Dog owners don’t like thinking about their four-legged companion getting older, not to talk of dealing with something like losing one of their senses. However, the simple truth is that most dogs’ vision significantly gets worse with age, and some even become blind and deaf at the same time.
Don’t lose hope if this happens to your senior dog, though. Several owners of special needs senior dogs have already realized that it’s quite possible for your dog to continue living happily and safely for some years. There are several things you can do for your blind pet to make life simpler all around:
- Treat the dog like your companion and friend
The fact that your dog’s gone blind and is growing older doesn’t indicate he should be put down. Amazingly, some individuals think it’s inappropriate to keep a blind dog, but that’s actually not true. Dogs don’t have clear vision like that of human, so being blind absolutely doesn’t affect them too much. Dogs happen to be partially color blind, they find it difficult to concentrate on things that are very close to them and they don’t see things in details, so their being blind is really harder on you than it is on them.
- Learn new commands
Your old dog can be taught new tricks; they can still learn lots of new commands despite that they have lost their eyesight. And the most essential new command for a blind senior dog is “stop”. If your dog is blind, and still fears nothing, ensure he learns the “stop” command. Dog normally believed they can see everything with their nose and ears, and if their ears or nose caught something, they assumed it’s possible to chase and would take off. Once your blind senior dog learned “stop,” he would stopped on command, knowing that it was for his own good.
- Safety first
If you have got stairs in your home, a baby gate will definitely become your old dog’s new companion. It’s also wise to block off pools and be cautious with any sharp objects and edges, simply because won’t be as easy for your blind dog to keep away from. Additionally, while it’s important to let your senior pet run around and get exercise, you should not let him off leash in a location that is not fenced and less familiar.
- Don’t relocate the furniture
Don’t shift household furniture around because it’ll make it more challenging for your blind dog to move around your home. Also, always keep your floors free from objects. If objects are placed all over your floors, your dog will most likely run into them and get frightened. He will then become confused.
- Keep meal bowls and bedding in a fixed spot
Don’t maneuver your dog’s meal bowl or sleeping area. Blind, senior dogs like routines and are relieved knowing exactly where their food and bed is positioned.
- Keep your dog socialized
Although is not the right time to bring in a new pet to the mix, but it’s a smart idea to keep your dog socialized. Understand that this applies only to dogs that are in relatively good health. If your senior pet often get stressed out any time other dogs are present, don’t feel compelled to socialize him. Ideas include visiting a mellow dog park (or go when you are aware it won’t be busy) or visiting your local pet store when you are sure it won’t be busy.
- Let people know
You need to tell any guests to your house about your dog’s distinct situation. Why? Since they won’t know how to communicate with your dog except if you inform them, and it’s much easier for people to change their behavior than it is to compel your dog to adapt. Beyond this, you may need to get a particular collar or bandana that lets people realize your dog has special needs if in case he gets lost and requires help.
- Vibration is your friend
You already know that touch is essential, but you might not know that vibration can be equally beneficial and make it easier to be a bit more hands-off. For instance, there are vibrating collars you can buy that will help to substitute words you used to train her, “stay”, “no”, “sit”,” and so on, with sensations. Also, you can direct your blind dog by doing things like clapping or stomping, and doggy water fountains make her “feel” where her food bowl is.
- Use the leash frequently
Blind dogs feel safe when they’re on a leash. If your senior dog has suddenly gone blind, make use of the leash within the house until the dog gets used to the territory. Also, you should always walk your dog with a leash to prevent her from wandering into the neighborhood.
- Create an in-house trail
In case you have a larger or well-trafficked house, carpet runners will help your dog to know which room he’s in and find what he’s searching for. Alternatively, you can make a “sniff path” by using air fresheners with varied scents in each room to give different parts of the house distinct identities.
Vision is an important sense for humans, but it’s not the major event for dogs. Smell and hearing play major roles in the way they experience the world, and that’s merely considering the physical senses. Dogs are masters of sympathy, so do everything possible to keep your spirits up, no matter how you feel concerning your dog’s blindness. Keep in mind that, they never have to see your face to understand what you’re feeling.