Living With A Visually Impaired Dog

blind dog
My good friend’s dog has suddenly gone blind. She’s an awesome dog mama and has found so many ways to make the adjustment easier for both of them that I felt her tips needed to be shared!

— 1 —

 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.

— 2 —

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).

— 3 —

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.

— 4 —

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.

— 5 —

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.

— 6 —

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!

— 7 —

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!

— 8 —

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.

— 9 —

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.

— 10 —

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)!

I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesdays, Whatever Goes Wednesdays, and The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions

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2 thoughts on “Living With A Visually Impaired Dog”

  1. Pooka thanks you for this post, Angie. I’d like to add a few tips on walking your visually impaired pet. First, walks are an important way to offer stimulation to your pet. The smells are abundant outside. And the exercise is good, too, as visually impaired pets don’t move as readily around the house.
    When I’m walking Pooka, I’ve learned to keep him a step or two ahead of me. It’s too easy for him to fall a step behind, and I have inadvertently kicked him while taking a step. Talk about Guilt City!
    Second, when I’m walking him, the walk is about him. I have to aware of his location and his surroundings at all times. On our favorite walk, there are 2 holly trees with low branches that extend over the sidewalk. I have to steer him clear of the thorned leaves for his protection. Also, I have to be conscious of every obstacle. If I have to walk around something (like in between two cars) I have to take care to guide him through, too.

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