How To Live with a Blind Dog

Loving your dog unconditionally also means in sickness.  Unfortunately, many dogs go partially or totally blind as they age. If you have a dog which is blind or going blind, there are things you can learn and that you can teach your dog in order for both of you to live well. Give your dog confidence by taking a few simple steps and teaching her techniques which will make getting around easier and safer.

You can make a safer environment for your dog by removing furniture in your house or any other objects that are dangerous, such as tables low to the floor that she could bump into; tables with sharp corners; or furniture items that are her eye level or lower. By making a few adjustments in your home, you can easily make your house a safer place and give your dog a little more confidence.

Your dog has his other senses to help her get around: dogs have naturally strong senses of smell and hearing.  Living with a blind dog is not that difficult - your dog will eventually adapt to using her senses of hearing and smell to get around.

Sound cues

To help with her sense of hearing, you can use a whistle to help warn your dog of danger approaching or ahead. You can use words like 'easy' when she is coming upon a piece of furniture or other item that she could bump into. She can follow behind you when walking by listening to your footsteps. Tapping on the objects that are nearby is a good way to let her know where to find you.

Scent cues

You can also make it easier to live with a blind dog by having her use her sense of smell. Try to use the same kind of perfume or cologne so your dog will be able to identify you better and will always know where you are. You can use different scents for the different objects that she uses often in the house, like her eating area or her bed.  This will be especially important right after you clean these items.

Navigating by touch

You can also use the sense of touch to help your dog get around. You can touch the top of her head or shoulder area to let her know that you are standing next to her or while walking. The touch will also give her comfort.  If you incorporate a few simple touches into your walks on a regular basis, your dog will quickly learn what each touch means (for example, a touch on the head coupled with the word 'stop').

There are many things that you can do to make things safer and easier for both of you when you live with a blind dog.  Regular training and attention to her needs will help keep your dog happy and safe in spite of her blindness.


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