The companionship for someone with Cerebral Palsy, provided by a pet can be exceptional. Whether due to the happiness hugging a dog can provide or the stoic companionship of a cat, the family pet can be a critical part of your home. The love of a pet may seem to be a perfect solution for feelings of isolation or frustration for child and family alike.
There are a number of things to consider, though, when deciding if a pet is a good option for your family in light of your child’s Cerebral Palsy. While there is no definitive answer we could provide in every instance, here are some of the potential issues that exist due to the complexity CP can present.
Because Cerebral Palsy is such a complicated condition, there is no definitive answer to if a pet is a good option or not. One of the concerns that must be considered involves any issues your child has regarding allergies or breathing concerns. While every family should check for pet allergies before getting a pet for the health of your family (and no one wants to have to find a new home for a pet!), this is especially true for children with special needs, whose sensitivities may run the gamut.
Further, issues like pet hair and dander may only reveal themselves in time, making a child’s ability to breathe with your new family member in the home something to closely monitor. Consider speaking with your child’s doctors, as well as an allergist, about any impact a pet may have.