Living with a Handicapped Pet

image of a pug in a wheelchair.

Strokes, vision problems, arthritis and other conditions don't just affect people. Pets also develop serious health problems that change their lives. Fortunately, you can help your handicapped pet enjoy a comfortable, happy life by making a few modifications to your home.

Make Your Home Accessible

Many diseases, conditions and injuries make it difficult for your dog or cat to navigate your home. Make life easier for your pet by following these tips:

Use Non-Slip Surfaces. A fall can be devastating to a pet that already has a disability. Prevent falls on stairs by adding non-slip treads to the steps. Secure area rugs with double-sided tape or heavy furniture to prevent falls. If you have slippery, glossy floors, consider buying non-slip booties for your pet.

Take Advantage of Textures. A change in texture can provide valuable clues to a blind or visually impaired pet. Rough carpeting placed above and below staircases offers a warning sign, while a rug under your pet's bed helps your dog or cat find a favorite resting place easily.

Choose Easy-to-Access Beds and Litter Boxes. When have pets have mobility or joint issues, it can be very difficult for them to raise their legs high enough to step into beds and litter boxes. Choose products that offer low sides instead. A large floor pillow is a good substitute for a pet bed, as long as it offers a washable cover. If balance is an issue, choose a bed with a low front and high sides. The high sides will support your pet and prevent it from falling out of the bed.

Raise Food Bowls. A raised feeding station makes eating easier for pets with orthopedic or neurological conditions.

Add Ramps and Steps: Arthritis, hip dysplasia, stroke and neurological diseases can make it difficult for pets to jump on couches or beds. If your pet is used to sleeping with you, the change can be difficult for both of you. Ramps and steps are fairly inexpensive and allow pets to easily access their favorite resting spots.

Use Training Pads. There are bound to be a few bathroom accidents if your pet has a disability. Put a puppy pad near the door in case your dog can't quite make it to the backyard in time. Adding a pad next to your cat's litter box can also be helpful if your pet sometimes overshoots the box when defecating or urinating.

Consider a Mobility Cart: Strokes and other conditions can paralyze your pet's hind legs, making life very difficult. Although some pets become very adept at moving by dragging their hind legs behind them, scooting can cause sores on the skin. Two-wheeled carts restore your pet's mobility. The lower part of your pet's body rests on the cart, while his or her front legs are free. Carts are specially designed to allow your pet to urinate or defecate while attached to the cart.

Keep Pathways Clear. It's important to keep floors clear of clutter, particularly if your pet is blind or has some degree of vision loss. Even small objects can throw off your pet's balance.

Pet-Proof Your Home and Yard. Bumping into the sharp edge of a coffee table can injure your pet. Get down on your hands and knees and look for potential hazards. Use baby gates to prevent your dog or cat from falling down the stairs, and pad sharp edges of furniture to prevent injuries. It's just as important to ensure that your yard is free of tripping hazards. Ask your children to pick up and put away toys and remove gardening and other supplies promptly.

Buy New Toys: Visually impaired pets can find toys easily if they make some noise. When each toy produces a different sound, it will easier for your pet to differentiate between them.

Regular veterinary care is important for all pets but is particularly important for handicapped pets. If you're concerned about your pet's health or need a little help managing a disability, call us to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

My Pet: Living with Disabled Cats & Dogs

http://www.mypet.com/basic-pet-care/living-with-disabled-pets.aspx

Catster: 7 Ways to Adapt Your Home for Your Disabled Cat

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/disabled-cat-home-accessible

Pet Education: Living with a Blind Dog

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2085&aid=3620

Animal Wellness Magazine: 12 Tips for Paralyzed Animals

https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/12-tips-paralyzed-animals/

Call to schedule your pet's wellness or urgent care exam now: (952) 758-6722

Testimonials

  • We have been clients of New Prague Animal Care for over 13 years. They have provided exceptional and compassionate care for our “pack” (6 dogs and 3 cats). As a professional dog trainer, breeder of Best in Show and Master Hunter Retrievers as well an owner of multiple kennel/ doggy daycare facilities (30+ years), I have worked with numerous veterinary clinics both in the Twin Cities and nationwide. Dr. Steve and his crew rate among the finest I have worked with. The clinic has all of the fea

    ...
    Read More - Kathryn N
  • My dad has taken all of his dogs there for years, and I take mine there as well. Dr. Lavalle's bedside manner is amazing, and his staff are so genuine and caring. I always have, and will continue referring people to take their pets here. They are hands down the best veterinary care in the area!

    - Amber C
  • Have taken our dogs to Dr. Lavallee for over 10 years and he is great with each of them. He and his staff are very caring and helpful.

    - Barb S
  • Middle of a snow storm a few days ago. My little puppy was injured. I live in Faribult. Vet offices were closed in town. They actually called me while in route to see if I was ok. They were so good with the puppy. The cost was very reasonable. Called today to see how everything was going. I really was very impressed with this office. I recommend this place.

    ...
    Read More - Wendy E
  • Awesome experience! My pets love the care they get from Dr. Lavallee and his staff! They are not just a number; they care for them like my babies are family! Would highly recommend them!

    - SGGM
  • Found a 6-wk old kitten on the side of the highway and brought it in at 7pm on emergency basis. I was blown away by the compassion of Dr. Johnson's team. What a great experience. True animal people!

    - Anna H
  • Moved to New Prague and found this place for our dog.. Such great service, friendly staff, amazing Dr. and very accommodating to all of our needs!! Highly recommended by my pet family!!!

    - Kerri N
  • We love New Prague Animal Care, they are always so kind and caring, from the phone calls to when you walk in. We take our Siberian Husky Bandit in and he gets so much attention, well loved. We've had to take him in twice for emergencies, the in house testing was great, Dr. Johnson was able to resolve the issue almost immediately. I wouldn't take him anywhere else.

    ...
    Read More - Myra C

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CURRENT HOURS

Pending further developments, we are open MWF 8am-6pm, TTh 8am-8pm, and Sat 9am-Noon.

Monday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

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Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
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Sunday
Closed

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