Like humans, your pet can get injured to the point where their ability to properly function physically and socially is compromised. Injuries can occur due to accidents or intentional abuse by inhumane people. Others are also born handicapped.
As much as pet owners wish that these unfortunate events never happen to their beloved pets, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. Your best way forward is to accept them as they are and help them live as comfortably as possible.
Consider these seven ways to make your handicapped pet feel comfortable at home:
1. Invest In A High-Quality Bed
This tops the list for a reason—many pets spend a considerable amount of time sleeping. For dogs, experts put their average sleeping time at 50% of a day, in addition to 30% of the day used as resting time. That means they’re active for only about five hours a day. For cats, the average time spent sleeping is 12 to 16 hours every day. You’d expect these figures to be even more for handicapped pets.
Therefore, what you need are the best dog and cat beds, which have most, if not all, of the following features:
- Soft and supple for maximum comfort and coziness
- Breathable to make them warm in winter and cool in the summer
- Preferably made from a single piece of fabric, with no seams nor stitching
- Washable by hand or machine
- Made of merino wool, which is flexible, ultra-soft, and has antibacterial properties; materials like cotton and nylon are great options as well
- Lower sides for entry
- Plenty of room so they can move around
- Roof for added warmth and privacy
2. Consider Other Pet Furniture
Aside from a comfy bed, your handicapped pet will highly appreciate other pieces of furniture, too, designed to assist their mobility, enhance their playing experience, and improve their comfort when indoors.
If you’re a cat owner, you should consider investing in cat furniture, such as:
- Cat trees, towers, and condos
- Cat wall shelves
- Perches for cats
- Scratching posts
- Cat litter box
- Cat house
- Pet steps
For handicapped dogs, consider investing in furniture such as:
- Sofas for dogs
- Dog house
- Dog crate entertainment center
- Pet bean bag chair
- Sheepskin rug
- Dog basket
- Dog ramp
- Large dog bowls
Make sure you order pet furniture that your handicapped pet can comfortably use. Usually, you wouldn’t go for anything too high that makes it difficult for your pet to climb. For elevated furniture, ensure that they have steps to favor your injured pet.
3. Get Rid Of Obstacles
On top of mobility issues, your handicapped pet may have vision or hearing problems, too. As such, you need to ensure that there are no unnecessary obstacles around your house. An obstacle can be an improperly placed sofa or an unfavorably positioned indoor plant, to name some. Such obstacles may considerably stress out your cat or dog as they try to maneuver around the house.
In addition to removing obstacles, keep your furniture arrangement as consistent as possible. This allows your handicapped pet to maintain a visual image of how exactly to move around your house. Changing your furniture often will only disrupt the patterns that your pet is already used to.
4. Install A Window Seat
A handicapped pet may, at times, be shy of the outdoors due to their need to always be around their owner. But, that doesn’t mean they should be entirely denied the benefits of experiencing the outdoors. It’s important for them as it keeps them less stressed.
Consider installing a window seat for your handicapped pet. This way, they can look outside without necessarily leaving the house. You may need a thicker windowsill on which to place a sheepskin rug. Also, make sure you have appropriate stairs to help your pet climb to the windowsill. You also need to ensure that there’s no way your pet can escape through the window as it may be disastrous for your injured pet to fall from such a height.
5. Ensure Your Home Is Pet-Safe
You don’t want to add more injuries to the ones your handicapped pet already has. Therefore, your house needs to be as pet-safe as possible.
Here are practical things you can do to improve the safety of your home for your handicapped pet:
- Put children’s toys away so that your pet doesn’t eat them
- Secure breakable items, like glassware
- Keep harmful foods, like chocolate, alcohol, raw eggs, yeast dough, nuts, caffeinated drinks, onions, and garlic, out of their way.
- Put away strings or threads that your pet may swallow, which could lead to them getting choked.
- Don’t grow poisonous plants, like lilies, philodendrons, and azaleas.
- Install a secure fence that won’t allow your handicapped pet to run away and potentially expose themselves to more harm.
6. Make Your Floor Non-Skid
Ceramic tiles can be too slippery for your handicapped pet. Avoid the possibility of your injured cat or dog slipping as they can bump into dangerous objects and harm themselves. Stairs are especially tricky to climb for pets with mobility issues.
You need to know the areas where your pet spends most of their time. If it’s the kitchen or sitting room, consider placing a pet-friendly, non-skid carpet in that room. To better safeguard them from slipping, you can also dress them in pet boots and/or traction socks.
7. Ensure Pets Have Their Own Space
Dogs and cats genetically treasure personal spaces, where they can retreat without any disturbance from you and your family. The same applies to your handicapped pet. Having this in mind, seclude some area or room near your family’s favorite hanging spot. The idea is to let them have their own space, without letting them feel excluded. This is where you should place their bed. Let them rule in that area without your interference. As long as you can watch over them, let them enjoy their space.
You need to care for your handicapped pet as you would a handicapped person. For them to feel comfortable, you’ll have to make several changes to your house furniture and fittings.