For some of the greatest joy, love, and compassion known to mankind, look no further than Man’s Best Friend. Dogs don’t care whether you’re rich or poor, have had the best day of your life or one of the worst — they love you just the same. The unconditional love that our dogs show us is nothing short of inspirational, which is what makes it all the more important to inspire ourselves to care for them as best as possible.
That includes taking care of them when they need help most. It’s easy to love someone when everything is going great. It is when adversity strikes that we find out who our true friends are. Your dogs would love you in any condition and if you truly love them, you will do the same.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways you can improve the life of a dog facing disability or mobility problems.
Keep Them Active
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to help disabled dogs is to cut down on their amount of physical activity. At first, doing so can seem to make sense. After all, you wouldn’t expect a human who is 75 years old or who has broken his or her foot to run around all day.
Even so, exercise is extremely important for all dogs. It allows them to burn off their excess energy and keeps them in good shape physically as well as mentally. That latter part is often overlooked but it’s just as important as the former. A lethargic dog is often an unhappy dog.
That’s why the solution isn’t to cut out physical activity but to be smarter about it. Watch your dogs closely while they walk or run around, making sure they exercise without injuring themselves. To be prepared in case they do injure themselves, it’s always a good idea to know how to give them emergency pet care.
Ease Their Burden
That said, for as important as it is to make your dogs feel active, you also want to do everything in your power to ease the burden on their back, legs, and body as well. Age, injury, and a loss of mobility can all be big blows to your dog’s ability to get around at all, not just when it comes to playing fetch or racing around the yard. If your dog is quite old and has a bad back, for example, the mere act of bending down for a drink out of the water bowl can be painful.
That’s why, in a case such as this, you’ll want to elevate your dogs’ water bowls and food dishes so they don’t have to bend down in order to eat or drink.
If your dogs are unable to get upstairs very easily, you might consider getting or building a dog ramp. This can not only help them better get around at will but in doing so, can also help them remain active.
Get a Dog Wheelchair
One of the biggest potential game-changers for dogs with disabilities and injuries is dog wheelchairs, such as the USA built K9 Carts. These are just what they sound like — wheelchairs that hook around a dog’s waist and provide it with support as it walks around under its own power. These wheelchairs have two large wheels in the front or back, depending on where your dog needs support.
Of course, your dog will likely need some time to get used to these, which is why you’ll want to practice positive reinforcement when you first introduce the new wheelchair. Let your dog sniff, lick, and otherwise become acquainted with the new wheelchair through his or her senses. Treats, petting, and other forms of positive reinforcement can also help ease your dog’s tensions and get him or her used to this big lifestyle change.
With patience, care, and the right tools, you can help your old, disabled, or injured dog regain the dignity and livelihood that he or she deserves.
Author’s BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions. Lori is currently engaged in news and conceptual articles on the pet care and veterinary industry. You can find her on LinkedIn. Hope you appreciate Lori’s useful insights!