Pets give so much of themselves and ask so little in return. They provide company, unconditional love, and give owner’s a sense of purpose. In some cases, individuals with disabilities and those experiencing the effects of aging feel as though they cannot care for their pet’s basic needs. That’s where assistive technology steps in. The implementation of assistive technology may be the difference between keeping a furry friend at home, or having to say goodbye.
Recently I attended a webinar through the Michigan Disiability Rights Coalition entitled, “Devices to Help with Pet Care.” In this blog, I will highlight nine important questions to ask yourself when considering what assistive technology for pets might benefit you. At the end of this blog, I will provide a direct link to the archived webinar, including invaluable resources and links from the webinar’s creator, Laura Hall.
1. What adaptations can I make for caring for my pet?
Placing your pet’s equipment in non-traditional areas of the home promotes easy access and independence. Be creative! Make it work for you and your pet! For example,who says a litter box has to be on the floor? Placing a littler box at table height may benefit an individual who can’t bend to the ground.
2. What feeding systems work for me and my pet?
There are dozens of different pet feeding systems, scoops, and aids available. It may be as simple as keeping your pet’s food in a container on the counter, or as complex as an automatic feeder. There truly is something out there for everyone. Visit your favorite pet food supplier for ideas and devices that will work for you.
Check out my new favorite pet bowl, the Kitty Kaddy.
4. What waste management method works for me?
Like feeding systems, there are countless aids for managing your pet’s waste. Think of what is interfering most with your pet cleanup. Work with your favorite pet store sales consultant to try out and discuss waste management devices to find the one that fits your needs.
5. How can I modify the way I groom?
A simple method for modifying a brush or comb is adding foam tubing to build up handles and grips. Talk with a groomer, or visit your favorite pet store to explore and discuss grooming devices and methods that best meet your needs.
Traveling groomers are a great way to bring the groomer to you, and can be a less stressful option for your pet.
6. What types of assistive technology can I use for play?
My personal favorite is the Chuck-it, a great device for helping individuals like my self who have limited ball throwing skills. Talk with an animal behaviorist, or visit your favorite pet store to find assistive technology for play that best fits your individual needs.
7. How do I improve my pet’s mobility?
Like their human counterparts, sometimes pets need a little extra help getting to the places they want to be. Stairs and ramps are perfect aids for our furry friends.
8. How can I maintain my pet’s health?
Like traveling groomers, there are traveling vets that will come to your home.
9. Is there any type of financial assistance I qualify for to help pay for my pet’s needs?
Depending where you are located, there is financial assistance for pet food, vaccinations, and check-ups. Contact your favorite veterinary clinic or animal shelter for referrals.
For more information and links, check out the webinar, “Devices to Help with Pet Care,” or contact IPAT! We’d love to answer all your questions and find you resources and solutions to help you use assistive technology to do the things you and your pet want to do!