Blindness in your dog
If you are new to having a
blind dog, you are probably feeling many emotions. Ranging from
fear, anxiety, anger, and feeling overwhelmed. Rest assured that things
will get better. You will be amazed at how well your dog can get
along without his eyes! Your dog is not in pain and does not need
to be put to sleep. Most dogs adjust very well to losing their
sight and can lead very healthy, near normal lives. They come to
rely on their other senses, plus, the senses that they do have
become even keener. Here are some helpful suggestions to helping
your dog adjust and do incredibly well without their vision:
Be patient. Your dog is
doing the best he can. He has a lot of adjusting and learning
Try not to move furniture
around or leave things in a place where they do not belong,
and push chairs in.
Dogs will memorize the layout of a room very quickly. In fact,
most people don't realize that their dog is blind until they
rearrange the furniture.
Don't plan any major
landscaping outside in his area.
If you have a hot tub or
pool be sure to always cover it or place a barrier around it
so that he can not accidentally fall in.
Block access to stairs or
open spaces. Use baby gates at the top and bottom and stairs.
Always shut doors leading to stairs.
Ask people to let your dog
smell their hand before touching them. Blind dogs can be
startled easier than before. He may unfortunately become
aggressive when startled.
Try to treat your dog as normally as possible.
Build his confidence.
Always let him know that you love him.
Encourage him to do the
things that he did before losing his vision. Always praise him
for what he can and can't do.
Some people use different
scents to let him know what room he is in. You can use
candles, car air fresheners, flavored extracts.
Use textured materials to
mark areas. For example, throw rugs, indoor/outdoor carpeting,
wind chimes, or cedar chips.
Use bells on your other
pets. This will help your blind dog be able to find his
friends and enable him to hear them coming so that he is not
Walk with a "heavy
foot". This will help him hear and feel you coming.
Be very vocal with him.
Teach him commands like up, down, careful, stop, stairs, etc.
An automatic water bowl
that looks like a fountain can help him find his water bowl.
Always feed your dog and
keep his water dish in the same place.
You may feel alone and sad.
But, with time and patience your dog will adjust and lead a
normal, healthy, and happy life.
links about blindness in dogs:
with blind dogs" book by Caroline Levin
dogs message board
This site and its contents are intended to
serve as basic informational purposes
--not a substitute for--
professional veterinary care!