4 Keys to Caring for Special-Needs Pets


Photo courtesy of Muffin's Halo

All pets are special in their own way—just ask their owners. Some, though, are more special than others, which is why May 3rd is National Specially-Abled Pets Day.


“Specially-abled” and “special needs” are umbrella terms that can refer to a wide variety of conditions in pets, such as blindness, missing limbs and deafness, as well as diabetes and other chronic diseases. This year, retailers can help spread the word about specially-abled pets by sharing the following tips with their customers. 


1. Do Your Research

Adopting a pet is a big responsibility; even more so if they have special needs. Ensure you, your family and your home is properly prepared by doing your research before adopting.


Consider the following:

• What kind of medication or equipment will your pet need?

• Do they have specific dietary needs?

• Is your family ready to take on the responsibility of a special needs pet?

• Is your new pup or cat able to interact safely with other animals?

• What kind of emotional needs does this pet have? Were they abused or neglected?


2. Budget Appropriately

Special needs often also means more needs, which often cost more money. Veterinary check ups, medications, physical therapy and diets—it all adds up. Plus, owners should also expect the expenses to grow as their pet ages.


3. Establish a Routine

Once you bring your specially-abled pet home, it’s crucial to establish a daily routine. This will help them feel more comfortable in their new environment, since they know what to expect. It will also help ensure they’re safe and supervised at all times.


4. Keep an Open Mind—and Heart

At the end of the day, differently-abled pets are still pets. They still love to play fetch, get belly rubs and cuddle on the couch. They also still crave love and attention.


If you think you can offer a forever home to a pet with special needs, contact your local shelter or a national organization, such as the ASPCA.


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