The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Does Your Dog Have Special Needs? - The Disabled Dog

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Does Your Dog Have Special Needs? - The Disabled Dog

We can learn a lot from dogs with disabilities! They can enjoy life to the fullest with just a little help from us. Every dog is a challenge, but also a learning experience, but most of all, a disabled dog is a joy. They appreciate everything life has to offer and never say "why me?"

Just as you need companionship, dogs on wheels also need to know that you are there for them, remember they love you very much and shine in your praise and attention. Show you care by getting your dog a wheelchair. Train your dog to use the wheelchair by providing encouragement and praise. Take your dog to meet other dogs on wheels and pets around the neighborhood for playtime.

Adoption
The Washington Animal Rescue League ( WARL) frequently takes in animals who may have a harder time
finding new homes. This may be because of ongoing medical problems. Or it may simply be due to an animal’s advanced age. It is our conviction that these animals are equally deserving of a good home, and that they have as much love and companionship to give as any animal.

Products for dogs with disabilities
Today it is possible to find help for any kind of special needs a dog may have. There are products available to make life better for your four-legged friend. For physical disabilities you can find wheelchairs, lifts, ramps, boots, orthotics, and the list goes on. You can buy a helmet for your pooch and take him for massage or acupuncture. If your dog suffers from a long term illness like diabetes or heart problems, there are many medications that can prolong the quality of life for your best friend.

Social Interaction
One of the most difficult things to judge with a disabled dog is how much social interaction do they need? Are they getting enough? Too much? One thing I've noticed is that because dogs don't realize they are disabled, they will try and do everything they once did - even if they can't which may lead to frustration.

The obvious solution is to find a way that your disabled dog can socialize with other dogs (if he feels comfortable doing that). If you have other dogs in your household, don't isolate him. He will enjoy their company. On the other hand you may need to protect him from "the pack". A pack senses the disabled dog is not 100% and may decide to finish him off. It's important you watch for clues and are aware because the disabled dog cannot defend himself should the pack attack. Only you will know the fine balance of your pack and what will work best.

Disabled dogs would love the company of others and particularly their owners. Ideally you want his "space" to be near the busiest areas of the house (unless he is recouperating from surgery or some other temporary disability that requires quiet and rest). A disabled dog will enjoy watching the comings and goings, love the attention, and will do much better than a dog isolated in a spare bedroom with no interaction. Even dogs that can't get around in wheelchairs enjoy toys and your loving attention.

                                                     
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