How Blind Dogs Adapt

Blind dogs loss of vision can be caused by several things such as glaucoma, corneal problems, cancer, trauma, retinal diseases and cataracts.

These dogs require extra care, but are still able to live a long and happy life. Dogs soon adjust to becoming blind, and they adapt and learn to trust their other senses.

A dog's world is dominated by scent, and their sense of smell is their most refined one. Your dog trusts his sense of sight the least but it's his sense of smell that he uses to recognize you with.

The dog's power to hear is unbelievably acute compared to humans. They can hear sounds over a wider range of frequencies and from a greater distance than we can.  Guard dogs use their sense of hearing, along with their  sense of smell, to detect possible intruders, occasionally from great distances.

Naturally, at the onset of blindness your dog should be appraised by your veterinarian as soon as possible  and you should minimise stress and trauma by restricting your dog to a safe area until the cause of the problem is decided.

You will need to help your dog come to terms with it's blindness. Here are some ways to help.

First of All You Must Be Patient

Dogs that are faced with a sudden onset of blindness, may take several weeks to adjust to their new dark world. Dogs that have been losing their vision over time manage much better as indeed us humans do, as they have had time to adapt as their vision has diminished.

It's astonishing  how well dogs deal with their blindness.

A dog's sense of smell and hearing are so well developed that most dogs are less dependant on their vision, so their behavior may revert back to almost normal quite quickly, once they have adjusted to their  blindness.

Try to be Consistent

Blind dogs heavily rely on their memory to help them navigate through your home. The most significant thing you can do for your dog is not to move furniture about but to keep things in the same place at all times. It is crucial that you be consistent.

 Keep your dog's normal pathway unobstructed and don't leave things lying around that your dog can knock into.

Always return things to the same place after you move them. This includes chairs that may have been moved during a meal or furniture moved for visitors. They can bump into these objects easily, and this can cause injury or disorientation.

Keep a consistent area for eating so he knows where his food is and make sure your dog's bed is always in the same place. This is particularly true for his drinking water. Do not alter the position of these areas.

Always Be Ready to Help Blind Dogs

Don't carry your dog from one area to another, as this can disorientate them, let them walk. You may prefer to lead your dog through the house for a while until he gets used to the position of things.

Some times your dog will get disoriented, if this happens be ready to help by guiding him gently with words or by leading him. Speak to him and encourage him to come towards you. When reorienting a dog, always lead him back to the same place, such as the feeding area  or his bed.

Dogs can use the small sensitive whiskers on their face to feel their way around. Be sure to leave these whiskers  long when you have him groomed so that your dog can use them to detect objects before they bump into them.

Communicate with your dog and use noise to waken him when he is sleeping, instead of touching him or you may startle him. Once he is awake, talk to your dog and stroke him.


Safety

Muffin's Halo Guide for Blind Dogs (Medium)


Muffin's Halo Guide for blind dogs is a custom designed product to help blind or visually challenged dogs to get around without bumping into walls, furniture and other objects. This patented product is a great aid to help blind dogs become acquainted with existing or new surroundings, quickly.
 
Muffin's Halo Guide for blind dogs is lightweight, comfortable and a fashionable easy fit with adjustable velcro straps. Its gentle angel wings sit on the dog's neck to protect it's head and shoulder area, while the halo is configured to protect them from bumping into walls and other objects. This device does not hamper a dog's normal daily activity, such as eating or drinking.


Always be aware of your blind dog's safety. Examine your home for possible dangers such as:

 * Pools.

 *  Stairways, and balconies, can become a death trap to a  blind dog.

 * Remove sharp objects or edges, especially those at eye level

 * Microchip your dog and make a note on his collar showing his name and the fact that he is blind.

The Importance of Developing a Consistant Feeding Routine

Provide a known place and time for his food and water bowls and guide your dog to them if required.. He will soon find his own way there after a while.

Don't Leave Him Outside Alone

Always be with your dog outdoors or enclose him in a safe, fenced area. A blind dog can't observe danger and escape from it, particularly if he is attacked or pursued.

Your dog should still be exercised regularly. A harness is useful to provide better direction and control while walking. You need to keep your eyes open for things he might bump into.


Arouse Your Dog's Other Senses

Blind dogs trust their other senses to help them function. Their sense of smell, touch and hearing become much more finely tuned, and will be their main instruments in life for enjoying and exploring their environment.

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