Sharing a home with a special needs pet is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not without certain challenges. To put things mildly, ensuring their safety must become the number one priority. In the case of a blind pet, attention to security and welfare must be undivided. In a way, this ironclad commitment to protect them can minimize how much fun they can experience. However, as with all aspects of responsible pet ownership, finding a balance between both worlds is key.
The Expense of Fun
Whether you’ve just adopted a blind pet or your pet suddenly suffered vision loss, there are steps you can take at home to reduce confusion, stress, and anxiety.
A blind pet can definitely adapt to their limitations and live a happy, safe, and satisfying life. However, this transition may be impacted by age, temperament, and whether an injury or illness led to sudden blindness. Giving a blind pet lots of time will help make their overall adjustment more successful.
Connect the Dots
Establishing a routine is critical. Over time, they must be able to predict or anticipate what’s happening in their shared space. Eliminate clutter, hazards, and other threats to their everyday pattern.
Your pet will know the locations of their bed, food/water bowls, litter box, and the doorway to go outside, but they’ll rely heavily on scent.
The Nose Knows
To help a blind pet live their fullest, happiest life, they must have opportunities to utilize all their other senses. Many animals may frequent the same places in tight rotation because they’re no longer visually motivated to explore their environment. Using a specific scent (like a tasty treat), you can mark furniture, corners, doorways, and stairs to help a blind pet navigate their living space.
Talk Their Ears Off
Talking to your pet is a great way to increase their interactions with people. Give them lots of praise and affection when you’re in the same room; they’ll react and be soothed by your presence. Also, always announce yourself and others when entering their space.
Helping a Blind Pet
Toys are essential to the wellbeing of your blind pet. Ones that make noise or give tasty rewards are usually well-received.
You can help your blind pet stay active by playing with them every single day. Animals enjoy scent-tracking games, such as hide-n-seek, find-the-food, or pick-the-hand. Similarly, walking around the neighborhood with you as their guide helps them gain self-confidence.
Speaking of Smells…
Windows and doorways are definitely off-limits for a blind pet, but if you can arrange for them to safely hang out near one, they’ll probably enjoy the smells and sounds coming in from outside.
Just be sure to secure all screens and locking mechanisms, and confirm that your pet can’t push them open.
Exercise and Routine
While a blind pet can’t enjoy games of laser pointer or fetch, they can still engage in other forms of physical activity and exercise. Many owners are surprised at how much fun a blind pet can truly experience.
As always, please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns!