Losing one of your senses is definitely something hard to accept, especially since it’s necessary to navigate one’s daily life. If it’s already difficult for humans, what more is blindness for dogs? Their other senses are heightened when they lose sight, but that doesn’t mean things get easier. Dog blindness is caused by several health issues, such as acquiring cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, and SARDS. Aside from these health issues, canines can be born blind due to a congenital disability, and other times it results from old age and serious accidents.
Treatments and sight restoration depend on the intensity of the damage your dog acquires from the disease or other health issues. If dog blindness is irreversible, there are still a lot of ways to give them a comfortable life. They’ll need your guidance to adjust to their new daily routine and ensure safety. It would be best if you doubled your effort to pet-proof your house. This ensures that your fur baby won’t trip, fall, or injure themselves while walking, running, or playing.
As a pet parent, you must apply these care tips to prepare your home for a blind dog.
Marks for House Navigation
Your dog needs to learn how to navigate the house without always depending on you. Former president of the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance Karen Belfi advises pet parents, “The dog needs to learn to get around, and carrying them and babying them won’t help them learn.”
For this reason, you must place marks and indications on certain parts of the house to help them walk safely and avoid injuries. Ensure that there is no furniture or home decor that could place your dog in danger. They should be off-limits to stairs and high platforms. Scent markers and mats with different textures will guide them to identify doorways and accident-prone areas. Remember that their remaining senses are heightened, so make sure your dog can maximize using those senses to navigate parts of the house.
Food and Water
Your dog’s basic needs, such as food and water, should always be near their spot or kept where they used to eat. A blind dog will base their daily lives on a routine, so it’s best to place their bowls in a particular area where they can easily access them. Always give your fur baby a sense of familiarity, as it will help them find things independently, especially when you’re not with them.
Let your dog know you are beside them so they feel comforted and not alone. Talking to them before doing anything else, such as carrying them or brushing their fur, won’t scare them. It helps them not get scared of sudden movements. Hearing the sound of your voice may also inform the dog of your whereabouts. Do this regularly to have a consistent daily routine. You could also introduce them to new commands to prevent accidents. Familiarize them with commands such as “careful,” “step up,” or “step down.”
Inform Others of Your Dog’s Condition
It’s best if other people know your dog is blind to avoid accidents for humans and canines. This is important when you take your dog out for a walk. A tag or collar indicates that the dog’s blind and will stop people from suddenly patting and scaring them due to sudden movements. An informative collar and tag are essential in case your dog gets lost. Whoever finds your dog will be quickly informed of their condition and will help them with the proper care it needs while waiting for you to fetch them.
Your dog may be blind, but it can still have much fun. Stimulate their four remaining senses by providing them with scented toys or balls that produce sounds. The toy might also become their comfort, as it will make them happy despite losing their sense of sight. It is recommended to purchase toys with lavender or chamomile scents to lessen a dog’s anxiety and relax them. You could also organize a fun activity where you place doggie treats in particular areas of the house. It’ll be your dog’s very own treasure hunt.
Love and care for your dog are vital to providing them a life that is more than their blindness. Combining those two with patience and caring for them will be so fulfilling. You have to be patient with your dog’s condition. Being supported by the human they love the most can boost their confidence and make them happier. Never let them lose their sunshine because of a health condition. Dogs can adjust well to certain situations, but it will be much better with your presence and the comforts of home.
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