What to Know About Caring for Specially-Abled Pets

What to Know About Caring for Specially-Abled Pets

Just like some people require accommodations and assistance to complete day-to-day activities, pets are no different. Whether it's a physical disability, chronic illness, severe injury, or another long-term health condition, pets who are specially-abled can lead happy, productive lives with the right care and equipment.

Specially-abled pups and kittens are loveable and tend to melt our hearts. However, adopting such a pet isn't for everyone, and it’s not a decision to take lightly. Pets with special needs take lots of time, energy, and financial resources to provide the proper care they require.

Before Adopting

Before you decide to bring a specially-abled pet into your home, you need to make an honest assessment of yourself and your lifestyle to make sure you are currently in a position to commit to a successful adoption.

It's okay to decide that maybe now is not the time or that your lifestyle isn't one that could accommodate a pet with special needs. What’s important is that the pet finds the right home, where they can thrive and experience a high quality of life. This means that it is crucial to make an adoption decision using your head rather than your heart.

For anyone interested in adopting a specially-abled pet, their heart is probably in the right place, but it takes much more than that to provide a special needs pet with a strong and stable home environment. Here are a few things to evaluate before you decide to adopt:

general care tips for dogs and cats with special needs _ orange tabby cat with one eye

General Care

The type of care your special needs pet requires will obviously depend on their medical issue, be it physical or psychological. In general, it's a good idea to know and discuss your pet's particular needs not only with a veterinarian, but also, and based on necessity, a trainer, a behaviorist, and anyone else who may be of assistance or support when it comes to the care of your pet.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when caring for a specially-abled pet:

specially-abled pet success stories _ three-legged boxer mix smiling wearing a birthday hat

Success Stories

All this talk about pets with special needs requires some true stories of success and well-being! Here are some inspiring tales of specially-abled pets and their pet parents:

Tuna Melts My Heart

With more than 2 million social media followers, Tuna is a very famous Chiweenie. This is because of his unusual looks: an extreme overbite, recessed jawline and an incredibly wrinkly neck.

People have fallen in love with Tuna, and his adopted pet parent, Courtney, has turned his unexpected fame into a mission. Through his social media platforms and, of course, charm, Tuna and Courtney promote animal rescue and adoption, while also showing everyone that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes.

Lil Bub

Lil Bub, the runt in a litter of feral kittens found in a shed in Indiana, was born with several genetic disorders, including dwarfism, which affects the size and proportions of her body. Lil Bub has a long, slender body, short legs, six toes on each paw, an underbite, a protruding tongue, and some gloriously green bug eyes.

Shortly after turning one, Lil Bub was also diagnosed with a rare bone disease that causes her bone density to increase with age. Despite all of these medical setbacks, Lil Bub lives a happy life with her adopted family. Bub also advocates for special needs and homeless kitties, and she has raised more than $200,000 for several charities.

Tuna and Lil Bub are just two examples of the many specially-abled pets who have overcome their unique challenges and gone on to live happy and healthy lives with the helping hand of their generous pet parents.


Looking into ways to cover healthcare costs for your pet? An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan can help! While our pet insurance plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions, getting your pet coverage now could help with future injuries or health concerns.
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