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Dogs that go blind can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months before they get accustomed to the condition and changes. While some dogs are blind by birth, others go blind due to illnesses, accidents or age. Here is how you can help your blind dog adapt to the change.
Training and routine
If your pet has not been blind from birth, but has only turned blind recently, the transition will not be as easy for him. Some pets that go blind also develop depression. You want to get your pet’s life back in order, by helping him adapt to the new situation. Make sure you regularly talk to your blind pet, so he knows you are around. Do not treat your pet any differently; pets are quick to pick up on their owner’s emotional state.
Get your pet back to the routine, whether it is daily walks or training sessions. You want to add new commands such as ‘watch’, ‘step up’ and ‘step down’ into your pet’s training list, so you can easily warn him of hazards, stairs and others. Get a ‘I’m blind’ tag for your pet, so anyone who approaches your dog knows about it. Use a short leash while walking your dog, so you can keep a close watch and make sure he does not trip or walk into hazards.
Keeping your pet safe
Pet-proof your house, so your blind dog can safely walk around without constant supervision. Cover sharp edges of furniture and other objects, and make sure that the floor space is organized so your pet can walk around without bumping into furniture, plants and other household objects. Use gates to seal off areas that you think are hazardous for your pet. The pool area should be fenced, so your pet does not unsuspectingly fall into it. Keep the front door and the gate closed, so your pet does not wander off and lose his way.
Using non-visual cues
You will have to use non-visual cues, whether it is the sense of smell, sound or touch to help your dog get accustomed to his new lifestyle. Food dispenser puzzles and squeaky toys are a great way to keep your pet busy when you are not around. Teach your pet to get around the house gradually, from room to room. You can lead him from one room to the other with the help of treats, so he gets used to getting around the house. Use rugs or scents to help your pet differentiate one room from the other. While you’re on it, do not move around furniture or other objects, for it’ll make things difficult for your pet.