Disabilities in Dog Owners
Just because you are dealing with a disability does not mean you can’t have a dog in your life. Studies
indicate doing so will benefit you and the dog. There are some things you can do to make the experience
If you need help giving your dog medicine, fluids, or shots, ask your veterinarian if he or she knows of
anyone who will make home visits. If not, contact local pet-sitters to find ones who will assist you. Many pet-
sitters are trained to perform these functions for the sick pet for owners who cannot perform them for
themselves or for owners when they are away.
To play with your dog, use flashlights or laser pointers. Dogs love chasing the light, and you won't have to
make a move. An alternative is a remote control car for him to chase. He gets exercise and you do not get
If you have difficulty performing basic functions for yourself, investigate the use of a service or assistance
dog. Assistance dogs are trained to help people with physical limitations perform their everyday functions.
Assistance dogs are accepted in public places just as guide dogs and hearing dogs are.
Divide large bags of food into smaller containers to help with lifting and filling dishes. If you get large dishes,
you will spend less time and energy filling them. There are dog food stands that raise the bowls above floor
so you won’t have to bend as much when you fill them.
Walking a dog when you are disabled can be difficult. Consider hiring a neighborhood teen to do this or
have a pet sitter come in and walk your dog each day. Fenced-in yards are another alternative to consider.
Having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the companionship of a dog. It takes just a little adjusting
for you both to be happy.