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Blind dogs and cats are just like any other animal; they feel, they love, and they can lead perfectly normal and healthy lives. But of course, just like living with a dog with three legs, or a cat who has experienced previous trauma, there are certain considerations you’ll want to take if you live with a blind animal. With just a few adjustments, a blind animal won’t need to be watched over like a hawk and will go about their business as usual!

Pixabay

Whether your dog or cat has been blind their whole life or has just recently become blind, here are a few tips for living with a blind animal.

Use Noise 

Animals who are blind, naturally, will rely on their other senses to get around. You can help them out by using noise around the house:

  1. If you have more than one companion animal, you could put jingling bells on other dogs or cats. The blind dog or cat will be able to know where they are when they hear the noise.
  2. If you don’t have another companion animal, put the bells on yourself! It’s always important to talk to your animal. Talk to them before you pet them so that way you don’t startle them. Using noise will help the dog or cat know where you of other animals are and will ease potential anxiety.

Don’t Rearrange Furniture 

Blind animals are highly adaptable and will learn their way around the house by learning how the house is set up. If you dramatically change the layout of your home, your animal will most likely get lost. Use textured rugs near stairs, the bed, the front door, etc. so your dog or cat will learn where they are in the house based on the rugs.

Keep Things Consistent 

Create a certain spot where you ALWAYS feed your pet and provide their water dish. Changing their dinnertime location will become confusing. Added a rug underneath their food and water will help too because when they feel the rug, they will know they are near their food and water. It’s also helpful to have a routine. For instance, try to walk them at the same time every day.

Animal-Proof Your House 

Look for hazards in your home. Putting corner protectors on any sharp furniture pieces is a good idea. And if you have stairs in your home, use baby gates to prevent falls. Blind animals have heightened senses, such as smell and sound, so spray items your blind pet could potentially run into with scented oils or perfumes. You’ll also want to be mindful of shoes, toys, and other objects that the animal could trip on and potentially hurt themselves.

Other Things to Keep in Mind 

It’s important to note that if you have two or more animals and one is blind, the blind animal cannot read body signals or crucial visual signs that animals use to communicate. You’ll want to be aware of your animals’ body language and know how to step in to ensure a fight doesn’t break out. While you’re at work or running errands, keeping the TV on might be a good idea to help your dog know which room they are in and help them feel less lonely while you are gone.

When you’re taking your dog for a walk, put on a bandana that says “I’m blind” so passerby will know not to startle your dog. For both cats and dogs, consider putting a tag on their collar that says they are blind so in case they get lost, whoever finds them will be aware.

Flickr

Do you live with a blind dog or a cat? Leave a comment below and share your tips with other animal lovers! For more tips and tricks on how to keep your companion animals happy and healthy, check out these other One Green Planet articles:

Lead Image Source: David_Kaspar/Pixabay

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0 comments on “Tips for Living With Blind Cat or Dog”

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Teri
8 Months Ago

Use their sense of smell! When I first introduced our vision impaired shih tzu to our home (9 year old rescue), I used essential oils to mark different areas, including the pet door, front door, bedroom doors, etc. I think it helped her orient herself faster. I\'ve also added carpet runners to our large tiled living / dining area to help guide her around the thin-legged metal chairs she keeps bumping into (limited success on this one unfortunately) She has learned to navigate around the house, including two steps of pet stairs to the bed and couch. Oh, and I got a fountain type water bowl so she could hear it running to find water .......


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patsy
9 Months Ago

I\'ve had Jeannie the "weinner" for 9 years. She was born blind and her first owner couldn\'t afford to take care of her the proper way. She is very curious about other animals. two years ago I bought a miniature dash hound cross puppy for her to play with. It\'s odd how other animals understand she has a handicap. Never thought to put a bell on "Sophie" so she could find her. It wouldn\'t have mattered anyway! Sophie become the mother hen, leading her, washing her ears, playing "catch me if you can". She\'s so funny trying to catch the neighbors cat. The cat runs in front of her, then hops up on a chair and watched her try to find him.


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Sybil I Erden
9 Months Ago

Very informative article....Cochise Canine Rescue specializes in senior, handicapped and special needs animals. Currently we are refuge to two totally blind dogs, one blind in one eye and one with 10% vision (some light and movement) but who will lose all sight as he ages in residence. People all too often are afraid to take in blind, deaf or dogs with three legs...but these dogs do GREAT in loving homes. Your article showed the public how simple it is to make things wonderful for a blind dog....Keep in mind, within a short period of time if you follow these simple steps, your dog will have his environment "mapped" and you will wonder how they get around everything so very easily!


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