Adopting a special needs dog is a wonderful thing. So many people will decide that adopting a special needs dog is too difficult or too much work. They want a dog they can run and play with. They want a dog that takes the ‘normal’ amount of time and work. That’s okay. Not everyone is equipped to handle a special needs dog.
A special needs dog may be physically disabled, have a medical condition, suffer from severe anxiety, or other mental illnesses.
If you are thinking about adopting a special needs dog, there are a few things you should consider first, and a few hard truths you’ll need to accept. Here are eight things you should know before adopting a special needs dog:
It’s not going to be easy
In fact, it’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ve done. It will be physically and emotionally exhausting at times.
It’s probably going to be very expensive
You may have to buy special equipment for your dog, special food, medication, etc.
They may have a shorter life span
Special needs dogs tend to not live as long as other dogs and this is something people should know going in. You will fall head over heels in love with this dog.
You are going to make mistakes
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are learning as you go. Just do the best you can.
You are going to want to quit
Again, don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like giving up. All special needs dog parents have felt that way before and will feel that way again.
You will have to make sacrifices
You may have to cancel plans and accept that having company over may not be happening.
You will need to have the patience of Job
You’ll get frustrated, you’ll want to yell and scream and cry. You’ll pull through.
It will be the most rewarding experience of your life
Honestly. You are giving love, compassion, and a caring home to a dog that may have been overlooked in the past because of its needs. He or she will love you for that. You will feel it every single day.
While being a parent to a special needs dog won’t be easy, it will be an amazing experience and will enrich both your life and the dog’s. Please consider adopting a special needs dog if you can.