Taking care of a pet is already a huge responsibility in itself, but to adopt a special needs pet is twofold the job. However, it also helps you to get twofold the unconditional love and affection from your pet and that feeling is absolutely priceless. This means that although the job is tough, the rewards are twice as much, presumably even more than you could have ever imagined.
Are You Up For The Responsibility?
1. Learn About Your Special Needs Pet’s Disability
Special needs pets may undergo conditions such as birth defects, deafness, blindness, paralysis, digestive issues, loss of limbs, or other behavioral issues. Thus, before you adopt your special needs dog or cat, make sure you are well versed about their condition as such pets need to be looked after much differently than a regular pet. You may have to inquire with a specialist regarding how you need to look after your pet, what regime should you follow, medication schedule, diet plan, amongst others.
2. Costly Vet Bills
Adopting a special needs dog or cat can be quite costly as you are likely to make regular visits to the vet. Therefore, you must plan accordingly on how you are going to pay for the veterinarian’s bills. Find out about special pets insurance and make sure to inquire about every detail such as how much will the insurance cover cost for the veterinarian’s visits, what sort of insurance will pay in case if you need to get any necessary treatments or procedures performed on your pet, etc. It will be heartbreaking and unfair for both you and your pet if you both have to part ways only because you could not afford to pay the bills. So make sure to inquire every bit of information related to how much you will have to spend on your pet before you decide to adopt it.
3. Patience… Much Much Patience
Be ready to face those days when your special needs pet vomits on your favorite carpet, pees on your brand new shoe, or does not follow their potty schedule. There will be those days when you have to wipe them, clean them, hold them when they are sick. You will be expected to exemplify your patience towards your special needs pet at such times rather than acting irrationally or getting angry at them.
4. Show Empathy
To develop your patience level, you need to learn how to empathize with your special needs cat or dog. If you are not able to understand their pains and struggles, you will not be able to form a bond with your pet and without forming a bond, you will never be able to give your pet the love and affection they deserve. Furthermore, you will also be unable to give proper care to your pet if you don’t understand what difficulties they have to face due to their disabilities or illness. Treat your pet just as you would treat your own child. When you empathize with your pet, only then you will be able to give unconditional love and support.
5. Learn How To Manage Your Time
Before you take on the responsibility of adopting a special needs pet, ask yourself if you can manage your job as well as look after your pet properly. Remember that a special needs dog or cat requires high level of care and looking after. If you feel that you will not be able to give the required amount of time due to your busy schedule, you can also consider hiring a licensed pet care professional. Not only will they look after your pet, but they will also help you with medication schedules and minor clean ups.
6. Get Ready To Wipe Your Pet’s Butt
The thought of wiping your pet’s butt may make you feel squeamish, but it’s something that has to be done. You may find yourself wiping your special needs cat or dog’s butt more often than you wipe your own. Is it gross? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.
Special needs pets may have conditions such as Irritable Bowel Disease. Your pet won’t be able to help it if they suddenly vomit or poop all over the place. Be ready to see and clean yucky poo and icky vomit. Unless you have arranged for hired help, you should get yourself used to cleaning all the yucky things your pet throws at you. That’s how it is for a special needs pet parent!
7. Love and Attention
A special needs pet requires all the love and attention you can possibly give. That is all they want; your love and attention. Due to their condition, most special needs pets do not have a long life to live. So try to bring them happiness in whatever life they have left to live.
You Learn Valuable Life Lessons
You will be surprised to see how much of an impact your special needs pet will make in your life. Sure, you may have to face a lot of responsibility while taking care of your special needs pet. But, when you see your pet giving you all the love and affection you could ever ask for, it makes it all worth the pain and trouble you put in taking care of your pet. Deciding to adopt a special needs pet can change your life for the better as you learn important life lessons. You’ll understand how to treat others with kindness and respect and how to love them for who they are. You also learn what it means to love without conditions and strings attached, and what unconditional love truly means.
Just Give Them All the Love They Truly Deserve To Get
All your special needs pet wants is someone to look past their disability and looks, and shower them with the love they long for. In return, they will also shower you with unconditional love and affection. You may find that as much as your special needs cat or dog depends on you, you also depend on them for much-needed companionship. You probably would not be able to get such wholehearted companionship from anyone else. You may not realize it, but your special needs cat or dog will make your life much more meaningful.