A special-needs pet is one with a physical disability, a chronic injury, or emotional/behavioral issues. Today, we celebrate special-needs pets and encourage animal lovers with plenty of compassion, time, and energy to consider adopting one. Here are a few points to ponder from Vetstreet:
1. First, research.
If there’s a special-needs pet that has captured your heart, be sure to research its issues thoroughly beforehand so you understand the care that is required. Talk to veterinarians, specialists, and owners of similar special-needs pets so that you can make the best choice for both of you, instead of a spur-of-the-moment decision.
2. Consider the financial commitment.
Be sure that you have the financial resources to properly care for a special-needs pet. Again, research the expenses associated with your prospective pet’s condition, including food, grooming, medical care, and special equipment.
3. Remember the time and energy involved.
You might not be bringing home a frisky puppy that’s going to romp all over the house, but a special-needs pet still requires your time and energy. Be sure that you have the patience to handle its physical limitations or extra needs, and that everyone in your family does as well.
4. Make sure you’re up to it, physically.
Not all special-needs pets are physically demanding, but be sure you have the strength and capability to care for one that is.
As long as you’re fully prepared to welcome a special-needs pet into your home and to accept the responsibilities involved, you can enjoy a loving, caring relationship with your new furry friend!
National Pet Week was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the AVMA Auxiliary. Celebrated each year during the first full week of May, National Pet Week encourages pet owners to take steps to keep their pets happy and healthy. In honor of the 35th anniversary of this special week, the AVMA is highlighting seven essential actions to improve the welfare of pets. Click here to learn more!
Choose well and commit for life.
Socialize now. New doesn’t have to be scary.
Exercise body. Exercise mind.
Love your pet? See your vet!
Pet population control: Know your role.
Emergencies happen. Be prepared.
Give your pet a lifetime of love.
Spring is finally here! If you’re like most people, the sudden influx of baby animals has stirred a frenzy within you to scoop up every big-eyed, wobbly-headed little creature in your path. If you’ve contracted cuteness fever this season, just remember that pets are for life, and the animal shelter is always the best place to start your search. With those things in mind, here are some ways to prepare for your new arrival!
1. Make certain you don’t adopt puppies or kittens before they are properly weaned and socialized. Healthypet.com says the optimal period to adopt is 10-16 weeks after birth for kittens and 7-10 weeks for puppies.
2. Keep up on those vaccinations! Kittens and puppies will receive vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until they are at least six months of age, at which point they will start receiving booster shots.
3. Take care to puppy/kitty-proof your home beforehand. Keep toxic plants, chemicals, and any cables out of their reach (see healthypet.com for a list of poisonous plants). To prevent your little adventurer from taking a nasty fall, block off any precarious ledges.
4. Purchase foods that are formulated to meet the developmental needs of kittens and puppies. You can start mixing adult food into their usual blend at about six months of age (or later, for cats).
5. Purina says the key to training a kitten or puppy is mainly to reinforce positive behavior. Ignore or disapprove firmly of bad behavior, but never strike your kitten or puppy.
6. Want to know how to get your kitten or puppy to come when called? Only use its name in pleasurable settings such as meal time. Don’t shout its name to reprimand it, and it will always come running.