Whether your pooch lost its eyesight due to age, illness, or was born blind, it can lead a relatively normal life as long as the rest of its health is good, according to Doctors Foster and Smith. Luckily, dogs’ keen sense of smell can help them adapt to their surroundings without the use of their eyes, and their other senses can be of use, too. As an owner of a blind dog, you should understand that its blindness is much more difficult for you to accept than it is for them. Because dogs live in the moment for the most part, they don’t really understand that they are disabled and can continue living happy lives, according to the news source.
However, there are ways you can make their vision-less lives as easy and happy as possible, the news source reports. Whether you just adopted a blind dog or puppy or your old dog has gone blind, continue speaking to it in your normal, cheery voice, and remember to address it before touching so it knows where you are. Walking heavily will also alert the pooch through vibration and sound.
Toys that stimulate the dog’s other senses, like smell and hearing, are especially fun and beneficial for blind canines. Try toys with squeakers like Duckworth Splash so your pooch can locate it from afar and follow it. The news source reports that toys that hide food like the Buster Food Cube also serve blind dogs well. Continue a normal routine of play and regular walks to prevent your pooch from getting isolated or depressed.
The best way to help your dog get and stay oriented inside the house is by creating a “base camp” for it, the news source suggests. This area should include pet food, water, crate and a cozy bed like a Plush Memory Sleeper. Put a large plastic mat underneath the food and water to help the pet determine its location. When it feels confused or lost, it can return to its home base and easily become re-oriented. If your dog is small, refrain from picking it up and carrying it around the house, the news source recommends. The dog needs to discover the house on its own terms and map it out for itself. If there are places like stairs that you feel are unsafe for the blind animal, block it off using a One Touch Pet Gate until you feel confident that your dog can safely navigate them.