Don’t move furniture, their food or water, or their bed unless you absolutely have to. Get in the habit of keeping floors clear. Use baskets, bins, or hooks for things like backpacks and shoes that tend to end up tossed on the floor and could be stumbled over.
Continue your walks if at all possible – just make sure to use the same couple of routes over and over (preferably ones your pooch is already familiar with).
Utilize their other senses to take the place of visual cues. Textured strips before steps could prevent a fall in areas where you’re unable or unwilling to keep doors closed.
Pooka already had this fantastic water bowl, but if he hadn’t it would have been an excellent investment because the faint sound of the water helps orient him to the location of his little doggy oasis.
Drug, bomb, and cadaver dogs are amazing examples of how keen dogs’ sense of smell is. Make this work in your favor by dabbing small amounts of essential oils on door frames at snout height. This will work indoors and out – just don’t select a sweet scent that might attract bugs or bees.
Here’s a book Lisa is reading to help her adjust.
I’m one of those people that always feel more secure once I’ve bought a book or two on an issue – you should see my collection of back pain and pain management books!
Your fur-baby can still play most of their favorite games – you’ll just have to adjust them a bit. Fetch will be over much shorter distances and the toy being thrown needs a scent. Kong toys with a smear of peanut butter inside are a good choice. “Treat Hide and Seek” actually gets a lot easier for doggy parents since treats can be “hidden” in plain sight – no more finding half a Milkbone between the sofa cushions a week later!
If your pet is allowed on the furniture (our two big dogs sleep with us) put your bed and sofa as low to the ground as possible. Pet stairs are an iffy option for visually impaired dogs – it’s very easy to place a paw wrong and take a tumble.
Ramps, however, are a great option for bigger dogs – especially for getting in and out of the car. A guiding hand on the collar is all that’s needed for a smooth transition without straining your back.
I’m looking for a T-shirt for Lisa with “Service Human” in bright letters on the front and back like the vests Guide Dogs wear. In all seriousness, it would be nice to let people approaching know that Pooka is blind so they don’t let unfamiliar dogs or children get too close or try to pet him when he’s not expecting it.
Do you know someone with a visually impaired pet, or do you have one yourself? I’d love to hear more tips (and be able to pass them on to Lisa)!
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