For many pet owners, blindness is more distressing for the owner than for the dog. How you can help your pet adjust to this condition will be discussed.
Helping Your Dog Adjust Indoors
When dogs gradually go blind due to an illness or injury, they instinctively memorize the floor plan of their home. After your dog has gone blind it is important not to rearrange your furniture, otherwise your dog will struggle and continually bump into walls, tables, and couches.
Use floor coverings to help your dog sense where he or she is in the house. For instance, place your dog’s food and water bowls on top of a large plastic mat that your dog can smell and feel. Create a “base camp” for your pet, such as a kennel that stays in a permanent area, so that your dog can reorient him or herself as needed.
Whenever you approach your dog, always use your voice to let him or her know that you are near. Never touch your pet without warning, as this could startle your dog. For many animals, it can be helpful if their owners wear bells around the house to help these dogs be fully aware of everyone’s whereabouts.
Playtime and Exercise
Despite their blindness, many dogs will still behave in the same way as before. Opt for toys that make sounds, such as squeaky toys. These will engage your pet to play.
Occasionally, dogs become withdrawn and depressed as they lose their vision. It is important to remember that just because your dog can no longer see that he or she is still capable of other activities. Continue to take your dog for plenty of walks outdoors and allow your pet to use the other four senses.
Getting Around Outdoors
Outside of the house, place a wind chime near the door your dog most commonly uses. The sound will help your dog find the door. If you have any hazardous areas in your yard, such as an in-ground swimming pool, rock garden, or thorn bush, use decorative fencing to protect your pet. Finally, you can keep your pet from walking into trees or other permanent features by placing a “warning track” of mulch around them.
Ultimately, with a little bit of creativity, your dog will live an otherwise normal life.
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Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.