Like humans, some dogs experience a loss of vision as they age. Caring for a blind dog can be a new challenge for a pet owner that requires a few changes to keep their dogs happy and safe.
Signs Your Dog May Be Losing Vision
If your dog’s becoming blind you may notice:
- Increased clumsiness
- Difficulty finding toys and other objects
- Cloudiness and/or red blood vessels in the eyes
- Frequently becoming startled
- Lower energy levels
If you notice these signs, ask your vet to recommend a veterinary ophthalmologist for a vision consultation.
Keep Your Dog’s Home Environment Safe and Consistent
Blind dogs feel more secure when they’re in an environment they’re familiar with. Therefore, try not to make frequent changes like rearranging furniture in the areas your dog spends most of their time and always keep food and water in the same place. Keep toys, shoes, chairs and other items out of the pathway your dog usually walks. Additionally, if you have any sharp or dangerous items in your home, place them far away from where your dog might run into them. Establish a safe area for your dog where they feel comfortable and secure.
Maintain Frequent and Helpful Communication
Talk to your blind dog in a happy and calm voice. The more frequently you speak to your dog, the better they’ll get at recognizing, trusting and following your voice. If you’re walking towards your dog intending to pet them or make any sort of contact, let them know first by talking to them or making a noise. Take loud, meaningful steps so the vibrations notify them you’re close. You can also consider wearing bells or something else that jingles so your dog always knows when you’re around.
Take Care of Their Spirit
Some dogs experience depression after losing their vision. Therefore, if your dog appears unhappy or antisocial take steps to get them emotionally back on track. Take them on regular walks and play with them frequently. There are special dog toys specifically for blind dogs with scents and squeaky sounds to help stimulate their senses.
Above all, treat your dog like you would any dog with full vision. A loss of vision doesn’t mean a decreased quality of life. For more tips on health and wellness, visit Regal Animal Hospital in Lake Worth, Florida.