May 3 is National Specially-Abled Pets Day. This is one cause we are thrilled to support! Many dogs and cats are overlooked for adoption because of medical issues. However, Fluffy and Fido are very resilient. These specially-abled pets are often extremely loving and loyal, and are often much easier to care for than one would expect. In this article, a local Washington DC vet discusses caring for a blind dog.
Carpet runners can be a great help to a pooch that can’t see well. Use different textures to help your dog find his way around. If you have a yard, put gravel or stone runners down. This will help Fido realize where he is, and identify borders, such as fences, before he crashes into them.
Does your dog often crash into things? Consider getting him a halo, which is essentially a bumper for your pup. This will come in especially handy if Fido needs to adjust to a change, such as rearranged furniture.
Speaking of furniture, keep Fido in mind when decorating. Avoid pieces with sharp edges. For instance, instead of a wood coffee table, get an ottoman.
If you have other pets, put bells on their collars. This will help Fido keep track of his furry roommates.
Scent cues may also be helpful. Put a specific, pet-safe plant or a scent diffuser near Fido’s bowl, to help him find his dinner.
Set aside a separate area for Fido, where he will feel comfy and safe. Put a soft bed there, and a few toys. You may also want to crate train your pet, so you can keep him out of the way when needed.
Use baby gates to block off areas that could be dangerous, such as stairwells. If you have a pool, be sure to keep it fenced.
When walking Fido, keep him on a short leash, and pay attention to the terrain. Move around objects he may trip over, such as sticks, and slow down when you approach curbs or other obstacles. Also, stick to the same route/s as much as possible.
More than anything else, Fido needs to feel loved. Talk to your pet, and offer lots of ear scritches and treats.
Do you have questions about caring for a blind dog? Contact us, your local Washington DC vet clinic, today!