Can a blind puppy be raised without excessive problems? The decrease in a dog's visual capacity, or complete blindness, can be really problematic if the basic guidelines for handling the animal are unknown.
Normally the health problems that appear in pets are bearable by their owners but, in cases related to loss of vision, these disorders alter the rhythm of life and customs of the whole family.
Many of the dogs born with this type of deficiency are abandoned. On other occasions, when blindness appears in the old age stage, the solution chosen by the majority is euthanasia. With a few simple tips we can change the way of thinking and the decisions of the clients that are in this situation.
How to care for a blind puppy?
The questions that our clients usually ask us when they realize that their puppy is blind are: Can I take care of it? Will you lead a normal and pleasant life? What do I have to do at home to make it more comfortable?
Before all these doubts, the most important thing is that we make it clear to the owner that the advantage that these animals have over those who suffer from blindness in their adult or senile stage is that they adapt much faster to their circumstances, since they do not They know others.
In fact, a blind puppy does not differ too much from another with normal vision. It simply depends more on your other senses, which are more developed to cover as far as possible the visual deficiency of the animal. For this reason it is recommended that, during its education-training stage, it is a question of giving more prominence to these.
On many occasions, blind puppies are abandoned by their mothers as soon as they discover the deficiency of their young. This fact can cause various problems in their socialization stage, that is, the one in which animals begin to interact with others and with people. As examples you can cite the vice of biting, or the inability to play with peers or owners. The reason for these alterations in their behavior is that both the mother and the other puppies of the litter are fundamental when it comes to socializing the young. For this reason, the stage of socialization of these animals is very important and should be very persevering, since the future behavior of the dog depends on it.
Something to keep in mind is that a blind puppy is more fearful than those with normal vision. For this reason, we must advise its owners to warn people of this approach, so that they do not do so abruptly and allow them to smell them before caressing them. Some dogs that suffer from visual impairment feel threatened when someone approaches too quickly, and may even attack you.
As mentioned before, animals with visual impairments have their other four senses more developed. For this reason it is very important to caress and massage them often, so that they notice the presence and affection of their owners.
Education and game
Ideally, restrict the play area of these animals to a controlled and reduced area, such as a room. Later, when the animal feels safer and knows the house better, this space can be extended, or even given total freedom of movement.
The most suitable toys for blind puppies are those that make some noise. There are different types: with bells, bells, etc. You can also find some that emit small vibrations.
Extracted from: How to raise and handle a blind dog. Ateuves nº 4, pp. 36-39
There are several strategies that you can put into practice to guide your four-legged friend
There are still many people who discover that dogs can also have sight problems to the level of becoming blind. Some may reach blindness as they turn years, others have been born that way, others have been caused by an accident. As in people, there are many reasons.
The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, The Alliance to Rescue Blind Dogs, has a career of more than 15 years encouraging the adoption of dogs with any visual impairment. In the same way they offer information since another of their purposes is to educate and raise awareness among the general public.
In the case of blind dogs there is something fundamental to keep in mind: further develop their other senses, especially smell and hearing Something very beneficial for them.
We humans may be more accustomed to seeing dogs as guides for blind people, but not vice versa. That's why we bring you 3 keys to help your four-legged friend in this situation. From the experience of the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, these are the most useful tips for anyone living with a blind dog that they collect on their website:
>> Get on your knees, at the level of your dog, and observe everything that could harm him: sharp edges of tables or chairs, for example.
>> A good idea is to cast I think or suck dogs on the floor. In this way the dog will be sniffing little by little while searching for food and, at the same time, will discover that new environment.
>> You can also walk him around the house several times on a leash and go slowly so that, with your help, he will discover the site.
>> Place plates that make noise or a rattle in the collar of other dogs at home, so your blind dog will have it easier to know where they are.
>> Also people who live at home can carry some kind of bell or rattle so that your dog can easily locate you.
>>The furniture, in its place. A blind dog learns to "navigate" through the space of the house and may have problems if you modify the position of familiar objects.
>> Use scent oils. You can take a little bit on things that your dog could bump into.
>> Different textures are useful for blind dogs, they can serve as a guide: put mats under the bowl of water and food, for example, to make it easier to recognize and find objects.
>> Search toys that make noises different so you can have fun with them.
>> Clicker training is particularly useful in the case of blind dogs.
>> There are two orders that every blind dog should know perfectly: "look" or "be careful", the one that is most comfortable for you, but the goal is to warn you when there is something in your way that you might trip over. And "step" so you know when there is a ladder that should go up or down.
>> Routine is important for any dog and in the case of blind dogs even more.
On YouTube there are many tutorials that offer very practical tips:
>> Having a dog friend that you see makes life much easier for blind dogs since they teach them "in their language" to function in the world.
>> Also keep in mind that blind dogs cannot read the body signals of those who are so expert. That is, if another dog is indicating that he does not want company, that the bone or ball is his, our dog will not be aware and that is why you have to be much more attentive to be able to intervene if necessary.
>> Another option is to put a collar or harness that indicates that you are blind, so will other people, other dog owners, when you walk down the street.
Finally, here is this nice video of Mack, a blind dog, the protagonist of the images above, celebrating his birthday. And I really enjoy it!