Do you have a dog that is blind or nearly blind? If so, you know that caring for a blind dog is different than caring for a sighted dog.
For one thing, you probably discovered early on that your dog bumps into things that are placed in his walkway. Blind dogs, like blind people, learn the layout of a house and are able to maneuver their way through hallways, living rooms and even stairs with little trouble. But if a piece of furniture is moved, or if a toy is left in a walkway, the dog stumbles and collides with it.
For this reason it is very important that a home with a blind dog does not move household items around. Do not change the position of the furniture and make sure toys or other items are picked up and put away.
Another area you need to keep clear is the yard. Blind dogs will run around their own yard that they have grown accustomed to. However, if the lawn mower is left out, or if a lawn chair is put in a different spot, the dog runs the risk of running into it and possibly getting injured.
Pools also pose a danger. Anyone with an in-ground pool and a blind dog needs to fence the pool off from the rest of the yard. A sighted dog could be taught to swim to the steps and climb out in case he ever accidentally fell into the pool. But if a blind dog accidentally fell in he would have little chance to figure out where the steps were before he grew exhausted from swimming and drowned.
If you have a staircase that is open on one side where the dog might fall through the railing to the ground below, you probably want to put something up along the bottom portion of the railing to prevent any tragedies. Even this is just a little convenience. After all, you love your dog enough to do whatever it takes to keep him safe and happy.
It is not difficult to care for a blind dog, but it does require extra patience and, as mentioned above, some extra planning. Fencing off a pool, leaving the furniture in place, and keeping walkways clear of toys and other things will help the blind dog maneuver around the house and yard almost as good as a sighted dog.
There are different things that cause blindness in a dog, such as cataracts. Sometimes the blindness cannot be corrected, but some causes of blindness can be reversed if you have the money to pay for the surgery or whatever is required. Other times, because of financial strain or perhaps because the dog is very old, people opt to let the dog live out his remaining years without sight.
Don't feel that your blind pet is unhappy with life and would not want to live without his sight. Dogs are amazing creatures and are capable of living a full and rewarding life whether they are blind or sighted.
Caring for a blind dog is not as easy as caring for a sighted dog but well worth the extra effort. Your dog is a part of the family and deserves all the love and devotion you can give him.