Adopting a specially-abled pet can be an incredibly fulfilling choice, knowing that you have provided a safe, loving home to a pet that others may have overlooked or avoided. But it is not for everyone, nor for every household. When deciding whether to bring a specially-abled pet into your home, here are five things to consider:

Specially-abled can mean a number of things

From various physical disabilities, to behavioural issues, to chronic medical conditions. Be sure to learn about the specific responsibilities that come with a particular condition before taking your new pet home. This will ensure that you can properly accommodate their needs.

Commitment to their special needs

All pets require attention, socialization and love. For specially-abled pets, exercise, play and training will need to be approached dierently. It is important for pet families to be committed to finding the time and creativity to address those needs.

Costs of medical care

When adopting any pet, it is important to be realistic about the financial commitment. Specially-abled pets may require special equipment, vet visits, surgeries, or medication. Speak with a veterinarian about the long-term costs of care before you adopt to avoid surprises.

Consider fostering before adopting

Providing a loving foster home to a specially-abled pet can be a great way to understand the realities of living with a pet with special needs before making the commitment to adopt.

Your household environment

Animals with behavioural or emotional conditions may struggle adapting to young children or other pets in the house. Speak to the shelter or rescue agency about the pet’s temperament to learn whether your home would be an appropriate environment.

 

With these practical considerations in mind, you can assess whether your home is able to provide the right environment, and meet the needs, of a specially-abled pet.