Learning that your dog is visually impaired can be worrying. Many owners fear that they won’t be able to provide their dogs with the care they need, especially as animals can’t explain what’s wrong. But looking after a dog with vision problems doesn’t need to be difficult. While it can take time to adjust, some small changes to your lifestyle can help your dog feel safe and comfortable. If you need more advice on keeping your dog’s eyes healthy or for further information about blindness, AllAboutVision has a wide range of resources to help.
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Allowing your dog to get used to a routine will be key in helping them navigate life with a vision-related condition. Keep mealtimes and walks to a schedule as much as you can so your dog knows what to expect and when. This will help them identify specific routes and make confusion less likely if you know what path your dog will take from his bed to the water bowl, never temporarily obstruct this area. A stray box or shopping bag could throw off your dog and leave them feeling nervous.
If your dog is struggling to see clearly, it will be more prone to injuries, so making its environment safe should become a priority. For example, while your dog could easily avoid falling down the stairs or brushing against a sharp table edge before, they might not be able to do so now. Installing a gate for the stairs and covering the corners of furniture can help your dog avoid accidents. In addition, it’s a good idea to lower yourself onto the floor to check if you’ve missed anything that your dog might encounter in your home.
Just because your dog is visually impaired doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy normal activities like exercise. Continue taking your dog on walks, making sure to keep them on a lead to help guide them. You’ll have to be extra vigilant, keep an eye out for obstacles, and be careful when crossing the road. When you’re at home or in your garden, make sure your dog is still free to play with toys. This will help your dog maintain a good quality of life and stay happy despite their vision impairment.
Consult a Vet
Depending on your dog’s type of vision problem, it can be beneficial to regularly check in with your vet to monitor your dog’s eye health. Some conditions can be managed using eye drops, while others will get progressively worse. Either way, check-ups are important for your dog’s overall health, especially as they get older.
Join a Support Group
Plenty of owners find caring for a visually impaired dog challenging, so joining a support group can help you learn from others. Not only can your dog safely interact with other dogs, but you’ll be able to connect with like-minded people.