Taking care of a dog with special needs is, of course, a challenge. Yet regardless of their health condition or physical disability, many households see them as part of the family that also deserves to be cherished and have a joyful, healthy life.
Unlike what some people may think, having a handicapped dog isn’t bad fortune. They can still go outside and play, feel emotions, love and care for their owners, and, surprisingly, dress up stylishly! Whether it’s for a holiday, their birthday, or just any random day, you can dress up your dog as long as you take note of what you should do for the sake of their safety and comfort.
To ensure that your handicapped furry best friend is at ease, happy, and safe when dressed up, go ahead and try all of these tips:
1. Bit By Bit, Introduce Them To Pet Apparel
Your handicapped dog, like everyone else, has quirks and dislikes when it comes to dressing up. They may or may not be easier to work with compared to other dogs with disabilities. If you see that your dog is hesitant to try things for the first time, it may be ideal to introduce pet clothing to them slowly.
Don’t ever force an item of clothing onto your handicapped dog straightaway. Your dog may be frightened of the new smell and texture of the fabric, which might also prompt them to react violently. Slowing down and breaking up the familiarization process into smaller phases is preferable. Here’s how:
- Let your dog get accustomed to the smell of the outfit’s fabric. Give them time to sniff the material.
- Try placing the outfit against your pet’s back. This may help them recognize the texture of the cloth.
- Repeat the previous steps every other day. Every time they show interest in dressing up, give them treats to boost their self-confidence.
Ultimately, the key to teaching dogs new things is adding rewards and games in between each step of the process. As a result, they might enjoy their new clothes in no time at all.
2. Observe The Basic Rules Of Safety
Keeping your handicapped dog safe while dressed up may require a bit of effort, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
First and foremost, whether your dog is using a wheelchair, support harness, splint, or another type of equipment, don’t go overboard with their attire. The safety and well-being of your dog must take precedence over style. Instead of putting together an entire outfit, consider focusing on just one accessory. Once you’ve taken a few photos to keep for yourself or share with family and friends, don’t leave your dog in the outfit for longer than necessary.
Moreover, dogs are born with an intrinsic desire to roam about, sniff, and explore their environment. That’s why their clothing must enable them to move freely and not restrict their airways or movements.
Finally, only use garments designed specifically for dogs since those are deemed completely safe for them to wear. Whether you’re dressing them for summer or winter, there are lots of cute dog clothes that are made to be comfy, lightweight, and efficient, even for handicapped canines.
3. Observe How Your Dog Reacts
When you’re dressing up your handicapped pet, pay attention to their nonverbal cues. Watch for any signs of distress. Common signs of canine stress include: a bowed head, flattened ears, and round eyes can be mistaken for joy. If you see any signs of uneasiness, start over to ensure your pet is comfortable with the size and texture of the clothing.
Furthermore, no matter how hard you try, some pets simply won’t like wearing clothes. If your pet rejects the attire after multiple attempts, it might be best not to push them beyond their comfort zone.
4. Do Not Overwhelm Them
Even if your handicapped dog likes attention, they might get stressed by the number of people who finds them adorable and approaches them. To avoid exhaustion and aggravation on your pet’s part, keep an eye on the amount of attention your furry buddy receives. Also, if you only want a few lovely images or videos of your dog in their pretty new outfit, a few minutes of having them wear it might be enough.
5. Stay By You Dog’s Side
As a pet owner, you should already be aware that you must keep a close eye on your handicapped dog. But apart from that, it’s crucial to note that when they’re wearing or using something new to them, they’ll need extra assistance from you, especially if it’s something that can be torn off or chewed. Therefore, never leave your furry pet unattended.
It’s true that dogs look extra cute whenever they wear stylish pet clothing; however, you must also remember to prioritize their comfort and safety throughout the process, especially if they’re handicapped. So when you’re dressing up your dog, keep the tips above in mind to ensure they’ll stay calm and comfortable while getting dressed.