Do you avoid traveling because you cannot find a place that will care for your special needs pet the way you would? Well, you can now put your mind at ease, as there are facilities that are trained and equipped to care for special needs pets. Special needs pets are animals that are sick, geriatric, or have mobility problems. Many special needs pets have conditions that include diabetes, asthma, kidney failure, heart disease, arthritis, weakness, and paralysis. These pets require extra time, love, and a familiarity with their health issues to ensure their physical, emotional, and medical needs are appropriately addressed.
When you choose a boarding facility for your special needs pet, you want to inquire about the following:
• Staff experience. You want staff with experience in the veterinary field. Having an on-site veterinary technician and a veterinarian is preferred to ensure any health issues or emergencies can be appropriately addressed in a timely fashion. If a veterinarian is not on-site, inquire about how emergencies are handled should your pet become seriously ill.
• Species Specific. Most facilities are better equipped to deal with dogs and cats. However, there are some facilities that specialize in caring for special needs birds and exotics. So if you have special needs exotic species, you want to make sure the facility has appropriate housing and staff trained to handle the unique requirements of these animals.
• Facility. If your pet has mobility issues, you want a facility with nonskid flooring to prevent slipping and becoming injured. Appropriate flooring can also help to alleviate a great deal of stress, as physically challenged animals tend to fear slick flooring. In addition, suite style boarding or cageless boarding for dogs makes for a more homey experience and alleviates the stress of being away from home.
• Exercise. Arthritic animals and animals with certain neurological problems require some form of exercise to ensure their muscles do not atrophy and their joints do not stiffen during their stay. An arthritic animal if left with limited exercise can result in worsening of clinical signs by the time you return from your trip. Too much exercise can also be detrimental and this is where a well trained staff is important in helping to make these decisions for your pet. On site swimming or underwater treadmill therapy can help to keep your pet in shape while you are gone.
• Tender Loving Care (TLC). Inquire about those “special extras” that will make you feel most comfortable leaving your pet. This may include orthopedic bedding, massages, soothing music or television, and extra love and attention. Having staff that is willing to go the extra mile can really help your special needs pet enjoy his/her stay away from home.
At The Veterinary Holistic and Rehabilitation Center we provide boarding for special needs dogs, cats, birds, and exotics in a warm and homey environment that you will feel comfortable with.
For more information, please visit www. vetrehab.org. Compliments of Kim Danoff, DVM Certified in Canine Rehabilitation, Veterinary Acupuncture, Reiki Veterinary Holistic and Rehabilitation Center 360 Maple Avenue, Suites A & B Vienna, Virginia 22180 703-938-2563