- November
Posted By : PawBoost
Rescuing Pups with Special Needs

This article is contributed by Abigail Baker (Writer at Happy Writers)

Rescuing Pups with Special Needs

Adopting a pet can be a life-changing moment that leaves a defining mark on your life and your family’s lives. Settling on what your ideal pet relationship looks like is an essential part of the adoption process, and depending on what you are looking for in a canine pal, a special needs pup could be the right fit for you. 

Photo Credit: Ryan Walton via Unsplash

Special Needs Characteristics in Dogs

A dog with special needs potentially falls into a wide range of categories that can include anything from mild health conditions to long-term severe medical issues. It’s important to note that every situation is different. Some health conditions could consist of one or more of the following:

  1. Frequent toilet accidents due to old age or an illness
  2. Separation anxiety
  3. Heightened aggression that requires monitoring while walking and around other people
  4. Special feeding needs due to a previous injury or illness 
  5. Blindness and/or deafness
  6. Diabetes
  7. Cushing’s disease
  8. Arthritis due to old age
  9. Paralyzed body parts
  10. Underdeveloped skeletal structure
  11. Birth defects

Pet caretakers should be prepared to administer medicine, make time for additional veterinary care, and make adjustments in the home as part of a regular care routine. 

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Make Sure That Your Special Needs Canine Will Fit Into Your Lifestyle 

Ensuring that your lifestyle needs align with your future dog’s needs is still a must even when adopting a special needs pup. If you’re looking to make a difference and are gearing up to take the leap and adopt a special needs pet, keep in mind that special needs are a wide range (as seen above). It’s critical to take the time that you need to understand your future pet’s needs and put a plan in place. Your plan should include doing what’s needed to keep your dog’s environment consistent and recruiting additional help if needed, such as a pet sitter or finding a traveling vet that does in-home visits.  

Photo Credit: Eddie Galaxy via Pexels

Why Many Take the Leap and Adopt a Special Needs Pooch

Special needs pets are at least four times less likely to be adopted and are more susceptible to be euthanized in shelters. These often loving animals give pet owners a fresh perspective on unconditional love and inspire us to overcome our own obstacles. At the end of the day, special needs dogs and all other dogs have one major component in common, they’re all canines! This means that love, playing, snuggling, and all of the joys of dog ownership will still be part of your pup’s life despite their special needs. 

Final Thoughts

Remember: when special needs dogs are adopted, spaces in shelters open up, which allows other dogs to find a home. Additionally, when people in the community see first-hand what it looks like to have a special needs pooch, they often become inspired to walk the same path and feel good about giving back. By adopting a pup with special needs, you’re not only giving that dog a wonderful new chance at a happy life, but also setting an example of compassion for those around you who might be considering adopting a unique new furry friend!


  • I love animals ! I just think that there so unique and amazing. I prefer a smaller dog though. He or she will be so loved by myself and three kids

  • Thank you for this article. Yes I think about adopting a special needs dog. Right now I’m kept busy with my needy cat!

  • I love my deaf dog as much as I love my arthritis dog and my “normal” dog. The deaf and normal dogs often run shoulder to shoulder while my old pup with arthritis is a cuddler. They are all sweet and they are all someone else’s throw-away pet. Disability does not scare me away from adopting a dog. I do not choose a dog based on what I see; I choose a dog based on personality because that is what determines if s/he will be a good fit for me. The one dog is deaf; they have all learned hand signals. One dog has arthritis; I give him the supplements he needs to be comfortable. One dog is “normal”; I give her just as much attention as I give the boys. They are a lovely pack and I enjoy the blessings they are for me.

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