Caring for a Blind Dog

If your Rover is visually impaired, you’re already aware that caring for an animal without sight is a little more complicated than attending to a sighted animal.

Just like a blind human would, a blind animal will learn the layout of his territory. With practice, they will discover how to get from the kitchen to the living room without bumping into things. However, if you decide to move around the furniture or if something is in their path, they will unknowingly stumble into it. Definitely be aware of the fact that a blind dog’s familiarity with their surroundings is a major tool used to navigate. Changing those surroundings quickly or without notice could certainly put a damper on how they get around.

Always make sure your home is kept up and all toys or other objects are off the floor and away. Be sure not to move around furniture unless it is absolutely necessary. Blind dogs memorize the layout of their surroundings, without that practiced layout they have no safe way to get around their home.

Another area of mention is the yard. Just like with the interior of the home, blind animals memorize their exterior yards as well. It’s certainly easy to forget to bring your lawn mower back to the shed or to unthinkingly move lawn chairs into new areas of the yard, but doing something as insignificant as this can totally offset a blind dog and put them in the way of potential harm.

Additionally, families who have in-ground pools and are planning to adopt a blind animal need to be sure to fence off their pools, separating them from the rest of the yard. A sighted animal could be taught to swim and to find the steps of the pool to get themselves out when they are tired, but a blind dog could easily fall in accidentally and, not knowing how to get out, become fatigued and drown.

Staircases that have open areas beneath the railing, or no railing at all need to be remodeled to be totally closed so there is no chance of your blind dog falling from the staircase.

Blind dogs are just as loving as any other pet, they just require a little extra planning and maintenance. Not moving around your furniture, keeping the floor uncluttered and closing off any in-ground pools are just a few small things that can greatly improve the chances of keeping your blind animal safe, happy and aware of his surroundings in his home.

Blindness can occur in an animal for many reasons, some are reversible and some not. If you feel you have the financial capability to, you may opt to have your dog get surgery to correct his lack of vision.

If surgery is not a reasonable option, do not feel that your pet can not be happy, safe and enjoy their life. Dogs, and animals in general, are very adaptive creatures who can learn (with your help) how to respond to their daily surroundings and lead happy and full lives.

While caring for a blind animal may be more complicated than a sighted one, you will find that the extra effort put into your pet will be very rewarding and your dog will love you that much more for making sure they are happy and safe.

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