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Top 3 Things to Know Before Adopting a Tripawd


Whether you’ve ever had or met a Tripawd, you’ve surely seen inspirational photos and videos of amputee dogs living life to the fullest. A little bit of Tripawd awareness, however, can help make life easier on three legs for dogs – and the people who care for them. Dogs may be born with three legs and a spare, but there are some important basics to understand about canine amputation recovery and care. The following tips can help prevent injury to the remaining limbs. When a three-legged dog catches your eye in the shelter, here are the top three important things you need to know before adopting a Tripawd Rescue.

Let’s Dive In…

What are the Top 3 Things You Need to Know

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Tripawds Don’t Know They’re Different

Unlike people, dogs will not feel shame or regret after losing a leg. They will not care the limb is gone, they simply adapt and overcome. It is usually the humans who have a more difficult time coping with the amputation. Dogs also turn to their pack leaders for guidance and reassurance during difficult times. This is why it’s important to set a good example by remaining calm, balanced, and strong during recovery.

A rehab vet once told us it’s important to focus on healing the body and that a little tough love can go a long way to helping dogs recover quickly after surgery. Pet parents need to follow their lead and adapt to the new normal without regret. It’s why we often tell new Tripawds members to “Be More Dog”.

Tripawds Will Overdo It

“She’ll be fine…Just let him be a dog.” We frequently see this type of feedback on social media and we cringe every time. Unfortunately, there are still some vets out there that feel the same way. Yes, Tripawds run, play, swim, and keep up with most four-legged dogs. But as responsible pet parents, we must monitor Tripawds closely to prevent exhaustion and injury. Dogs don’t show their weaknesses, and they are very good at hiding their pain. Even on three legs, they will do their best to keep running, chasing, and romping with the others to avoid looking weak.

Life doesn’t have to be any worse on three legs. It’s just different. Adopting a Tripawd Rescue simply means re-thinking the fun things to do. For example, more frequent shorter walks are much better for Tripawds. A stroller also help three legged dogs get out and about with the rest of the pack. It is also important to avoid high-impact activity and “explosive” exercises like fetch and jumping to help reduce stress on the remaining limbs.





Weight Management is a Must

Dogs carry 60 to 70 percent of their weight upfront. This is why front-leg Tripawds will have a more difficult time going downstairs. While dogs missing a rear leg will have it harder going up, with less propulsion power. Keeping amputee dogs lean and fit will help prevent strain on remaining limbs and common long-term issues like osteoarthritis.

These Tripawd Awareness tips are especially important to know for anyone considering bringing home a Tripawd rescue. The shortlist is a small sampling of ten things to know about adopting a three-legged dog.

Story Time of an NYC Tripawd Rescue Named Nora

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New York City Tripawd rescue Nora is known by her people as the “Persian Princess”. As a young Spitz mix in 2015, she was found roaming the streets in northern Iran with the lower portion of her right front right leg missing. She was brought to the U.S. with help from the Beagle Freedom Project. At New York’s Animal Medical Center, she was scheduled for free treatment through their “AMC to the Rescue” program. More than six years later, Nora continues thriving in her Brooklyn pet palace.

“She loves going to the park, but it’s a bit of a walk for her to get there – so with the stroller, she can conserve her energy until we get to the park, and then hop out and walk as much or as little as she wants.” – Nora’s Mom

Tripawd Rehab exercises aren’t just for new amputees. Nora proves that even long-term Tripawds can benefit from rehabilitation, water therapy, and other helpful amputee dog exercises. The Tripawds Foundation is so passionate about this that we created the Tripawds Rehab Fund. This program will reimburse anyone who takes their three-legged dog for a rehab consultation with a certified therapist.

Celebrate Tripawd Awareness on 3/3!

tripod dog
tripod dog

Our mission at Tripawds is to help amputee pets everywhere. And the best way to do that is by spreading Tripawd Awareness and helping pet parents understand important recovery and care tips. For instance, new members often don’t know how to put a harness on a dog, which can help provide assistance on stairs and in vehicles. During recovery, they may ask how to give a dog a pill. Our online community is the best place to turn for helpful resources and support from others who understand. 

For years, we have celebrated “Triday” throughout our community on March 3rd (3/3). This year we’ve launched the official Tripawd Awareness Day website to help spread the word.

With or without Tripawds, we’re encouraging all pet parents to get involved. Check the Tripawds forums or Facebook page for a #triday gathering near you. Or share the #mytri meme to get featured on the website. Together, we’ll celebrate our three-legged friends and honor all those who care for them.

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