We may earn a commission if you click on a link, but at no extra cost to you. Read our disclosure policy for information.
Seeing dogs paralyzed can be heartbreaking; here are some paralyzed dog care tips for you.
There is nothing worse than your furry friend who jumped and rejoiced all day long, turning paralyzed.
Dogs can become handicapped due to an accident, spinal injury, or even an illness.
In the earlier days, when a dog was permanently paralyzed, the dog parents were advised to put their pets to sleep and undergo euthanasia, which is the hardest thing ever for a dog parent.
Gone are those days, and now people are more mindful and aware of how to come back home with a paralyzed pet and start a new life journey.
Table of Contents
10 Simple Paralyzed Dog Care Tips
Parenting a special needs dog can be stressful, especially when we lack the right intervention knowledge.
And with the right intervention, at times, a paralyzed dog can even be brought back to its earlier full life.
These days we can see around plenty of success stories about parenting paralyzed dogs and how these dog parents even bring their precious ones back to life with proper training.
Keep on reading to know how you can, as a passionate dog parent, take care of your dog’s special needs.
1. Educate Yourself
Your life as a dog parent undergoes a drastic change after your dog suddenly becomes paralyzed.
Hence, you’ll need to update on how to take care of your dog’s unique needs from now on.
Communicate With Your Vet
Before you leave the hospital, you need to have a proper conversation with your dog’s doctor on further follow-ups and interventions that has to be done.
The doctor can also help you revise the dog’s diet, urine routines, and other basics that you would have to follow with your unique needs pet.
Pay close attention to medication prescriptions, if any.
The vet will also give detailed instructions on how to express the bladder effectively.
Collect and read everything on parenting and helping a paralyzed dog.
Read real-life stories of Paralyzed pets how their Family held on to such situations.
Join Virtual Paralyzed Dog Care Groups
Talking to a person who already tackled these situations is the best way to lead you forward.
These groups can be a constant support in every aspect of taking care of your incontinent dog.
There’s a massive number of Instagram accounts you can follow to get educated and informed.
You can peep into their daily lives with a handicapped dog and what all accessories they use.
An ample amount of information can also be accessed from various tubers who vlog about their daily lives with their handicapped pet.
2. Be a Mindful Dog Parent
Mindfulness is a fundamental concept for any parenting for your child to grow and thrive.
So is it in the case of being a dog parent with a handicapped dog.
There was a time when paralyzed dogs would undergo euthanasia just because the dog parent did not know there are hundreds of ways to support and give a wonderful life for their dear paralyzed dogs.
By being a mindful dog parent, we understand our pet’s needs much more clearly and act accordingly to help our special needs dog both physically and mentally.
After your dog is diagnosed to be handicapped, you have to pay close attention to the dog.
Being attentive to the dog’s sleep routine, diet, bladder expressing routines, and small behavioral changes can be very helpful.
Look out for any small hints that your dog might be trying to communicate with you.
Being a mindful and attentive parent helps you erase any discomfort for your dog and make life easier.
Pay attention to your communication with your dog after being paralyzed.
You will have to teach them new terms for effective communication.
E.g., if you used to ask your dog to pee earlier, now you will have to communicate differently because your dog will not go pee by himself.
You can add sentences like, “let me help you to pee by expressing” before you start expressing his bladder.
3. Invest in The Right Accessories
The right intervention can do wonders for you and your paralyzed dog.
And for the right intervention, you need the best accessories to help with your training.
Gone are the days where you would put your handicapped dog to sleep.
Today we have access to a myriad of products that help your dog live its life to the fullest even when paralyzed.
Some of The Accessories Which Might be Worth Looking into For Your Dog Are:
- Dog harnesses
- Pet boots
- Pet braces
- Dog diapers
- Wet wipes
- Dog toys
Support systems like wheelchairs and pet boots will be helpful white doing physical therapy for the dog or even while taking it for a pleasant stroll.
This will, in turn, reduce your stress while training.
Stock up on wet wipes, disinfectant solutions, cleans sheets and beddings for the dog, etc.
Toys can also be of immense help to keep your dog happy and mentally healthy.
The good news is that there are lots of online stores where you can have access to these.
Accessories can also help a lot in daily walks, swimming, and preventing your dog from dragging and causing sores over his body.
Even a high-quality medical bed is available in the market, which will prevent body sores as your pet is mostly lying down or dragging the body around.
In short, everything is available in the market, which can aid a comfortable life for your paralyzed dog.
All it takes is a bit of research and an eye for the right product.
Also, make sure not to overwhelm your dog with too much stuff that you will end up not using them.
4. Create a Schedule
Your current lifestyle or routine will undergo a massive change after you bring your paralyzed dog home.
Creating a workable schedule for you and your dog will help your life move smoothly from here on.
Having new routines set for feeding, expressing the bladder, etc., will ensure that these things will not affect your other aspects of life, such as work.
You will also have to allocate separate time for rehabilitation or physiotherapy for your dog, which will immensely help your pet recover better.
Formulating a workable routine will take off the stress load from you in taking care of your paralyzed dog.
E.g., you have to create a routine that works for you as well as for your pet.
Before you start your work, make sure you feed the dog, express the bladder, and clean them.
This helps to minimize disruptions during work.
Write down the schedule on a paper or chart and hang it on the wall so that other family members or a dog sitter can easily follow instructions in case you are not around.
5. Understanding the Need for A Good Diet
A good diet will aid a better healing process for your dog.
Ensure that the dog doesn’t have to endure discomfort aside from the disability it already has to go through.
Especially when everything from urinating has to be assisted, it would be easier for the dog parent if a good diet is provided at optimal intervals.
The dog parent can discuss with the veterinarian about good food routines and food group recommendations.
Aways Monitor the Food You Give and How Your Dog Feels, Make Necessary Changes if Needed
- Make sure all nutrients essential for your healthy dog is included in his food.
- Antioxidants and probiotics are essential for your dog’s gut health and immunity. Hence these have to be added if in case it is not available in your usual dog food.
- Keep your dog well hydrated to avoid urinary infections and also to aid in easy bladder emptying.
- Keep a check on the foods that might constipate your dog and avoid these strictly.
- You can offer your pet some crunchy vegetables to keep their teeth clean while they snack healthy. This helps oral hygiene.
- Make sure you don’t overfeed your dog. Paralyzed dogs are less physically active compared to normal dogs. Hence overfeeding can cause them obesity.
- Keep check of toxic food such as sugary and junk foods, which can cause discomfort.
6. Learn to Empty Bladder Manually
You will have to master this one primary skill as a dog parent to a paralyzed dog, especially when the dog cannot urinate by himself anymore.
Besides taking the dog for urine and potty breaks, it is essential to express or empty the dog’s bladder.
If the bladder is not emptied well enough, there might be chances of infection, making things even worse.
Your veterinary doctor can help you teach how to express the bladder in the right way.
It will take some practice to locate the bladder and express it initially adequately.
Be careful to communicate with your dog correctly before you start your expressing routine.
It would be nice to let them know beforehand that you are going to help them urinate.
Issues that Might Arise if Your Dogs Incontinent is not Correctly Expressed:
- Cases of severe urinary infection
- A leaking bladder can pave the way for severe infection, which might lead to further complications.
- An express station can be set up in your home for effective expressing.
- Don’t worry if you might hurt your dog while expressing. If you feel you might be putting extra pressure, check out signs of howling and growling from your dog.
- Always consult with an expert and learn more in case of doubt.
Expressing your pet’s bladder requires more commitment and practice than you can think about.
But once you learn the process, life would become much better for your incontinent pet and you.
You can google and check many articles for learning how to express a Dog’s Bladder.
You can follow these steps.
But always make sure to check with your doctor before attempting anything you find online.
7. Mental Health Check for Your Dog
Animals are just like Human beings.
Being paralyzed all of a sudden can be traumatic for them too.
They also might feel too helpless, just like we do in such situations.
Hence it is essential to accompany them and make them feel even more loved.
That would be the best support ever you could offer to your furry friend.
Cuddle them more often than you did before.
Talk to them more often.
Try to work beside them when you are on your laptop or phone.
And the most important thing is to be patient with them.
They try to adjust to this new life where they can’t do many things they used to do before.
Don’t be mad at them.
That could add oil to fire and most probably hurt their feelings.
How to Ensure Your Dog’s Mental Health:
- Talk to your dog more often.
- Let them know you love them just like before—bond well.
- Take your dogs for a walk. Make sure these are proper leisure walks with support wheels and not physical therapy or training intended walks.
- Buy a toy and play together.
- Treat them often.
- Give a good doggy massage. Massaging and stroking dogs have significant brain stimulation effects and can positively affect their mental health.
- Take them to the park and let them meet their dog friends just like they used to do before.
8. Keep Your Dog Physically Active
Exercise is essential even for your paralyzed pet, much more important than the non paralyzed animals.
This is because being physically active will help heal the lost mobility in their joints at a faster pace and relieve pain.
Today there is no shortage of professional physical therapists for your dog.
You can approach a veterinary doctor or a rehabilitation professional who can prescribe your dog the right way of exercise and movement.
Before you Start an Exercise Routine for Your Dog, Keep These in Mind:
- You have to wait until your pet has a good bed rest after the injury before starting the exercise or physical therapy. You must give your dog some time to heal.
- Remember, you’re the best therapist for your dog.
- Educate yourself on various therapy methods that can be employed for your dog and do it continuously without fail.
- Invest in dog wheels so that your dog can walk or run around with assistance, which will help in mobility and even recovery.
- Even if your dog is permanently paralyzed, physical therapy is the only way to keep going and make your dog feel great and normal like any other dog.
- Invest your time taking your dog with wheels for a walk, which is the cheapest and effective therapy for both you and your dog.
- It is also helpful in strengthening your bond, thereby helping in good mental health for your dog.
- You might not see immediate results from therapy. Be consistent with physical stimulation and exercises.
9. Check on Dog Hygiene
Yes, keep your dog clean! A paralyzed dog cannot clean itself.
There are chances of your dog having several accidents and also chances of your dog lying in Urine and dog poop.
Hence it would be best if you stepped in several times a day to clean up the dog.
You could use a saline solution or a particular cleaning solution for effective cleaning.
Cleaning your dog will also help it stay away from rashes that often happen with paralyzed dogs.
After cleaning, make sure to dry up your dog quite well.
Air drying would not be effective in this case as your dog is always lying.
It might further pave the way for infections.
You could use a hair drier for this purpose in a low heat setting, which will also sanitize the dog effectively.
Some Points to Keep in Mind on Dog Hygiene:
- Use a dog diaper only if it suits your needs, not just because someone recommended it. In most cases, dog diapers can cause rashes, which might worsen the situation.
- If using a diaper, be sure to change the diaper often and clean the skin to stay away from rashes.
- Always use a saline solution to disinfect.
- Try to use natural products on your dogs to avoid any discomfort caused by chemicals in this situation.
- You might need to give your incontinent dogs more wash than normal dogs as accidents are more likely to happen.
- Use shampoos and soaps which will not dry out their skin. You can use a conditioner if the skin gets too dry.
- Brush the fur well and check for lice. A lice situation may cause unwanted discomfort for your incontinent dog, where he becomes helpless to control the situation.
- Good oral hygiene should be maintained, and this diet should be proper.
10. Be Patient
Being a dog parent to a paralyzed dog can indeed be extremely stressful.
As we are new to all these experiences, we might find ourselves in overwhelming situations.
And the mantra here is to stay calm.
Your dog never judges you for the things you do, for the mistakes you make.
And that’s the thing with dogs.
They are always forgiving.
Hence all you need to do is to be forgiving to the accidents they make.
And help them through all their accidents.
Take the journey with your paralyzed dog slow.
Make mistakes and learn from them, so that the next time you can support your dog in a better way.
Here Are Some Tips for you to Stay Patient with Your Struggling Dog
- Practice meditation and mindfulness so that you can stay calm in any overwhelming situation.
- Join a paralyzed dog parent community and meet other dog parents in similar situations. You can do this virtually through various groups on Facebook and Instagram.
- Take a break! Yes, you heard that right. When things are too much for you, find a dog sitter, and have some time for yourself so that you can come back to your dog with a calm mind.
- Read extensively on how to parent a paralyzed dog, like this blog post!
- Take expert advice when nothing seems to work, and you feel lost. This will help you to understand better about your situation and help your pet better.
More Interventions For Your Paralyzed Pet
We all know that dogs are great swimmers.
Dogs love swimming with their human parents.
And this can be amazingly beneficial to a paralyzed dog.
It can help with mobility as swimming inside the water requires more effort but with minimal damage.
And this can steer towards a positive change in your dog’s condition.
Water therapy might also stimulate them mentally, helping your pets to be more cheerful during a treatment.
There’s nothing in this world; a bit of music can’t cure, which can be beneficial to your pet.
It has been proven that plants tend to grow well and healthier when exposed to music therapy.
This can be true for your animals too.
Music can positively stimulate the brain and do magic.
Listen to some nice tunes together with your doggy.
Our furry friends are our forever family, and we have to give back the care and respect they deserve even when they cannot support themselves.
Many people still tend to abandon their dogs once they are ill or disabled.
They find them of no use and an extra burden.
In this era of advanced technology and support systems, a paralyzed dog care is never a burden.
All it takes is a little effort from our side.
Even when they are diagnosed permanently paralyzed, we have to make a vow to protect them like they have stayed by your side all the years.
With a little passion and knowledge of caring for them, life can be fantastic for our dogs and us.