GoingToTheDogs.org

Giving Dogs A New Leash On Life...One Click At A Time

Today is: Wednesday January 17, 2018


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 to do.

  • 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 startled.

  • 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.

Related links about blindness in dogs:

www.blinddogs.com
www.blinddogs.info
"Living with blind dogs" book by Caroline Levin
Angel vest
Blind dogs message board

This site and its contents are intended to serve as basic informational purposes 
 --not a substitute for-- 
professional veterinary care!

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