Pets with disabilities face various challenges, and in many cases, they do an amazing job adapting. But often, it’s up to you to help them cope with their unique situations. Luckily, there are lots of products that make life easier for handicapped pets.
Making Life Easier for Pets with Disabilities
Maybe your dog or cat was born with a disability or is dealing with a developing condition. Unfortunately, sometimes pets suffer an injury that leads to losing a limb.
As your pet ages, they will likely develop a degenerative condition. These conditions affect multiple aspects of your pet’s life, leading to things like hearing or vision loss, joint problems, and other issues.
To make life easier for your furry friend, many products are available that cater to pets with disabilities. Depending on your dog or cat’s particular challenges, you may need several things to improve their quality of life. Here are 14 products that help handicapped pets live better lives.
1. Pet Wheelchairs
If your pet has trouble walking, whether from conditions like hip dysplasia, paralysis, or missing limbs, a pet wheelchair can change their life completely. Wheelchairs and walkers give pets back their mobility and independence.
Discuss options with your vet to find the style that would work best for your pet. Your vet might also recommend you meet with a mobility specialist to help find the right device. Teaching your dog or cat to use the wheelchair will take time. You can also look for trainers that specialize in working with handicapped pets.
2. The Neater Feeder & Giant Bowls
An elevated pet bowl like the Neater Feeder and large elevated water bowl like the Giant Bowl are an excellent choice for pets dealing with joint pain and other orthopedic problems. The higher eating and drinking area makes it easier for pets to enjoy mealtimes.
Since they don’t have to bend down to reach the bowl, it reduces stress on their neck, shoulders, and back. Depending on your pet’s size, if you need a taller bowl, you can opt for adding leg extensions to give everything a boost.
3. Traction Socks
Does your pet struggle on slippery floors because of failing joints or arthritis? You might notice they tend to hunker down in one place instead of going where they want to go.
The prospect of slipping and sliding and sustaining an injury limits their mobility significantly. In your home, you have the option of adding rugs, runners, carpet tiles, etc. to help provide some traction.
But what do you do when you take your dog or cat somewhere else? Using booties or socks with a non-skid bottom provides your pet with the on-the-go traction they need to have more freedom.
4. Steps and Ramps
Joint problems, old age, and various degenerative conditions make it harder and harder for pets to reach high places. It’s best to adjust your living situation so that your fur baby’s new favorite hangouts are on ground level.
But sometimes, you simply can’t keep a kitty away from their favorite window perch or Fido off the bed. Providing pet steps or a dog or cat ramp makes reaching these prized locations easier for your pal. It also helps reduce the risk of injury.
5. Halo for Blind Dogs
This device gets its name from its shape reminiscent of an angel’s halo. The dog halo protects blind pups from bumping into objects by providing a buffer between them and their surroundings. It extends around your pet’s head from an attached harness.
More than likely your dog won’t need to wear it at home since they’re familiar with their surroundings. But this product is a good option for when you’re taking your pooch on a walk or out in public. It offers protection when they’re maneuvering through unfamiliar territory.
6. Support Slings
Pets with mobility issues from arthritis, joint problems, or other complications, can benefit from a support sling. The sling helps reduce stress on the joints. Use the sling to help your pet move from point A to point B without putting their full weight on the affected areas.
Slings come in various styles and sizes so you can choose one that makes the most sense for your pet. These devices also make it much easier to assist larger dogs into a vehicle or other raised places.
7. Drag Bags
For dogs or cats using a mobility aid, an indoor alternative is a drag bag. This simple device protects your pet’s rear limbs, chest, and bottom from injury when they aren’t using their wheelchair. Your pal can scoot and move around the house in comfort, without worry of abrasions or carpet burn.
8. Vibrating Collar for Hearing-Impaired Pets
If your pet can’t hear, it can be tricky to get their attention. A vibrating collar provides a nonverbal cue that you use to gain your pet’s focus if they aren’t looking at you. These are not shock collars.
They deliver a gentle vibration-only sensation, typically at various levels, that you control with a remote. It might take some time to introduce your pet to the collar, so be patient as they get used to it.
9. Neat-Lik Slow Feed Licking Mat with Protective Tray
It may be hard to watch your pet slowly lose their vision and in turn, not be as neat as they once were during mealtimes. Your pet may push their food around unintentionally and miss most of their meal, making a mess while they are at it. The Neat-Lik Slow Feed Licking Mat not only encourages slow eating and provides anxiety relief, but it contains all the mess inside of its mess-proof tray. This makes the Neat-Lik a lifesaver for both you and your pet!
10. Scent Markers to Guide Blind Pets
A primary recommendation to help pets with vision loss is to keep your furniture in the same place. Your pet starts to learn where things are and will memorize their track. Scent markers make visualizing the space easier, helping your fur babies adapt more quickly.
The adhesive wax dots use essential oils and allow you to mark objects, alerting your pet to their presence. When they catch a whiff it stops them before they bump into the object. As your dog or cat maneuvers around a space, they start to recognize where things are via the scents.
11. Support Braces
Sometimes, your pet might just need a little support, especially if they’re dealing with a progressive condition. Pet braces for elbows, knees, and backs provide assistance to dogs and cats dealing with certain mobility problems.
They come in various sizes and styles, so you may need to try a few to find the right fit. However, it’s important to discuss using a brace with your vet first to ensure it’s the right decision for your pet’s specific condition.
12. Orthopedic Pet Beds
Orthopedic pet beds provide added support, comfort, and relief from joint pain. The right bed can help your furry pal move better and rest better.
Choose the right size for your dog or cat so they can snuggle up and have full support for their entire body. The design should also make it easier for your pet to get in and out of the bed.
13. Neater Mat
The Neater Mat can be used for just about everything! This mat can be placed directly under a Neater Feeder to catch any missed food and water the feeder cannot catch. It can also be used under products like the Neat-Lik or are various stainless steel bowls for added stability so your pet cannot push the product. The Neater Mat also acts as a sensory item, alerting your pet that they are close to their feeding bowl.
14. Neater Slow Feeder & The Niner
What if your pet is a fast eater, but also has a breathing issue, facial deformity, or even just a very flat face? Traditional slow feed puzzle bowls might be too challenging for these pets to get their snouts in the nooks and crannies. This is one of the reasons we designed the Neater Slow Feeder and The Niner. These bowls use small pockets of food to slow down eating instead of crazy puzzle designs - this makes it more comfortable for all pets, including those with flat-faces or a deformity.
Helping Handicapped Pets Live Full Lives
Patience, kindness, and understanding go a long way to helping you care for handicapped pets. But you don’t have to do it alone. Pet products like halos, support slings, vibration collars, and wheelchairs are excellent ways to help your furry friend manage their disability.
If your dog or cat has a specific challenge, talk to your vet about what products you can try to help your pet cope. The Neater Pets blog also offers a wealth of information on helping dogs and cats with disabilities.