Whether you have decided to bring home a blind dog or your pet of many years has gradually lost their sight, there are several super helpful things to keep in mind for both the ease of your friend and you!
-Try to be clear with your words and tone. In general, dogs significantly rely on our word cues and tones to determine what we are asking or warning about, as well as praising!
-Try not to sneak up on your dog by walking with fairly heavy steps. This will keep him or her from startling, as well as providing the reassurance that you’re nearby.
-Attaching bells to the collars of other household pets, or even to yourselves also helps let them know you’re coming!
-Stick to their usually routine of walking, playing, etc… going blind, or getting used to a new environment while blind can be very disorienting. Try not to make it harder!
-Purchase toys that make noise to help your pup locate them. You can also rub treats onto them, so they can sniff them out.
-Use treats to reward your pet constantly for finding an object - or heading to the door to go outside, all by themselves.
-Area rugs can help your pup identify a safe space for playing. This helps them learn to be careful when outside of the perimeters.
-Use a large plastic mat to place food and water bowls on, your pet will quickly be able to recognize where to find them.
-Help your pup “map out” the house by having them follow you around with treats. Come up with keywords that help them navigate and learn where they need to be careful.
-Use gates to block stairs/dangerous door ways
-Place a bell or chime on the back door to teach them where to go when they need to go outside.
For every environment that they enter with you, consider all of the potential obstacles and risks. Being patient and aware of your surroundings will be key to successful training and most importantly safety! Blind puppies are just as loveable as others, you just need to be prepared that they have some special needs.