Tips for Living with a Blind DogAuthor: Samantha Markham
There are many health conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and cancer, that can lead to blindness in dogs. Sometimes the loss of sight will be gradual and, in these instances, you have time to adjust to your dog's disability, prepare your home and translate any visual commands into verbal ones. However, blindness can occur suddenly, which may be more difficult to cope with.
How Dogs Adapt to Blindness
For a dog, blindness is usually adapted to quite quickly. Unlike us, dogs do not depend predominantly on sight, their wonderful senses of smell and hearing allow them to compensate for loss of sight. In fact, many owners are surprised by how quickly their dogs adjust to sudden blindness.
That said, there are a number of things that owners should bear in mind when living with a blind dog. Whether your dog has lost his, or her, sight or you are considering adopting a blind dog, you can make the life of that pet easier and safer with the following tips.
Tips for Living with a Blind Dog
When it comes to the home, there are safety issues that should be borne in mind. Some owners find that it is helpful to toddler-proof their homes for blind pets. In other words, any items that can cause injury or danger (such as knives and electrical cables) should be kept out of the dog's reach. In addition, swimming pools and other hazardous areas should be kept fenced off to avoid accidents.
As well as safety, you should consider your dog's comfort and ease of mobility. He, or she, will not appreciate sudden moves of furniture for example. It is always advisable to keep your dog's food and water bowls in the same place and it can be helpful to have a rigid daily routine, as this will help the dog feel secure.
If your dog has suddenly developed blindness, it can be tempting to help your canine companion by bringing food to him, or her, etc. However, you should try to avoid coddling your dog, because he, or she, will not want to become dependant upon your assistance and will not be able to adapt to a life without sight as quickly as he, or she, otherwise would.
However, if you are concerned that your dog is not adjusting well to the disability there is always the option of a guide dog. Just like guide dogs for humans, a guide dog for dogs is able to lead his, or her, companion.
How to Care for a Blind Dog Outside the House
Just because your dog is no longer able to see, does not mean that he, or she, will not enjoy the great outdoors. New smells and sounds will enrich your pet's life, so it is important to maintain outdoor activity. However, it is crucial to keep your dog on a leash, as sudden sounds or smells may frighten your dog and cause it to run.
Even when in your own yard or garden, it is wise to keep a close eye on your dog to ensure that he, or she, is safe. Additionally, as with inside the home, it is wise to keep all garden furniture and kids' toys in an orderly fashion.
In cases of dog blindness, our pets are often very resilient and adaptable. However, by keeping the above tips in mind, you will make the adjustment period much easier for your dog.
Samantha Markham is a professional freelance writer, based in the UK. She is proud to work on behalf of remmeer.com, a high quality supplier of pet products. Visit remmeer.com for a wide variety of dog-related products, including unique dog frame styles and dog lover home décor items.
More on living with a blind dog
How To Care For A Blind DogAuthor: Rena Reich
Taking care of a blind dog may require making some changes, but is not as difficult as you may think.
Before taking on the care of a blind dog or even if your dog is gradually losing its sight, decide where you want to place your furniture. At first your dog may bump into things, but eventually it will learn the setup and walk about your house as if sighted. However, be aware if you make changes your blind dog needs time to adjust.
Try not to leave things like toys lying on the floor that will injure your dog or disrupt its pathway.
Staircases should have a barrier to prevent accidents.
If you have to go out and leave your dog alone for any length of time, it might be a good idea to put your dog in its kennel. This will give your dog a sense of security when you are not home. You'll worry less too.
Your garden/yard must be fenced and should be kept free of obstacles as well. Any outdoor furniture should remain in place. Garden tools should be put away where your dog won't stumble on them and injure itself.
Pools are especially dangerous places for blind dogs. Pools should be fenced in and the gate locked unless you are there to supervise. This holds true for sighted dogs too. Dogs know how to swim, but blind dogs have difficulty with direction and can panic and easily drown before finding an escape route.
Your blind dog (or any pet) should not be left outdoors without supervision for long periods of time.
You can train your blind dog using your voice and using touch methods.
Caring for a blind dog is really not difficult, especially when you add tons of love given and received.
Just a note: My mother has a 16 year old blind dog that gets around my house and fenced in garden with no problems. Visitors aren't even aware that she is blind.
Caring for a blind cat has similar challenges.
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