You’ve heard of dogs leading blind humans, but what about humans looking after blind dogs?
Well, if you haven’t, now you have.
In fact, a dog being blind be shouldn’t be an option to stop you from looking after one.
Dogs are wonderful whether they’re blind, going blind or have full sight. They can still bring lots of joy into our lives, and we can bring a huge amount of happiness into theirs. However, compared to full-sighted dogs, blind dogs require that extra bit of care.
That means you have to pay more attention to its other senses, such as taste, sound and touch.
To help you make the most of its other three senses, we’ve got some tips on what to do when living with a blind dog.
8 tips on how to help a blind dog
1. Communicate regularly
Your dog may not be able to see you, but it should be familiar with your voice. After all, as their owner, they trust you with their life. When you call your canine from any room in your house or outside, this will help them feel safe. Similarly, depending on the area you talk to them from, they will also figure out how far away they are from you.
2. Keep their food and water bowl in the same location
Blind dogs need familiarity, peace and a sense of security. You can help with this by putting their food and water bowl in the same location in your home. If you do this, you will make it easier for them to retreat there when they’re hungry or thirsty.
In addition to this, you might want to bring in unique objects that will help your pet identify with specific locations in your house. For example, you may wish to put a fluffy rug in your living room or a carpet runner in your hallway.
3. Make a safe spot
We all love to be comfortable, don’t we? Sometimes as humans, we feel a sense of protection when we’re in our home like nothing can get to us. Just like our feeling of being safe, dogs often pine for that.
When a dog is blind, it’s even more important you give them some safe area they can recognize as their own. One great way of doing this is by dedicating a place in your home for them to feel protected and comfortable. A good idea is to get a large dog bed full of padding and put it in an area they like to visit in your home.
4. Stick to a routine
Dogs thrive on familiarity and tend to stick to routines better than all of us do as humans. A routine helps give structure and confidence to a blind dog. By having a routine, they will easily identify when they need to sleep, play and eat.
5. Utilise their other senses
You can certainly make sure a dog has more fun by engaging its other senses. If you want to play a game, place essential oils on a specific toy or bring toys into your home that are noisy with bells or squeakers inside.
6. Do not rearrange your furniture too often
Blind dogs work hard to make a mindmap of every room in your house. If you decide to refurbish or move your furniture around, this could quickly decrease your dog’s confidence. Your dog could bump into new furniture and not know where things are located, taking them longer to configure the layout of your home.
7. Dog proof every room
Over time your blind dog will become familiar with the layout of your home, but that does not mean they’re completely safe. If you own a blind dog or looking to own one, you will want to make sure no sharp objects are lying about or anything that could cause harm to your dog. Similarly, you may wish to put a gate on specific areas, like your stairway or places which are dangerous for your dog to access.
8. Identify your dog is blind
You know your dog is blind, but you should make others aware of your dogs and their safety. The best way to do this is by getting them an item of clothing such as a shirt, vest, bandana or collar with a message to indicate that they’re blind.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.