There are many conditions that can cause blindness in our furry friends. Some pet parents find blindness in their four-legged family members to be a burden, and many of these pets end up in shelters. But blind dogs and cats should not be automatically overlooked. The truth is, while sight is important, it doesn’t top the list of required senses. Hearing and smell rank higher for most pets in terms of importance. If adopting a blind pet gives you pause, chances are you’re more concerned over the blindness than the pet is!
the nose knows
So, you’ve found the perfect pet to adopt, but he just happens to be blind. No problem! If possible, before you bring him home, leave him with something that smells like you and your home. A towel or throw blanket is perfect preparation to get your blind buddy used to the scent of his new family.
through their eyes
Take some time to make sure your home is blind-pet-proof. Get down on your hands and knees to get a pet’s-eye view and look for potential dangers to remove. Your new pet will probably bump into things at first, so crawl around looking for sharp or pointy injury-inflicting edges. Next, block the stairs with a gate. Eventually, he’ll be able to tackle stairs, but for now just make them off-limits to avoid any accidents.
The key to a successful transition is consistency, consistency, consistency.
- Start your pet at “home base.” This should be a confined area that your pet can consider his safe place. Provide all of the comforts he needs — a warm bed, food and water and a litter box or crate.
- Resist the urge to carry your blind buddy. He needs to learn the lay of the land, so picking him up and setting him down somewhere else will be confusing!
- Allow for some training accidents. In the beginning, your pet will need to be shown many times where to, well, “go.” Putting a chime or bell on the door can help dogs find their way.
- Consider pheromone diffusers, which use your pet’s nose to help him feel more comfortable in unfamiliar settings.
Your furry friend will adapt to his new digs sooner than you thought possible, and in return for giving him a home, he may teach you a thing or two about overcoming adversity.