How to Take Care of a Blind Dog

How to Take Care of a Blind Dog

Last update: 19 June, 2018

Dogs begin to lose their sight when they reach a certain age. While their other senses, such as smell or hearing, will remain intact, they may need help during the early stages of blindness. In this article, you can learn how to care for a blind dog and maintain his quality of life during his last years.

Tips for taking care of a blind dog

First of all, you should know that just because your dog is losing his vision doesn’t mean he can’t fend for himself. This means you don’t need to be overprotective, or think he can’t do anything without your help. If you transmit your fears and insecurities to him, you could make him become dependent on you.

blind dog

Remember that your dog will adapt to his new condition in a matter of time. He’ll be able to use his other senses and develop them even further.  Pay close attention to the following recommendations for taking care for a blind dog:

1. Don’t make big changes to your home

Only rearrange objects or furniture for strategic purposes. This doesn’t mean you have to remove half of the furniture to let the dog walk around freely and not hit anything. Just move certain things that can be dangerous to him, or things he might bump into and break once they hit the floor.
Remember that the animal’s sense of smell will guide him, and he will remember the location of objects in the house. Likewise, his personal belongings emit a particular smell that he can detect from a distance. Don’t move his things, because you might disorient him.

2. Give him some freedom

In the beginning, it’s normal for a blind dog to collide against some objects. Don’t be scared, and don’t follow him around all the time. What you can do is keep your home clean so there are no objects that can hurt him. For example, avoid leaving cabinets opened or children’s toys on the floor.

3. Block the staircase

If there’s a staircase in your house, you should put a fence or something else in front of it to block your dog from going up, or to prevent him from falling if you take him upstairs.  Don’t worry, in time he’ll learn to go upstairs step by step. He might be afraid at first, but you can help him overcome it.

4. Take him to the location of his belongings

When taking care of a blind dog, you shouldn’t worry about him not being able to find his food or water. However, it’s a good idea to help him for the first few days.  The animal’s point of reference should always be his food bowl or bed. From there, he can orientate himself to different sectors of the house.

5. Buy toys that make noise

Don’t stop playing with your dog just because your pet has vision problems. Although he may not be able to see where you throw a ball in the park, you can use noise making toys instead, which will make it easy for him to find.
blind dog playing with a dog
It’s not a good idea to stop playing with him because if you do, he might start feeling sad or depressed. Let him know that he’s still very important to you! For example, you can teach him to follow you while you make noises or shout his name. This can help him if he gets lost or disoriented in the park or in a crowded place.

6. Walk him with a leash

Likewise, you should not cut out exercise when taking care of a blind dog. Since he can get disorientated or frightened by certain noises, you should always take him out on a leash. That way, he’ll be by your side at all times.
Keep in mind that during the walk, he’ll probably stop to sniff things more than before. So don’t tug on the leash in order to make him keep on walking. By letting him smell things, he can orientate himself and find his way back home.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.