Creating a Safe Haven: Adjustments, Care, and Self-Care for Paralyzed Pet Owners

As devoted pet owners, we often find ourselves facing uncharted territories when our best friend encounters life-changing circumstances. When you bring home a pet with mobility issues, there are many unknowns and unforeseen challenges. In this article, we’ll explore the essential aspects of caring for a paralyzed pet and highlight a few unexpected things you may not feel prepared for. Including, making necessary adjustments at home to understand the unique bathroom needs of a paralyzed dog. Through expert knowledge and real-world experiences, we aim to give you the knowledge and compassion to give your paralyzed pet the best quality of life possible while ensuring that you too receive the personal care and support that you need in this area. remarkable journey.

Expect to make changes in the house

When you first bring home a paralyzed pet, you need to look at your home with fresh eyes. You need to ask yourself two questions: Is my pet safe and does he have easy access to everything he needs? Here are some things to consider:

A dog in a carrier bag walks across the ground
  • Rest in crate – This is often the first thing your veterinarian will recommend. Cage rest is especially important during the healing process or before/after surgery. It is essential that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions and limit your dog’s mobility until he is given the green light to move freely.
  • Animal barriers – Just because you know your dog can’t climb stairs safely doesn’t mean he knows it’s unsafe. You may need to restrict your dog’s access to certain areas of the house, including stairs. A pet gate is a great way to contain your dog’s movements and keep him close to you where you can monitor him.
  • Upholstered bedding – Many paralyzed dogs will spend a lot more time on the ground. A padded surface acts as a protective barrier between your dog’s joints and the hard floor. Many paralyzed animals may not be able to easily move to a more comfortable position, requiring spending a lot of time with them. They may need your help to reposition them every few hours to prevent pressure sores from forming.
  • Access to food and water – Make sure your dog always has access to water bowls. They may no longer be able to get up and walk across the room to get a drink. Additionally, keeping your dog hydrated can make him less likely to develop urinary tract infections, meaning your dog will need his water regularly. More hydration also means more frequent trips to the bathroom!

What They Might Not Tell You About Bathroom Breaks

Caring for a newly paralyzed pet also means paying close attention to their bathroom needs. Many paralyzed dogs are incontinent, this may mean your dog needs to wear a diaper or even need your help to manually express their bladder or bowels. Here are some things to consider about your paralyzed dog’s bathroom needs:

How many times a day should a paralyzed dog go outside?

Happy paralyzed dog at home
A carrier is a great way to protect your dog’s paws and chest from scratches and carpet burns.

There is no single right answer to this question. Every dog’s potty needs are different. Many experts say that most paralyzed dogs will need to go outside at least three times a day. But it’s quite common for a dog to need to go potty up to four or five times a day. More frequent bathroom breaks will help prevent accidents.

Getting your dog out quickly can also be a challenge! Check with your veterinarian first, but using a dog wheelchair or a simple lifting harness are great ways to get your dog up and out when it’s time for him to go.

Hygiene is important

When caring for a paralyzed dog, additional cleaning will be necessary. Accidents happen, which means lots of baths! For dogs wearing diapers, hygiene is extremely important. Diaper changes should be frequent; Your pet’s skin can be incredibly sensitive. Regular diaper changes help keep your dog comfortable and dry. While also helping them avoid painful urinary burns.

Dogs that drag themselves on the ground can scratch themselves quite easily. A carrier is a great way to protect your dog’s sensitive skin and allow them to move around safely without injury. For incontinent pets, the carrier is made from water-resistant material and can be worn with a diaper.

You too need to take care of yourself!

As rewarding as it can be to care for a paralyzed animal, it can sometimes also be overwhelming and exhausting for its primary caregiver. It’s easy to burn out, so remember to take care of yourself too. Take the time to recharge your batteries. Even five minutes of quiet meditation or fresh air can be very helpful. There is truth in what they say on airplanes: “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others around you.”

This includes a good night’s sleep. When the dog’s mother, Tyme Powell’s puppy Gravy, was first paralyzed, sleep was the first thing she and her partner sacrificed. Tyme says: “At first we slept on the floor or on a couch with him in the living room for a few months so he wouldn’t fall out of bed, and we barely slept at all. Finally, our physical therapist said, “Oh, no, you can definitely sleep through the night.” He’ll be fine,” that’s when we started trying other things. At first, you really don’t know what can and can’t be done.

You can’t fully be there for your dog if you aren’t rested and taking care of yourself. There’s nothing selfish about allowing yourself to get a good night’s sleep.


Caring for a paralyzed animal is certainly demanding, but it is also a truly rewarding experience. By providing unwavering love and support, you can make a profound difference in your pet’s life. Remember, seeking advice from veterinarians and learning from the experiences of other pet owners can be invaluable. Additionally, don’t neglect the importance of taking care of yourself. Just as you provide comfort and care to your pet, taking care of your own well-being is essential. By walking this path with empathy, patience and dedication, you can ensure that your paralyzed pet enjoys a fulfilling life, and together you will create lasting memories of resilience, love and triumph.

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