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Whether from old age or birth, living with a blind dog has many difficulties. It is not impossible by any means, but extra precautions must be taken to ensure your pet’s safety and happiness. Follow these safety tips living with a blind dog.
If this blindness is sudden, first take your dog to its vet to ensure they are still healthy and do not need any treatment. Sudden blindness can sometimes be caused by kidney issues, and without treatment, this can be very painful for many animals.
After clearing the dog’s health with the vet, there are a few precautions that should be made to make the dog as comfortable, happy, and safe as possible.
Don’t Rearrange Furniture
Rearranging furniture is a definite no-no when you have a blind pet. Keep the furniture in the same spots as much as possible. Your dog will get to know the lay of the land in your home. As long as it does not get disoriented, it should be able to make it throughout the home with little to no issues.
However, when it does become disoriented, you will have a strong urge to get up and move the pet into its favourite area. Do not do this. Instead, guide the dog to you with your voice. Your dog must learn how to navigate when you are not around, and unfortunately, walking into walls will happen.
How to Walk a Blind Dog
Your dog will naturally be cautious while walking. Avoid scaring your dog with unhannounced petting from strangers or loud noises, which may frighten it causing it to run. This will not only disorient your dog, but it may also cause injury.
If you are concerned with your dog injuring itself, there are many *halo-like items it can wear on its head to create a small barrier or cushion between the dog and an obstacle.
To make people aware that your dog is blind, investing in *blind dog accessories such as white warning collars, leads, harnesses and coats. They are a great way to give people an advanced warning so that they don’t frighten your dog.
Use Your Voice as a Guide
Since your dog cannot see you approaching, practice speaking to it when coming near. By not doing this, you may scare your pet. When an animal loses its sight, other senses become keener, so they should hear you approaching.
Do not just assume they can hear you walking, though. Be sure to speak with them, announcing your presence before picking them up or petting them.
Help Your Dog When Jumping
Blind animals have difficulties jumping. If your pet is used to laying on beds or couches, get a couple of very soft pet beds. Make them easily accessible to the pet. When bringing the beds home, introduce the pet to the bed by gently placing them in it. Once they associate the bed’s location within the home, do not move it.
If your pet wants to sit on the couch or bed with you, help it up on the couch. Help them determine the edges of the furniture, speaking to it when it gets too far away. Be careful when letting the pet jump down. Eventually, it will learn how to safely jump down while on furniture, but be sure to guide the jump down as often as possible.
In addition to soft beds, keep food bowls on top of easy to clean surfaces. Either keep food on hardwood or tile, or buy a mat to keep the food and water bowls on. When serving them dinner, make it a noisy affair. Pour the food into the bowl, so the pet can hear dinner being served. Do the same with the water.
Finally, love your dog as you would any other. Special needs pets need love like all animals. Having a blind pet can be difficult, but it is not an impossible task. With the right precautions, patience, and love, blind pets will be an excellent addition to your family.