3 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Special Needs Dog

Shelter dogs still waiting to be placed in their forever homes have a “ruff” time getting adopted for one of three reasons:

-The dog is not a puppy

-The dog’s breed is misunderstood by the general public

-The dog has special needs

2.7 million companion animals (dogs and cats) are euthacare for a dog with special needsnized every year due to shelter overpopulation. The animals that are selected for euthanasia are the sick, feeble and disabled. The dogs that have the slimmest chances of being adopted.

Special needs dogs, much like their seemingly healthier counterparts, can be saved. Special needs dogs can lead happy lives—all they need is a fighting chance. Disabled—or rather differently abled pups—fed special diets, outfitted with special dog harnesses and matched with a loving owner can defeat the odds. All they need is someone willing to champion their fight.

Before you adopt a special needs dog, here are three things to consider:

Special needs pets will require expensive veterinary care.

To help keep your pet out of pain and in good physical and mental health, you will need to stay up-to-date on their veterinary visits, medications, diet and physical therapy, not to mention making sure they are receiving the surgeries they need to live a stronger, healthier lifestyle. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the average lifetime cost of owning a dog is just over $23k. For a dog living with special needs, this cost will be more. Before adopting a special needs care for special dogsdog, make sure you can afford their care.

Can your home accommodate a dog with a physical disability?

It’s easy to take for granted a dog being able to climb up a set of steps or having no trouble eating and drinking from his dog bowls, especially when it’s what you’re used to. However, what has proven simple for our other dogs can be extreme hurdles for a special needs dog. In a house full of stairs, your home may need custom-made ramps for a pup who gets around by wheelchair. The dog who can’t fully extend his neck to get a drink of water, a raised dog bowl and feeding station would best support his physical limitations.

What about other dogs in the house? Does noise or anything out of the norm frighten them? Seeing another dog outfitted with a wheelchair or prosthetic might make them uncomfortable and in turn anxious. Make sure your home and family members (furry children included) do well with change and are willing and able to help.

Do you have the time and energy to work with a special needs dog?

Dogs require a lot of care and attention; a special needs dog even more so. Caring for a special needs dog requires that you’re able to make vet appointments, afford vet care, work through treatment and support your pup 24/7. Adopting a special needs dog will profoundly change your lifestyle; are you willing to forego a beach vacation to take your dog to a weekly aqua-therapy session? If you do not believe you have the time, space or energy to care for a special needs dog, help them find an owner who does.

We make sacrifices for what we love; our pets are our family. Make sure they have what they need when you visit Hot Dog Collars.