!Header Logo

Animals First + Veterinary Hospital, Urgent Care & Wellness Center

!Give us a call button

Call Now! 856-858-0551 Request an Appointment

!Call Icon

Adopting A Specially-Abled Pet

May 1 2024

May 3rd is a special day for some of our furry friends: it’s National Specially-Abled Pets Day. This special day celebrates the pets that aren’t quite perfect. Fido may be missing a leg, or Fluffy’s cute ears may not work right. That doesn’t mean they won’t make great pets. In fact, they may be the best furry friends ever! Of course, we think these sweet and courageous animals deserve to be celebrated all year long! Read on as a local Haddon Township, NJ veterinarian offers some insight on specially-abled pets.

What Is National Specially-Abled Pets Day?

Specially-abled pets could also be described as special needs. In fact, it was originally called National Disabled Pets Day. The founder changed it to make it sound more positive, and also put the focus on what these pets are able to do. They are fully able to love, able to entertain us, able to cuddle, and absolutely able to win our hearts. They are also able to play, cuddle, wag their tails, and, like any other pet, enjoy a good snooze in their favorite spot. 

Why Should I Adopt A Specially-Abled Pets?

The reasons to adopt a specially-abled pet are the same reasons you’d adopt any other pet: animal companionship, and all that our furry friends bring to our lives. Pets fill our days with love, provide friendship and endless cuddles, comfort us, and make us laugh. 

You may find that adopting a specially-abled pet is incredibly rewarding. Doing something positive can be very enriching and fulfilling. It’s no surprise to hear that so many people just melt when their lovably imperfect pets reward them with cuddles, purrs, and tail wags.

Unconditional love is also a great reward. Specially-abled pets really just want what all other pets want: for someone to love them, care for them, and offer toys, treats, and belly rubs (or ear scritches). In fact, many are absolutely starved for attention, and quickly get very, very attached to their saviors.

Do Specially-Abled Pets Need A Lot Of Care?

Not necessarily. In fact, many specially-abled pets really do not need much more care than any other animal. In fact, you may find that you just need to do some things a bit differently.  For example, a deaf dog can be trained to respond to hand signals and a waving flashlight, rather than spoken words. A blind dog may need some extra petproofing, and perhaps an extra harness and leash on walks, but may otherwise act just like any other pup. A diabetic pet may just need a special diet and perhaps insulin shots. (That may sound scary at first, but once you’re over the learning curve, it may literally only take a minute or so a day.)

Then there are the tripawds, or pets in wheelchairs. IPet wheelchairs have come a long way over the past few years. Sure, there’s another device to handle, but at the end of the day, you may find that caring for a pup that doesn’t have use of one or more of his legs really isn’t very different from caring for any other dog. It’s truly uplifting to watch the sheer joy on these sweet dogs and cats’ faces as they race and play! 

Why Do Specially-Abled Struggle To Get Adopted?

Sadly, misinformation and misconceptions are the biggest reasons. Many people automatically pass over these pets, based on a few assumptions. One common misconception is that special needs pets need a lot of extra care and attention. Some may feel that specially-abled pets need adopters with medical or veterinary care experience, while others may be concerned about veterinary care costs.

However, don’t assume that this is the case. For instance, a pet that has had a limb amputated may not need any extra veterinary care once they have fully healed. 

At the end of the day, each of these pets will have their own care needs. Part of the reason this awareness day is so important is just that it encourages people to look into the matter and ask questions, rather than assuming.

That said, it is important to choose the right fit. To be fair, a blind dog may not be the best option for someone who likes to hike on mountains. But if a cute pet catches your attention, then by all means look into it. Talk to your Haddon Township, NJ vet to learn more.

What Are Specially-Abled Pets?

This term describes pets that are, well, perfectly imperfect. Fido may be missing a leg, or he may be blind or deaf. Fluffy might have been born with a deformed leg, or perhaps has become paralyzed after an accident. Sometimes specially-abled pets have behavioral issues, such as anxiety.

This roster also includes dogs and cats that are diabetic. For kitties, an FeLV-positive feline may also fit the bill.

One thing all of these guys have in common? An amazing capacity to love and be loved. Keep in mind that pets are very resilient, and can bounce back from illness and injury without skipping a beat. Part of the reason for this is that pets don’t think of things the way we do. They live in the moment. And when it comes to adopting deaf or blind animals, it’s important to remember that Fido and Fluffy rely on their noses much more than we do.

How Should I Get Ready To Adopt A Specially-Abled Pet?

For the most part, this is going to be very similar to preparing for any other pet. Petproofing is a must, of course. The exact steps you’ll need to take will depend on what sort of pet you are getting. For instance, if you’re getting a blind dog, you may want to set out carpet runners to help Fido find his way around. Stick-on air fresheners can also make good ‘landmarks’ for pups that can’t see. You’d also want to block off anything that could be dangerous, such as a fireplace or stairs. If you were to get a deaf dog, you’d want to make sure that your fencing is secure. Ask your Haddon Township, NJ vet for more information.

Are Specially-Abled Pets Expensive?

We can’t really speak to price, as there is so much variation. However, many shelters and rescues offer specially-abled pets at discounted rates, just to help them find homes. Talk to the shelter or rescue organization and your vet. At the end of the day, it never hurts to ask!

How Can I Help Specially-Abled Pets?

Adopting a specially-abled pet is great, but it’s not the only way to help them. One thing you can do is help out a rescue or shelter that works with specially-abled pets. If you have the time, you could also look into volunteering or even fostering. Of course, financial aid is also great. There are plenty of wonderful rescue organizations out there that could use help!

Last but not least, don’t forget to spread the word! Share some cute videos of pups in wheelchairs running, playing, or living their best lives, or perhaps post a charming clip of a deaf kitty being adorable. Every little bit helps! That’s true of all good causes. However, it’s especially important when it comes to animal welfare because raising awareness about issues is one of the most effective things we can do to spark change.

Conclusion: National Specially-Abled Pets Day celebrates those lovable, less-than-perfect pets that desperately need loving homes, and encourages people to consider adopting them.

Make An Appointment At Our Haddon Township, NJ Pet Clinic

Do you have questions about a special needs pet? Is your furry pal due for an appointment? Contact us, your local Haddon Township, NJ pet hospital, today!

!Single Blog Social Sharing Icons