Just like human beings, dogs can lose their sight as they grow older. Unlike humans, dogs do not understand what is happening to their vision and why they can no longer see. This can obviously be distressing for your pet, who will require extra care.
Blindness in dogs can be caused by all sorts of things, only some of which are treatable. Cataracts are one cause that can be fixed with surgery, however this may not be the best thing for your dog.
Heart disease, weak kidneys, liver problems or any other organ disorders can increase the risk that your dog will sadly not survive the surgery. However, the success rate is around 95 per cent.
When looking after a blind dog, the main thing you need to bear in mind is that without their vision, dogs can get startled very easily by movements and noises that they will perceive as being sudden.
Before you move towards your dog, try moving your hand gently and calling their name. If they look towards you or otherwise indicate that they are aware of you, then you can move towards them. Otherwise you run the risk of suddenly appearing in your dog’s vision at very close proximity, which can be frightening.
Nutrition is extremely important for all older dogs, especially those losing their sight. Choosing the best premium dog food is important, and try to avoid lesser-quality foods which contain any kind of meat byproducts.
Many brands offer dog foods specially designed for seniors. James Wellbeloved dog food is a good example of a brand with a range of choices for older dogs. You might also try blending together plain boiled rice, liver and eggs, including the shells. This makes a nutritious topping for your dog’s dinner.
You will probably notice some changes in your dog’s behaviour as well. Without sight, your dog will come to depend on you more than usual. Your dog may become more clingy or needy.
As a human who your dog has built up a bond of trust with, you will be who your dog turns to when things go wrong. Without sight, your dog will need plenty of reassurance and affection.
Written by: Hannah