As a veterinary practice, we see all different kinds of cats and dogs – from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, and from Sphinxes to Maine Coons. Although some pets who come in are specially-abled and may require a little more attention. Some of the common specially-abled dogs that we see here at Blum are three-legged, blind, deaf or have hind limb paralysis.
Many of these pets become labeled “less adoptable” and can spend up to two years waiting to find their forever home, which is more than four times the average wait. While these specially-abled dogs may take a little more time and patience, they often are not much different than the typical pet.
Three-legged dogs might need support slings or ramps if they require a wheelchair to help them easily get around. Blind dogs usually do not act any different than other dogs, but consistency is key to knowing their surroundings. Keeping their food and water bowls in the same spot and blocking off dangerous areas such as stairs or pools with a baby gate. Deaf dogs may be a little jumpy in the beginning since they can be startled even by a slight touch. Through routine training they can be desensitized, but owners may need to take different measures to alert them when they are approaching. A vibrating collar that is non-painful can be used much like a clicker. Some deaf dogs even learn American Sign Lanuage for their commands!
These specially-abled dogs can play, love and lead a normal life! These dogs want the same things as any other dog. As with adopting any pet, make sure the dog’s temperment and lifestyle is a match with yours. Just don’t overlook these dogs because they may be a little different…they could be the perfect addition to your home!
Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.