living with a blind dog


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Living with a Blind Dog
Even though caring for blind dogs can be trying, it can also be an extremely gratifying experience. Some dog owners think that as soon as a dog goes blind, he must receive constant care because he is helpless. In fact, many blind dogs can comfortably navigate around their homes and live happy lives despite their disability. To help your blind dog live successfully, follow these steps to implement a new map of his living space:
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  • Verbal cues. Use short directional phrases for his daily routines to reassure your dog and help him feel attached to your daily movements. Your voice will both reassure and guide him.
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  • Landmarks. Create landmarks for your dog, keeping objects he uses daily, such as his beds and food and water bowls, in the same place.
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  • Paths. Carpet runners are ideal for creating a pathway to familiar rooms.
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  • Scents. Use various scents to chart out forbidden areas or locations. Scented powders or oils can cue your dog to locate important places in a room or avoid ledges. When you travel, use the same scents to comfort and guide him in otherwise unfamiliar surroundings.
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  • Anchor spot. If your dog is confused, lead him to a preferred anchoring spot, such as a favorite bed, and calmly reassure him until he settles down.
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  • Stairs. Traversing stairs is tough for dogs that can’t see. Install carpeting and accompany him until he can climb them confidently on his own. Hold him gently around his midsection as you support his weight, or lead him up each step by enticing him with a treat.

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Once your blind dog gets used to a routine and has a mental map of his world, he'll get around just fine. Many dogs can navigate their homes easily and live a happy life even though they are blind. In fact, many do it so well that visitors won't even realize that your dog is blind.
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