Loving and Living With a Disabled Pet

When it comes to our loved ones, we are not relegated to only our human companions. Our furry and four-legged family members should also be treated with the same love and compassion that we show our human counterparts. Pets can sometimes be so cute that seeing them harmed or struck with an ailment is a thought many people purge from their minds.

The fact remains, however; pets are just as susceptible to injury and sickness as we humans are, sometimes even more so. It is important that when accidents happen or disease appears, we care for our furry friends just as much as we’d care for any other member of our family. Just as mobility and accessibility equipment can help humans age in place, some of the same equipment can be modified for use for animals. Check out some adaptive equipment for disabled pets below.

Pet Wheelchairs

Pet Wheelchair - Disabled Pets

It is not uncommon to see a dog or cat with a missing appendage such as a front or rear leg. While these kinds of losses could be devastating to a human with complex emotions and an intricate thought process, many of these disabled pets just seem to keep on trucking, happy as ever. Even though they appear to be fine in terms of spirit, it is undeniable that their disability is severely hindering their day-to-day life. Luckily, there is a remedy for this situation, and it comes in the form of a pet wheelchair. While pets that have lost one appendage can typically get along with minimal assistance, pets who have lost either their front or back set of legs will need mobility assistance.

This is where a pet wheelchair can come in handy. These devices are most commonly used on dogs whose ability to use their front or back legs is limited or nonexistent. They are composed of a harness that secures the animal's abdomen, and a set of 2 wheels that are placed on either side of the disabled extremities. The wheels allow the animal to maneuver seamlessly through their home environment, even enabling them to tackle sloped surfaces such as ramps and small steps. The wheelchair also acts as a supportive harness and is perfect for animals with a spinal or neurological disability who may have lost control of the lower half of their body
Pet Ramps and Walkers

Mobility Ramps

portable ramp for petsImage courtesy of http://www.seniorpetproducts.com/dogs/mobility/ramps/petstep-ii-folding-dog-ramp-70-long/get=”_blank”>

For animals with less serious disabilities, such as those common with aging, a less assistive device may be the better option. Small, portable ramps are available for pets who have difficulty jumping into vehicles and climbing stairs. These ramps also are perfect for animals who utilize a pet wheelchair, enabling them to access vehicles and porches/landings. These ramps are highly portable and can be folded up for easy storage, enabling them to be taken nearly anywhere, greatly expanding the number of places you can take your pet. Additionally, these ramps feature a very ergonomic surface, allowing for easy grip between the ramp and your pet’s paws.

Pet Walkers

dog with walker

Image courtesy of Eddieswheels.com

When it comes to a pet that may have difficulty supporting its own weight but still has functional legs, a pet walker may be a perfect choice. These devices are usually composed of a supportive harness surrounded by a square frame from which two or four wheels are placed on each corner. This allows the pet full control over their speed and direction while providing full support to the animal’s body. In some cases, a dog may even forget it is there due to its excitement to be fully mobile again.

Other Pet Mobility Devices

There also other, more simple products that can help with aging pets. These items can include leash-harnesses that provide full-body support to an animal with the assistance of its owner. Pet shoes can also be bought and placed on the sensitive paws of some older animals. Even an item such as a pet-diaper allows for your pet to use the bathroom without making a mess all over the house. It is important that these small steps be taken to improve the quality of life for our animals and extend our peace of mind.