spinal or mobility issues – these dogs may have joint or spinal issues, or a degenerative disease of some kind. They can still have a happy life with proper care and maybe a set of wheels! They are more of a time commitment to care for but have big hearts and just as much love to give as any other dog.

Medical conditions – sometimes a pet with a chronic, but well managed, disease needs a new loving home. Whether they have kidney disease and need daily fluid therapy, or have diabetes and need daily injections, we can teach you how to administer these basic treatments easily. Some of these special needs pets are the absolute sweetest we ever encounter, and they just need a chance to show a new family how wonderful they are.

If you are considering adopting a pet, please consider a special needs pet. They are no more difficult to train than a “normal” pet, and have just as much love to give. Never take adoption lightly; there are special considerations with special needs pets, especially in the financial area. But once you bring a disabled pet into your life, you’ll love them forever.

If you need help or have questions about special needs pets, please give your friends at West Park Animal Hospital a call. We are happy to answer any of your pet health questions.  

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