Do You Have a Special-Needs Dog?

By | JUNE 24, 2010, 12:00 P.M. EDT

Do You Have a Special-Needs Dog?

Cedar has seizures and needs medication

Many people with special-needs dogs – those who suffer seizures or are diabetic – put off traveling because they don’t know what to do with their pets when they are gone. There are several options, but one I recommend is to hire a professional pet sitter so that the dog can stay in his own home.

One option for caring for your dog is to board him at the veterinarian. The medical care the dog needs is there, but they are often confined to small cages for long stretches of time. If your dog is severely ill, this may be the best option.

If your dog is on regular medication or subcutaneous fluids for kidney disease, a pet sitter is a great alternative. I have been trained to administer "sub-q” fluids to both cats and dogs and provide this service to several of my clients. I’ve done it often enough that I am very comfortable with the process, and it enables the pet to stay in a familiar environment.

I have other clients that have diabetic dogs who need insulin injections twice a day. You would be surprised how easy it is to give most pets an injection, especially with the insulin needles they have today. Other dogs need special medication, such as seizure medication that I give to Cedar, one of my clients’ dogs.

Over the years, I have come up with a bounty of ways to give pills or liquid medication to both dogs and cats. Dogs are easier because if you put a pill in a scoop of peanut butter, they’ll usually take it. You can also stick it in a piece of sausage or roll it into a little piece of cheese. There are also pill pockets now that are treats especially made for inserting pills and hiding them. These work very well with several cats I take care of.

If you don’t know a pet sitter, you can check the Pet Sitters International website for members who are usually bonded and insured. Another option is to check with the veterinary technicians at your vet’s office. Many of them will pet sit and they have the training to administer sub-q fluids and other medications.

You can travel even if you have an elderly pet or one with special needs. And you can leave knowing your precious pet is well taken care of.

Read more Confessions of a Dog Sitter -


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Beccie   Rantoul, IL

6/28/2010 7:33:53 PM

My Abbie was born blind. Traveling with her is scary & confusing for her & kenneling would be just as scary & confusing. I have the good luck to have a wonderful girl who looks after her in my home when I have to travel. The first time I was very nervous leaving her but now I don't worry.

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Margarita   Wa, WA

6/27/2010 4:48:26 PM

great information, but can not leave a special dog need behind. thank you

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Stephanie   North Canton, OH

6/27/2010 7:33:05 AM

Thanks for the info!

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karen   little rock, AR

6/27/2010 6:30:43 AM

These are wonderful dogs!

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