Caring for a Blind Dog

A blind dog has all of the same nutritional, emotional and physical requirements as a dog that can see normally. The only difference is that the blind dog cannot see. When a dog cannot see, he will rely more heavily on his owners to be his eyes. So, it is important for owners of a blind dog to learn how to deal with their dog's handicap and how to take care of him.

Differences in the Blind Dog

Whether your dog was born blind or has recently become blind will make a big difference as to how your dog acts. A dog that is born blind has to learn the concept of distance, touch and smell. He has never seen a staircase, a doorway, a bedroom or even another animal. He can only rely on his other senses to tell him that there is an object in his presence that requires him to walk in a different fashion, such as when walking up stairs or around doorways and walls. He has no idea what these objects look like, but he has learned that he can navigate around them.

Likewise, when a dog is born blind, he may be a little hesitant in the presence of other animals. He will be cautious because he is not sure whether he can trust the animal and if the animal is a predator or a friend. Additionally, because he is limited in his ability to defend himself, his instincts will force him to be cautious of anything that he is unsure of.

On the other hand, a dog who has recently become blind can remember objects and animals from his days when he could see. But now that he is blind, he will not be able to recognize objects initially with his eyes; rather he will have to learn to use his other senses in order to remind him of what something is.

A dog that was not born with the handicap of blindness tends to be less hesitant around other animals and people because he is familiar with them. However, he may not be as playful as he once was while he learns to cope with his handicap and tries to understand why he can no longer see.

Caring for a Blind Dog

Caring for a blind dog is not overly difficult; however, it does require some strong patience and dedication. A blind dog will depend on you to be his eyes—meaning that he will follow you in order for you to navigate for him. He will rely on you to teach him where the food bowls are, how to get to the door and to teach him whether other animals are good or bad.

The best way to teach your blind dog about these factors is to set a routine and stick to it. Because a blind dog can become confused and disoriented when objects shift around the home, he requires a strict schedule and structure more so than a dog that can see. You should always make sure to shift furniture around as little as possible in order to help your dog become familiar with his surroundings.

A blind dog will rely on his senses and memories; so you are always better off attempting to keep things the same for him. You can try keeping his food bowls in the same location and always using the same path when walking him outside to help him to acclimate to his new environment.

Likewise, you always want to try to caution people not to move too quickly around him and also try to keep other dogs as calm as possible around him. By doing these things, you can help your dog to relax and become more comfortable with the introduction of a new person or animal.