Learn How to Take Care of a Deaf Dog
Deaf dogs make amazing pets. They are not harder to train, just different. Read along to learn more!
When our pets reach a certain age, it’s normal that some of their senses begin to deteriorate. In the case of senior dogs, you should know that they can carry on with their lives normally. They may just require a little additional care. In this article, we’ll tell you how to take care of a deaf dog in order to maintain its quality of life.
Taking care of a deaf dog: What you need to know
Hearing loss is a fairly common condition in dogs. It can develop in 1 out of 5 dogs from the age of 10. In addition, the loss can be total or partial. However, in many cases, it gradually develops and gets worse with time.
The good news is that your pet still has a sense of smell and sight to lean on. Therefore, it’s not that they’ll be disabled or handicapped. As a result, the first thing we have to do is to put our prejudices aside.
With that out of the way, it’s important not to worry too much about them, as they can still live a happy life even if they’ve lost their hearing. It’ll be a challenge at the beginning, but they’ll know how to keep going thanks to your help and their natural abilities. As owners, we must be patient and give them a lot of love.
Tips for caring for a dog with hearing loss
Just because your pet has lost his hearing doesn’t mean he won’t be able to do the activities he’s used to. You shouldn’t feel sorry for him, but you should help him so that he can develop his other senses even more (especially his sight and smell).
1. Walk with your dog on a leash
Perhaps at the beginning, your pet will feel a little disoriented with not being able to hear what’s happening around them. That’s why we recommend that you take them out for a walk with a leash on so that they’re always by your side and won’t run scared because of something they saw and couldn’t hear. The most dangerous situations in these cases usually occur when trying to cross the street or by walking along a busy avenue. If the dog’s not tied down, it’s harder to follow them or predict their reaction.
2. Have them wear a special tag
You could add a tag to their collar id indicating their hearing loss in case they get lost. In some cases, special straps (with different colors) can also help.
3. Add a bell to their collar
Deaf dogs often lose the ability to bark (depending on whether the animal was born with this condition or if it developed over time). Some owners add a small bell on their necklaces so that, if they go away, they can easily hear or recognize the sound of it and locate the dog.
4. Training their remaining senses
When taking care of a deaf dog, it’s obvious that you won’t be able to call them by their name in order to make them come to you. In addition, you’ll have to get close if you want them to see you or smell you. The good news is that dogs are very good at remembering familiar scents. For example, at mealtime, you only need to put their food on their plate as usual and wait a few seconds. It’ll only take a moment for your dog to come if the food’s wet or heated up!
If you want to get their attention, you’ll need to stand close so they can see you and recognize you by your particular smell. You can also teach them simple sign language they can learn and understand very quickly. Many of these signs are already used on a day-to-day basis between human owners and dogs.
5. Always approach your dog from the front
Never approach a deaf dog (yours or not) from behind, as you may scare them and they could attack you. Instead, approach them slowly so that they have a chance to see you from a distance. If they’re asleep and you want to wake them up, don’t make any sudden movements. Make sure to caress them gently and put your hand close to their nose so they can identify your scent.
6. Play with them according to their condition
Nothing really stops a dog with hearing loss from having the same fun as he did before. Playing ball or catch with a stick is still possible, for instance. It’s just a matter of the dog being able to see you and recognize your signs. When the time comes to reward or praise them, look at them in the eye and shower them with love.
Our dear friends can understand love perfectly since they are one of the purest examples of unconditional love we’re ever met on this earth. We hope this article has inspired you to take good care of your senior pets and continue loving as much as they sure love you!