These days thanks to continuing advances in veterinary care, our canine friends are able to enjoy a better quality of life for much longer. However, it is often their hearing and sight that fails them in old age. Fortunately, dogs have an amazing sense of smell which compensates for the loss of the other senses and provided we take their disabilities into consideration, they usually cope very well.
If you think your dog is going blind, you should also have him examined by a vet. Cataracts can be surgically removed, as in humans, but a damaged retina cannot be cured. You can help your dog with failing sight by wearing bright colours when out on a walk so they can see you more easily and also not letting them get too far away.
- Approach blind dogs slowly and making a noise helps them know where you are.
- When out on walks, go slowly and keep them on a lead or close so they can’t wander off out of hearing distances.
- Avoid moving furniture in the house as dogs with failing sight gradually learn the layout of objects and work out routes to avoid bumping into things.
- Shutting off the stairs with a baby gate is useful to stop your dog going up and potentially stumbling and falling down.
Generally, you just need to be more aware that old dogs need a bit more TLC!