Having a dog with a disability or special needs is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Seeing them struggle and not do normal pets do makes our hearts shatter. But at the same time, seeing them living their life to the fullest and having fun despite their condition melts our hearts.
A blind dog is no different, they can still live a happy and fulfilling life even without their vision. However, they might require a little bit of help from us.
Dogs are fast learners and are quick to adapt, making training even a blind dog an easy task.
Below are some of the tips on how you could help your dog live their best despite losing their eyesight.
1. Prioritize Safety
Owning a blind dog is not that different from a normal one, it just requires a little bit of our attention and guidance. Safety should be on top of your priority as your dog gets used to doing things without their vision.
If your dog was not born blind, chances are, they still remember the layout of your home. Your concern will be restricting him from going to places that could be dangerous like a swimming pool, fireplace, or the terrace if you live on a building.
Train them to walk around the place if they seem reluctant to move around at first until they are confident to walk on their own. Keep breakable things out of their reach and cushion any sharp edges that could harm them.
Dogs have sharper senses than most animals, helping them utilize other senses to move around and do things will greatly help them in many ways.
Blind dogs would mainly rely on their hearing to go on with their daily business. Replace their water bowls with a bubbling water bowl to help them easily locate their water and food.
And just any dog, they still want to play. You can swap out their old toys to new ones with bells and toys that jingle, rattle, or squeak. This would make it easier for them to locate their toys and make playtime still enjoyable.
As mentioned, dogs are easy to adapt and easy to pick up cues. If your dog has a problem finding their way or bumping into things, you can put carpet runners to help them keep track of their path.
You can do the same with stairs by putting differently textured carpets at the top step for them to identify that they need to be careful stepping down.
Your dog is only blind and not deaf, so they could still hear and obey commands. Training them to follow simple commands like “stop”, “wait” and basic directions like “up”, “down”, “left/right” will help them keep away from bumping into things and navigate the house better.
A dog’s sense of smell is the sharpest among its senses. Taking advantage of this, you could put scent cues like scented candles around the house.
Use different scents for different rooms for them to easily distinguish where they are. However, every room doesn’t need to be lit up by scented candles.
As long as they can distinguish the smell of the room where they are supposed to sleep or the room where their food is, then it’s all good.
A blind dog should not be exempted to live a good life just like any other dog. They don’t need their eyes to feel your love and care for them. You can give color to their life even by just doing these simple little things.