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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!
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- How to Pick a Reputable Boarding Kennel for Your Furry BFF
- How to Tell If Your Cat Is in Pain
- 13 Human Foods That Can Also Help Pets Stay Healthy
- Caring for Your Aging Pet – What You Need to Know
- Litter Box Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Kitties Happy
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