Updated: Sep 21
When you’re looking to adopt a pet, a 3-legged dog or cat, or a pet with crippling anxiety isn’t always what people have in mind. But, life with a special needs pet can be just as rewarding and full of love. A special needs dog or cat - one whose medical conditions, behavioral concerns, or physical disabilities - requires extra care and attention. With a little patience and accommodation, special needs dogs and cats can live full and happy lives.
Today, we are exploring the 5 joys of adopting a special needs pet
1. You’re giving the pet with special needs a loving home
Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week raises awareness on pets that are often considered less adoptable due to their special needs. Sadly, dogs and cats with special needs spend much longer at shelters and rescues, more than 4 times longer than pets without such conditions - learn more here. Dogs and cats with special needs, whether it is FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), blindness, deafness, anxiety, chronic illness, or other conditions require extra attention but make the most lovable pets and will fill your home with joy.
2. You will meet like-minded people
When you share your life and home with a pet who has special needs, you might need to make adjustments in your home or lifestyle. But you will gain a whole new community of pet guardians, online or in-person, whose dogs and cats are also going through similar challenges. You will likely make friends for life with people who understand what you’re going through.
3. Your pet could be an ambassador
Your special needs pet could transform into a super pet ambassador! Depending on their condition, tolerance levels, and ability to cope with new people, your special needs pet can be a virtual or in-person ambassador for the shelter you adopted them from, different communities, or non-profits like Duo Duo Project!
4. It will be incredibly rewarding
Living with a pet who has special needs might take a lot of patience and some adjustments to your lifestyle and potentially your home. At times it might take a lot out of you but having a special needs pet can also change your life for the better! You might start learning about the different physical and/or emotional needs of your pet and how you can help them. Your pet and their challenges might teach you more about yourself, your compassion, your ability to love an animal unconditionally, and unique qualities about yourself that you never knew that you had.
5. It will change your perspective on life
Have you ever considered how hard it might be to always travel in a wheelchair? How difficult things can be when you’re blind or deaf? Or how scary big crowds can be when you’re fearful of new people? Living with a pet who has special needs will expand your compassion as you open your heart and mind to the needs and challenges of otherly-abled animals and people. Perhaps, living with a pet with special needs might inspire you to support people with disabilities too!
Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet
At Duo Duo Project, many of us have adopted dogs and cats with special needs, ranging from tripod dogs and cats, dogs in wheelchairs, and pets with medical conditions such as arthritis or intense phobias such as fear of thunderstorms. We know first-hand the challenges that come with adopting a special needs pet and have had to change things around our homes to improve their quality of life such as using ramps, pet stairs, giving daily medication, or adapting to their fears and anxieties. But we also know the immense joy and love they bring into our lives, homes, and hearts.
If you’re currently considering adopting a pet, check out our blog “Adopt Don’t Shop” blog by clicking here. When you are thinking of adopting a pet, we hope you consider one with special needs- as they’re truly just special.
Do you have a special needs pet? Let us know about them in the comments below.
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