Pet care: How to take care of your visually-impaired dog

Published on Nov 04, 2022 05:35 PM IST

Blindness in dogs can be caused by old age or disease and while it's heart-breaking to see your adorable pooch struggling with disability, you can always make a few changes to make things more comfortable for them.

Having a blind dog at home and looking after him can be a challenge. A little extra love and care can make their life at home independent and safe. (Pixabay)
Having a blind dog at home and looking after him can be a challenge. A little extra love and care can make their life at home independent and safe. (Pixabay)
By, New Delhi

If you have a dog that's losing its eyesight or going blind, it may be a challenging time for your pet as well as your family. Blindness in dogs can be caused by age or disease and while it's heart-breaking to see your adorable pooch struggling with its disability, you can always make a few changes in their routine and to your house to make things more comfortable for them. Do not forget to pamper them a bit more but at the same time work towards making them as independent as possible. (Also read: Signs that your dog is a bully; What to do about it)

"Having a blind dog at home and looking after him can be a challenge. A little extra love and care can make their life at home independent and safe. It is extremely crucial to create a safe space for your blind dog enabling him to live freely by eliminating potential hazards," says Dr. Lalit Kenjale, Veterinary Officer, Wiggles.

Here are a few home care tips for your blind dog:

1. Baby-proofing your house

Having a pet at home is similar to having a toddler running around. Baby-proofing your house is a great step towards eliminating hazards for your blind dog. Covering sharp corners, and putting gates in places like stairs where tripping may occur, can minimize risk. Put yourself in your dog's shoes, get on four paws and look for what you may have missed.

2. Do not change the layout frequently

Rearranging furniture frequently or changing the places of objects should be off your list if you have a blind dog at home. Your blind pet will make a map in his mind and even the slightest change will confuse them. So, avoid making sudden changes to the layout and your pet will be absolutely fine.

3. Being organised

We generally have a habit of leaving things scattered like just leaving shoes on the floor after coming home until using them next time. These things may be highly confusing and hazardous for your blind dog.

4. Floor runners or carpets can be of great help

Just like humans when there is a loss of one sense, other senses are heightened. Your dog's paws become more sensitive. Using different texture carpets in different rooms will help in differentiating between rooms and will make it easier for them to navigate the house.

5. Sounds make it easy to navigate

If you have a radio or a speaker at home at the designated place daily, it can serve as an indicator. Keep it on while you are going out as it will guide your bling dog to find the right direction and add to your dog's independence.

In addition, keeping platforms for accessing the sofa or bed can help increase your blind dog's confidence. If you have a bungalow, be sure to put up fences and check for potential hazards. For partially blind dogs they will have some lights pass through, so changes in the lighting of the house should be avoided.

"You can train blind dogs to follow your voice commands by giving appropriate treats. Remember that blindness can be caused by many different reasons like diseases or old age. Don’t let disabilities be an impediment to love and care for your precious fur family. Improvise and experiment; it’ll only make your bond with your blind dog stronger," says Dr Kenjale.

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