There is something heart wrenching about a blind dog especially if they have been able to see most of their lives. Blindness can happen without you even being aware that your dog is going blind. Dogs have a wonderful way of hiding their vulnerabilities which leaves you guessing until you learn how to tell if a dog is blind.
There are some very specific things to look for when your dog starts losing his sight. Dogs adapt very easily and if the loss of sight takes place slowly it can be difficult to tell at first. If your dog becomes fearful when he is taken out of his familiar environment it may be due to sight loss. If he is not sure where he is walking and hesitates with each step it is a good indication that he is blind.
If your dog is at home and starts walking into things that were not in his path before it is a good sign that his sight is not what it used to be. If his water and food bowl is moved and he has difficulty in finding it is another sign. If you notice your dog has these behaviors it is time to get him checked out by a vet. Try not to move items around in your home. He is use to the paths he uses on a daily bases and it will not take much to throw him off. Leave his water and food in the same place he is use to finding it to make things easier on him.
If your dog is laying in one place and do not see you are in the room he can become startled when you go to pet him. He cannot see you and this can be upsetting for him when he does not know who is touching him. Always use your voice when you enter a room he is in to let him know you are near.
Your dog may stop playing due to his blindness. If you throw his favorite toy he may not run after it like he use to. This is due to him not being able to see it when you throw it. If you want to continue to play with your dog tie a bell or some sort of noise maker on your dog’s toy so he can hear the direction the toy went in. Once he gets close enough his scent will do the rest.
A blind dog can do all the things he use to do with your help. All you have to do is look at it from his perspective and modify the way you play with him. He may be blind but he is still your best friend. Take time to think of things that will make it easier for him. Once you know how to tell if a dog is blind you can implement things that will still make him happy.