All dogs deserve love, but it goes without saying that a pup with poor eyesight needs extra care. Vision problems can occur for a number of reasons: untreated or persistent illness, accidental injuries, or simply because it was an inherited trait. Additionally, old age can take a similar toll on a dog’s eyesight.
Perhaps you’re considering adopting a vision-impaired puppy, or maybe your canine friend has developed a vision problem. Providing the best care may require making a few changes to your home and general routine. In this article, a Raleigh, NC vet hospital offers guidance on how to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Regardless of whether you’re bringing home a new puppy or caring for a senior dog, your home should be a haven where they can feel safe and secure. One way to achieve this is to block off unsafe areas of your home. For instance, adding a baby gate at the top of your stairs can prevent your canine from taking a dangerous fall. Also consider restricting access to open water sources: backyard pools, ponds, and streams can be very hazardous for a pet with poor vision!
Another way to improve safety for your pup is to keep floors clear by removing tripping hazards, sharp tools, or otherwise dangerous items.
Lastly, refrain from changing room layouts and furniture. Having a predictable floor plan is critical for a dog with poor vision, and this is made exceptionally difficult when things are drastically changed. If you want to move things, do so slowly, one item at a time so your dog can adjust to the gradual change.
If your pet can’t see you well, they’re naturally going to rely more heavily on their hearing. Approach them loudly to let them know you’re present: this will prevent startling them when you pet their head or rub their belly. Likewise, be sure to let visitors know that your dog is vision impaired so that they can be mindful as well.
Similarly, they may have a more difficult time detecting when your other pets are around. Adding bells to your other pets’ collars is an excellent way to help your poor vision pup keep track of their furry companions.
There’s a greater risk to your dog’s safety outside your home or other familiar spaces. Be sure to keep your pet on a shorter-than-normal leash to keep them from wandering where they shouldn’t. And if you have a large yard where you let them out, keep an eye on them as they explore in case they need help navigating back home.
Losing –or being born without– one’s vision can be a scary process, so be sure to show your dog plenty of affection. Feeling safe and loved will be a tremendous relief to your furry friend.
If you want to learn more about caring for your senior dog, schedule an appointment with your Raleigh, NC vet today!