Seeing your furry friend sick saddens you as much as it would if one of your children got sick. But what if it is more than that? What if it is one of your dog’s main senses is diminishing? It is a situation that no pet owner wants to be in, but may not have a choice. Having your dog lose one of his senses can be painful to watch and hard to deal with. It is no question that these pet owners are in a doubtful situation about what to do with their dog. In this article we will help you have an overview about how to deal with a blind dog.
Why do dogs go blind?
Dogs can go blind for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed below
- Getting older
How to know your dog is blind or is getting blind?
Most often people only notice that their dogs are blind when their dog loses his sight 100%. But you can actually start noticing that your dog is bumping into things more often, tripping over stairs not seeing certain things. The earlier you detect it, the easier you will start to train your dog before he/she loses their sight 100%.
Safety comes first
It is very important that we spend some time and effort into the situation. You need to adapt to your dog’s situation, and help him/her embrace this change. You will need to proof your house, for instance you will need to put baby gates before stairs, and if you have a pool you will need to block it off. You will also need to cushion any sharp edges around the house like table edges. It would also help if you place all your dog’s related stuff in one confined area so it is more reachable.
Training your blind pup
In this situation your dog will most certainly need to be trained on new cues, most probably verbal cues. You will also need to be their eyes for a while until they adapt. Some of the common helpful verbal cues that you can use with your blind dogs are “watch” meaning stop immediately, “step” for stair or pavements and “hold on” as to wait for your assistance. Start using bells on other animals in the house to let your dog know that someone else is around.
Disabled dogs feel frustrated, and if not handled properly at early ages, they can get more and more aggressive as they grow. We recommend seeking help from a specialized dog behaviorist to guide you into dealing with your dog’s special needs.
Your dog will not forget his old friends! Some of them will notice the his disability. But when introducing your blind dog to new dogs you will need to be careful and introduce them slowly. Same thing when introducing your dog to new people, you have to let them know about the situation. Most importantly never leave your blind dog with a child, because the child may startle the dog and can cause the dog to be defensive.
Recently, some harnesses have been designed specifically to guide blind dogs. They surround the dog with a round halo, known as the “halo vest” to keep them from bumping into objects as they walk around.
Written by Farah Khaled
Sources: Essendon Vet Clinic , Vet Street , Cesar’s Way