For humans who value their independence, blindness is devastating. Dogs, on the other hand, are fortunate in that humans can take their responsibilities as pet owners. There are many things you can do for your blind dog to make their life easier.
If you're thinking about adopting a dog with vision loss or impairment it is important to understand how your pet's care will need to change and be, as well as how you can help them.
Dogs can become blind for a variety of reasons, including medical conditions or simply old age.
If your dog's vision isn't likely to be restored, your veterinarian can also assist you.
They can give you tips on how to help your dog adjust to their new senses and provide you with the information you need to change your lifestyle to properly care for your dog.
Here are some things to think about and do to help your blind dog live a happy and healthy life.
Blind pets may feel more vulnerable in unfamiliar situations or around strangers and other animals as well. Because blind pets are easily startled, you should speak with them first before touching them.
You can help your dog know where they are by using different sound techniques to help your blind pet compensate in this situation as well. Sound therapy can help your dog greatly in knowing and understanding the environment well.
You can develop certain vocal cues to guide them better in scenarios like if they are approached by a stranger or they are approaching danger. Hearing certain commands and voices can help your dog calm down during anxious situations. It can help with their vision loss greatly.
Creating a predictable environment
Because a dog who has lost or is losing their vision may feel vulnerable and anxious, it's important to establish a daily routine as well as a safe, comfortable home environment for them.
You can reduce the risk of injury by blocking off stairs and covering sharp corners on furniture.
You can properly arrange your home environment, such as not leaving work tools, utensils, or your children's toys in the middle of the house.
This way you can remove the potential hazards from the interior of your home.
Keeping their food and water bowls in the same place and not moving them around too much can greatly assist them.
Your pet will eventually develop a mental map of their territory and may learn to safely navigate stairs and other obstacles, but it's best to be cautious because an injury can break their confidence.
Dangers posed by external environments
If your dog is blind they are more vulnerable to incoming traffic or any hazards like tripping over the blocks of footpath, etc.
Follow the same routine for your dog while you take them out for a walk so they become familiar and experienced and they don't bump into something.
A blind harness that has a written text telling strangers that your dog is blind can help with the situation as well.
You can also buy a blind dog halo. It is a circular device that sits on top of your dog's head and assists them in navigating. If they accidentally bump into something like a pole or a fire hydrant, they can learn and navigate better with this device.
Over time, their confidence will improve, and they will be able to walk around more confidently, without injuring themselves.
Bells and scents
While it may sound tiresome, it is important that we do everything possible to make sure that our visually impaired dog has its best life.
We can put forth our own efforts in addition to those of our dog, who is also trying to settle in.
While at home, you can wear a bell around your wrist or on your feet to give your dog a sense of where you are.
You can put a drop of scented oil on your door so that your dog can know where home is. Other animals in the house can also benefit from the use of bells.
Protect your dog from other animals and pets
While on a walk interacting with other dogs can cause some trouble for your dog.
Your dog will be blind to the aggressive and intimidating signs displayed by other dogs, which can be concerning because it may provoke unwanted fights.. Always keep your dog safe from other pets, and if you see another dog approaching, create a diversion or change paths.
Special toys and activities
Who said that blind dogs can't play? There's always a way out, there are all sorts of toys available for your dog to exercise and play with you.
There are scented toys and balls with whistling and barking sounds that can help your dog navigate and find its own toys while playing.
These toys also have scents like lavender and chamomile that can help calm and destress the dogs. It can help your visually impaired dog perform the same activities they did before losing their vision.
Hiding treats and making them find it is also a good activity that can make your dog's routine life more interesting and happening.
Experiment with clicker training and shaping as well.
While caring for a blind dog will require more time and effort, it will be well worth it in the end.
Your dog's clumsiness may confuse you at times, but remember that they are doing their best.
Most dogs adjust to their new normal quickly and thrive in a familiar environment. Patience and love go a long way toward making sure they live happily and fulfilled lives, and these special pups are well worth the effort.
Scent and hearing, even when only considering the physical senses, play a larger role in how your pet dog perceives the world. Helping and motivating your dog to use his senses of hearing and smell will allow him to live a normal life.