Beautiful Bonds Between Disabled Dogs and Their Humans

Did you know that there are currently more than 89.7 million dogs living as pets in the USA?  In general, American pet owners are prone to display very strong feelings about their pets, with 79% of dog owners considering their canines to be part of the family, and very deservedly so. Despite a too-large number of dogs still being surrendered to shelters every year, the overall care of pets, and dogs, in particular, are steadily improving, which is great news for the American canine population.

For centuries, dogs have been considered to be man’s best friend, and rightly so! Dogs have been our companions for ages, hunting with us, protecting us, and showering us with unrestricted love. In turn, all they want from us is to be loved back, cared for, and treated with compassion. True love, whether between humans or between a pet owner and his dog, is ideally unconditional and knows no boundaries. There is no denying that the bond between man and dogs is incredibly strong — and can be even more so when the dog is disabled.

Adopting a disabled dog

Some people see physical irregularities in animals as an inadequacy, when it is anything but. Neither is it true that a dog with a medical or mental condition will not make a good pet – he will just need some extra love and care (and perhaps a bit of added patience). Whether your dog is able-bodied or not, he deserves the same loyalty that he unselfishly gives to you.

Before adopting a special needs dog, it is important to meet with your veterinarian to discuss what care your new companion will need and how you can go about giving her the best life possible. Perhaps your new companion will be in need of a special diet or medication, with which your vet can easily assist you. 

Being knowledgeable and prepared will help make the transition period a lot easier for both you and your pooch. This allows you the opportunity to get acquainted and bond as soon as possible. Apart from preparing your living quarters, you also need to prepare yourself emotionally for a lifetime of unrestricted love and affection from a very special soul.

Loving a disabled dog

There are no limits to the love a caring pet owner has for his pet. And disabled dogs, regardless of the extent of their disability, are still able to love and care for us in the same way as their able-bodied canine counterparts.

A disabled dog may need to rely more on your than an able-bodied dog will. In turn, you may be more prone to worry. You might also experience a greater desire to nurture than previously experienced with other pets. All these factors can contribute to an extremely strong and beautiful relationship of mutual need and love between you and your disabled dog.

Adoption considerations

When adopting a disabled dog, there are certain factors that need to be considered. These include:

  • additional financial implications
  • whether the dog can be comfortably and safely accommodated
  • whether she will fit in with the rest of the family.

A disabled dog may require special therapy or equipment (such asdog wheelchairs) to assist with mobility issues, or increased vet visits. These are potential additional expenses that should be factored into a decision.

If the adoptive family already has other pets, it is important to make sure the animals will all get along. It would not be fair to anyone if there is strife among the family pets. Disabled dogs need extra attention! Other pets may not like their human companions sharing the love that was once all their own with the newcomers to the family.

Adopting a pet is always a life-long commitment. Don’t rush into a decision!  Consider all circumstances surrounding the dog’s special needs for the sake of the entire family unit.

In conclusion

Adopting a disabled dog can forge a tremendous bond. The physical and mental benefits of owning a dog are numerous. It can be argued that no relationship comes close to that between a dog and his owner. Once you have loved a disabled dog, you can say you have truly loved without reserve.

Thank you to Lucy Wyndham for this guest blog post. Lucy is a freelance writer and editor who loves to spend time with her family and Labrador Retriever.

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