Dog blindness often comes about as a result of several conditions. It may be due to an injury, aging, illness or birth defects. While some dogs are born blind, others acquire it later on in life.
Although a blind dog may find it challenging to adapt to its environment, with a little help from the owner, it can lead a fairly normal life as long as the cause of the blindness does not affect it in other ways.
In order to understand how to better take care of a blind dog, it’s important to understand that its sense sight comes third in importance after its sense of smell and auditory sense. Capitalizing on these senses goes a long way in helping the dog cope and interact with its environment.
Stay Consistent Furniture Layout
One of the ways a blind dog moves around a room is by noting and memorizing the furniture arrangement. After the dog gets used to the arrangement, it acts as a beacon that guides it while moving around the house.
With the furniture, the dog will easily know how to enter or leave a room, how to better navigate the home and the location of various things around the room.
It is, therefore, prudent to always ensure that you maintain the arrangement of the furniture for as long as possible. Moving the furniture will not only confuse the blind dog but will also mean that it has to start memorizing the arrangement all over again.
Cushion Sharp Edges And Corners
For a blind dog, bumping into corners and edges is pretty common. A typical house certainly has edges and corners that are sharp and may actually cause an injury to the dog if they bump into them. It is for this reason that cushioning these edges and corners can help you with taking care of your dog.
Besides protecting your dog from injury, cushioning sharp edges leaves the dog comfortable to move around as it is sure that it will not get hurt even if they run onto edges.
Objects For Living
There are certain objects that your dog needs for daily living. Things such as the feeding bowl and the bedding are very important for the animal. Just like the furniture, it is often recommendable to keep these objects in one place.
After noting the position of the feeding bowl, it will be a lot easier for the dog to find its way to it. The same goes for its bedding and various other things it may need. It is also helpful to keep these objects close to each other so that the dog does not have to move far to find another.
Use a short-lease harness when walking the dog
Just because your dog is blind doesn’t mean that you can’t take it for a walk. It needs a walk just like any other dog.
When taking a blind dog for a walk, it is important to have more control, so that you can keep it safe from walking into ditches or running into other objects that may hurt it. Using a harness with a short leash makes it easy to have total control of the dog during the walk. It also gives the animal a sense of confidence and security knowing that you are close by.
Protect the dog from stairs
If your residence has stairs, you should ensure that the dog is protected from falling off or tumbling down the stairs. You can install a gate at the top of the staircase or put some sort of blockade so that you can supervise the dog anytime it walks up or down the stairs.
Let visitors know the dog is blind
Every once in awhile, you’ll have visitors that are drawn to your dog and they may want to pet it. You should make a point of letting the visitors know that the dog is blind so that they do not pet it until it has sniffed their hands and is comfortable with their presence. They can thereafter pet the dog without scaring the animal.
Remember that blind dogs can be dangerous, especially around children. If a dog is spooked, they may nip or take other cautious actions. It’s important to notify other of your dogs blindness, and approach slowly.
To make this easy, you can find blind dog accessories, such as bananas, that explicitly say ‘Blind dog’.
Blind Dog Aids
Bumper collars for your blind dog is a great way to prevent a lot of unnecessary collisions. The bumper collar, or also called ‘Blind Dog Halo’, has a semi-circle hoop extending around the front of your dogs head. Anytime the dog comes near to bumping into something hard, the hoop will hit first.
You can find these collars online, or there are even great guides to creating hoop harnesses yourself.
Tracerz Scent Oil
Scent oil helps mark different locations to help navigate their surroundings. This helps reduce anxiety in dogs, as well as helps them locate familiar locations. Scent oil can even go on dog toys, beds, or other items that may help give your blind dog an extra hand.
Leashes For Blind Dogs
As stated above, short leashes are very beneficial for blind dogs. These leashes can be used for moving dogs around the home, up or downstairs, and outside. These leashes are around a foot long, rugged and made for maneuvering. Blind dog leashes are also great for disabled or elderly dogs.