If your best friend is visually impaired, you’re already aware that caring for a blind dog is a little more complicated than owning and working with a sighted one.
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 choose 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.
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 something is in their path, they will unknowingly stumble into it.
Definitely be aware of the fact that familiarity with their surroundings is a major tool for visually impaired dogs. Changing those surroundings quickly or without notice could certainly put a damper on how they get around.
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.
Always make sure your home is kept up and all toys or other objects are off the floor and kept away from their familiar paths. Don’t move around furniture unless it is absolutely necessary.
A blind dog will memorize the layout of their surroundings, without that practiced layout they have no safe way to get around their home.
Don't Forgot About The Yard
Another area you need to keep in mind is the yard. Just like on the inside of their 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 move lawn chairs to where they are not usually, but doing something as simple 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 without the intention to and, not knowing how to get out, become fatigued and drown.
A blind pet is just as loving as any other, 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 them safe, happy and aware of his surroundings in his home.
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 safe.