As dogs get older, their bodies begin to change. Bones and joints may become achy, hearing may not be what it once was and vision may start to slip. With a little extra help and patience from you, your dog can adjust to life with his less-than-sharp sense of eyesight.
Since your dog's life is changing due to his loss of vision, you will need to change the way you do things. For example, if you usually communicate with your dog by using hand signals or gestures, this will need to stop. You will need to rely on spoken words more to communicate with Max. Dogs understand the tone of voice of their people. Keep this in mind when talking to your dog.
Doggie Proof Your Home
Your dog runs the risk of running into things now that his vision is slipping away. Make your home safe for your dog even if he were to bump into a wall or table. Remove sharp objects from his level. Consider replacing any tables with sharp edges. For example, glass coffee tables with sharp edges might hurt your dog if he were to bump into it. Pools or other areas that pose a danger to your dog must be gated off.
Avoid rearranging your furniture and making big changes to your house. Your dog's sense of memory will be key in helping him to navigate his way around the home. His food and water bowls should stay in the same place so he can locate them easily. Your dog's bed and toys also should stay in the same locations. Some toys may lose their appeal since he can't see them very well anymore. Consider purchasing toys that make noise to make playtime a little more interesting for your buddy.
If you have other pets in the home, put bells on their collar to help your blind dog to know when his fellow furry friends are coming around the corner. Losing eyesight can be traumatic for a dog, as their world is changing and they're not sure what to make of it at first. Stick to your dog's usual routines. Try to engage and distract him by providing activities that he looks forward to. If your dog enjoys going for car rides, make times to do this and do it often.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.