Like a disabled human baby, a special needs dog also requires extra care. From making your home accessible to buying convenient dog bowls, you must go the extra mile when caring for a special needs dog.
If you've ever owned a dog, whether it's a special needs dog or not, you know that pups can be a lot of work. They require attention, affection, and plenty of exercise if they're going to stay healthy.
But what about dogs who have special needs? These dogs have conditions such as blindness or deafness that make it even more challenging to get the love and care they need to thrive.
In this article, we'll go over tips on caring for your special needs dog so that they stay happy and healthy throughout life.
Groom Your Dog Regularly
You should groom your dog at least once a week, especially if they have long hair. It will help keep them clean, prevent matting, and make sure there aren't any ticks or fleas on them. It would be best if you also brushed their teeth at least once a week. If you can't brush their teeth, take them to the vet for regular checkups and have them do it for you. If your dog has short fur that doesn't require much grooming or brushing, skip this step.
You should brush your dog's coat with a good ??dog brush at least once a week, but only if it's not too short for this. Brushing longer coats keeps them looking healthy and shiny by removing dead hair that could otherwise mat up into tangles. If you don't want to brush all of their hair every single week (which is understandable), consider trimming some of it off instead. Just ask at the vet's office how often they recommend trimming based on breed type/length of coat/how bad mats are getting etcetera. And then go ahead; your pup will appreciate the attention.
Keep Their Teeth Clean
One of the most important things you can do for your special needs dog is to clean their teeth. It is valid for all dogs, especially those with dentition issues or other conditions that make it difficult to eat and groom themselves.
If your pup has trouble eating or grooming, they're more likely to develop gum disease and may have difficulty keeping up with a healthy diet. If you notice that your dog isn't eating as much as normal or if their teeth are starting to turn grayish-black, take them to the vet right away! It could be severe, like kidney failure or tooth damage from overfeeding.
Walk Your Dog Daily
Walking your dog is one of the best things you can do for their health and well-being. It's good for their muscles, joints, heart, lungs, and digestive system. Dogs who are walked regularly are less likely to develop arthritis or other joint problems as they age. So if your dog has special needs that limit their mobility—or even if they don't—it's essential to keep them active with daily walks around the block or at a local park. Buy a good dog collar with name and retractable dog leash, and take them for a walk at least twoce a day.
Walking also helps maintain a healthy weight in dogs with special needs. An overweight dog may have more difficulty moving around than a slim one (and don't forget that overweight pets tend to live shorter lives). If necessary, build up gradually by adding just five minutes per day until you reach 30 minutes of walking per day over time.
Equip Your Home for Special Needs Dog
To ensure the safety of your special needs dog, you should make sure that your home is equipped with ramps and steps, where necessary, to give them easier access to areas of their own. You also need to ensure enough room for them to move around comfortably. It includes ensuring there are no electrical cords or toxic substances near them.
A senior dog or one with mobility issues needs to save their energy for things like playing fetch with interactive dog toys rather than chasing after a squirrel outside the window or chasing down a ball on concrete floors. Both can be painful activities for some special needs dogs, even if they don't seem like it.
Create a Comfortable Bed
One of the most important things you can do for your special needs dog is to create a comfortable bed that is soft and comfortable. You want your dog to feel safe and relaxed when they go to sleep. It should also be large enough for them to stretch out in; this will help them relax and get better sleep. Consider dog beds like a large dog bed or orthhopedic dog bed.
The bed should be easy-to-clean and stain resistant, so it doesn't get ruined by accidents or drool over time. It's also important to consider how high the bed is off the floor (you don't want it too high), especially if your dog has arthritis or difficulty walking.
Consider purchasing a raised edge around the perimeter of their bed. It can help keep them safe from falling off while sleeping or taking naps throughout the day. Also, consider investing in a good dog crate so that they can feel safe at night when sleeping. Depending on the size of your dog, consider getting a medium dog crate, a large dog crate, or an extra large dog crate.
Cover Hard Floor with Rug or Mats
Hard flooring can be a problem for dogs with arthritis, but there are ways to help. If your dog spends most of its time on hard floors, consider getting rugs or mats that can cover the area where it spends most of its time.
Rugs work well for dogs who spend most of their time in one room. If you have areas where accidents often happen (such as near bathroom entrances), then cover these spots with something soft so that when your special needs pup has an accident, they won't hurt themselves on sharp corners or rough surfaces.
Provide All Preventive Medications
When caring for a special needs dog, the most important thing to remember is to provide them with all their necessary medications. It includes getting your dog's annual vaccinations and ensuring they're on flea and tick prevention for dogs. Heartworm medicine is also a must, as well as any other medications your veterinarian might prescribe.
It's also important to keep track of your dog's medical history in case of an emergency or visit to the vet, which can be done quickly by keeping all previous medical records (including vaccination records) together in one place and making sure that someone else knows where they are.
Feed Healthy Food in Appropriate Portions
To ensure your dog is eating a healthy diet, you should pay attention to the food you give them. Make sure it's high quality and that it's not processed. If possible, try to find food that has been organically grown.
If you're feeding your dog wet food, be careful not to overfeed them. They can gain weight very quickly if they overeat wet food. Dogs also need dry kibble in their diet, so keep this in mind when shopping for wet or dry food at the pet supplies store (or grocery store).
When purchasing dog food for your special needs pet, choose foods that are easy for them to open and chew on. These could be soft patties of kibble rather than crunchy pellets or nuggets. You'll also want a container that isn't too heavy so they don't accidentally knock it off.
Make Sure They Have Water Available All the Time
Water is one of the most important things to have on hand when caring for a special needs dog. Not only do they need water to stay hydrated, but it also helps them maintain their balance and be comfortable while they eat. Make sure you have a fresh bowl of water available so your dog can always access it.
A good rule of thumb is that you should refill or replace water at least once daily. It will ensure that your dog stays hydrated throughout the day and night. If you are away from home for long periods during the day, ensure that someone is checking on your pup regularly to ensure they have enough fresh water available.
You can keep your dog bowls looking clean by washing them regularly with mild soap and warm water (do not use harsh cleansers as this may upset his stomach). You can also purchase bowls specifically for dogs with slots on top, into which owners can add ice cubes or frozen treats. These help keep the food cool longer than other types of bowls would allow before spoiling its contents completely.
Special needs dogs require extra care and attention, but you can make it easy with these tips. These are ways to help your dog have a happy and healthy life. These are also tips to help you enjoy your dog more.