Caring for a Blind Pet
If your pet has recently become blind, or you have moved your blind pet to a new place, your pet will have some difficulties adjusting and going about a daily routine. Here are some tips to ensure that your pet's blindness does not hinder his ability to lead a happy and safe life.
Things You'll Need:
- Scented candles
- Rugs or mats
The most important thing is to be patient while your pet learns to navigate while blind. If you live in a house with steps, a raised doorstep, or other areas where your pet can trip, your pet will have difficulty learning to navigate. Place a mat or rug that has a different texture than your carpet at the top and bottom of the stairs, or on both sides of the doorstep. Your pet will soon learn that when he feels the texture of the rug beneath his paws, that there is a step.
Try to keep furniture where your pet will not bump into it, and avoid rearranging your furniture. Your pet will be learning to navigate based on the position of objects in a room, and rearranging the furniture will disorient your pet.
Try to do each activity with your pet in a different room, so that your pet will become comfortable with the whole house and will know that each room has a specific purpose. Ex. If your pet is hungry, he will know to go to the kitchen; if he wants to sleep he will know to go to the room with his pet bed; if he wants to play he will go to the room with his toys. Placing all of your pet's essentials (food dish, bed, toys) in one area will encourage your pet to only stay in one room of the house, rather than learning to walk around. Spreading out your pet's necessities will help your pet become accustomed to navigating while blind. This will also help you know how your pet is feeling or what mood he is in.
You can help your pet tell the difference between rooms by giving each room in your house a different scent. Place a different scented candle (unlit) in each room of your house. Your pet will soon start associating the different scents with different activities, so when he walks into a room he will think "this is the room I eat in," or "this is the room I sleep in.". Do not use air fresheners; pets have a keener sense of smell, and because air fresheners are stronger than candles the scents will mingle with each other.
Your pet will have a much keener sense of sound, which you can use to help your pet learn to navigate and to train your pet. Talk to your pet when you walk next to him, so that he can navigate by following your voice. Your pet will not be able to see you preparing food, but if you tap the food dish when you set down food for him your pet will learn to come eat when you tap the dish. If you want to teach your pet to come when you call his name and your pet already knows to come when you tap his food dish, start calling his name when you tap the dish. Your pet will begin to associate the tapping sound (which means "come for food) with your voice, and eventually will come at just the sound of your voice. Keep some treats handy for a while, as your pet will be expecting food when you call him.
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