Caring for Blind Dogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. January 5, 2017
Caring for Blind Dogs

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If your dog has gone blind with age or because of an illness, you have to take into account that your pet will need special care so it gets used to its new life.

A puppy that is born blind lives more naturally than a dog that has lost its sight. Unlike humans, dogs are able survive better and adapt the senses of hearing and smell despite having this disability (they are much more powerful than the senses of humans).

Their brain will compensate for the loss of vision enhancing other senses. Keep reading this Animal Wised article to find out everything about caring for blind dogs.

You may also be interested in: Adopting a Blind Cat

Care at home

If you have decided to adopt a blind dog, it is very important that you prepare for its arrival. If you have a large and spacious house, it is essential that at first you create a reduced area and gradually expand the space. This way, with a gradual process of adapting, your dog will feel more comfortable.

When you arrive home, walk your dog slowly on a lead, trying to avoid collisions with different objects. Let it smell to identify the different areas of the home. It is important to remove or cover (at least temporarily) objects that might cause harm such as very sharp corners and protect the stairs. Do not leave an object in the middle of a corridor.

If on the other hand your dog has lost its sight gradually, even though it is used to living in the home, blindness can cause despair if you change the location of furniture and objects. For this reason, commands are a fundamental tool so that it is relaxed and understands the arrangement of the home.

Don't frighten your dog or touch it without warning. Whenever you interact with it, pronounce its name and approach gently so as not to startle it. In general, although always with more precaution, we are still talking about a dog that needs basic care.

Caring for Blind Dogs - Care at home

Precautions during walks

During the walk is equally or even more important that the dog feels safe and comfortable with you, its owners. That's why it is very important to explain to others that your dog is blind before they touch it, as the dog might startle.

Properly guide it so it doesn't collide with objects on the street, and take precautions when you let it interact with other dogs and people. Remember that it can't see who is coming and its responsiveness is slower but more defensive. If you expose your dog to certain situations, you are going to cause it to become very anxious.

It will also be essential to use lead or harness during walks, except for when you are in a known and safe area where you can guide it with your voice. This way the animal will exercise safely, always under your supervision.

Try to communicate security and tranquillity during the walk, talk occasionally, praise your dog when it behaves properly and pet it at times (warn it previously with your voice).

Move away from potential hazards such as stairs, pools or aggressive dogs. You are its guide and as such you should avoid going near places that may endanger its welfare.

Caring for Blind Dogs - Precautions during walks

Activities to make them happier

You should encourage the development of all of your dog's other senses, so helping them learn about different objects, pets and people, will be very beneficial, always with caution. It is very important that it picks up different stimuli and continues to interact with everything it would have done before it went blind. If it becomes detached, the result will be a sad and distrustful dog.

Moreover you should not miss out on excursions and practice activities with it as if it were an old dog. You should also offer toys and rewards. We recommend using sound toys such as balls with bells inside or rubber toys that make noises.

Take note that toys that make noise can frighten them, which is why it is important that you stay with them and even impregnate your smell into them so they feel confident.

Caring for Blind Dogs - Activities to make them happier

Guide dog

A very good idea to improve the quality of life of blind dogs is the company of other dogs. As well as encouraging a very special relationship, your other pet will help you and protect you against any dangers.

Below we offer two extraordinary stories that will make you think about the benefits of adopting a dog as a guide dog:

  • A very poignant case is Lily and Maddison. Lily had a serious eye problem that meant she had to have her eyes removed. Facing the possibility of having to sacrifice them, the reception centre developed an experiment with another dog, Maddison, who would begin to be her guide dog. Indeed, both Danes worked together better than they thought, the two became inseparable. After releasing the story to the media, 200 people volunteered to take these two friends in. Now, they both enjoy living in a home with a wonderful family.
  • Buzz and Glenn (Bull Terrier and Jack Russell) went viral and became very popular on social networks. Both had been abandoned and lived together in a tunnel in Durham, England. After being rescued and cared for, they discovered that the two were inseparable companions of the same age, that could have spent their whole lives together. Buzz guides Glenn and does not separate from her at any time, and they protect each other just as before. They also recently found a new home.
Caring for Blind Dogs - Guide dog
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If you want to read similar articles to Caring for Blind Dogs, we recommend you visit our Extra care category.

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