Adopting a dog can be a big responsibility. Dogs require food, exercise, socialisation and veterinary care. Adopting a blind dog can be even more challenging. A blind dog is a dog who has no vision. Although a blind dog that is cared for properly can live a long and happy life, it's important to understand that he will need extra care.
Before adopting a blind dog, it is important to be 100 per cent sure about your decision. It's not fair to the dog to bring him home only to bring him back again. This will only confuse him. Depending on the agency you adopt from, you may be asked to sign an adoption contract. PetPlace.com notes, "Some things you may need to agree to in contract include proper medical care (spay/neuter, vaccines, parasite prevention, etc.), providing a fenced yard, promising that if you ever need to surrender the pet you will bring it back to the place of contract, not changing the pet's name (if he already has one), etc."
It's important to have patience after taking home a blind dog. Blind dogs will rely on you for help. You may need to guide your dog through the house for a while until he gets familiar with the new environment.
Before adopting, keep in mind that just because a dog is blind does not mean he is completely helpless. According to PetPlace, a dog trusts his sense of sight the least. He can hear sounds over a greater distance and a wider range of frequencies than humans can.
Bringing a blind dog into your home does not come without risks. You may have potential dangers at home, which you need to always be aware of if you choose to adopt a blind dog. Barriers will need to placed over hot tubs and around pools. In addition, fireplaces, open stairways, balconies, and decks need to be blocked. Lastly, anything around the house with sharp objects and edges should be removed or covered if your dog has access to it.
If you have never adopted a blind dog before, you should understand that you may need to make changes in your regular routine to accommodate your special needs dog. Before you bring him home, provide the dog with something that has your scent on it. This will get him familiar with your smell. Once he is home you may consider attaching a bell to your shoe or tying one around your ankle so your dog can hear where you are. In order to prevent excess barking when no one is home, leave a TV or radio on playing softly. This will be soothing and comforting for him. Don't move around furniture, as your dog is trying to adjust to the layout of your home and may get confused if his layout has changed. In addition, teach your dog new words to learn that will help him adjust to the layout. Words such as "step up," "step down," "easy," or "careful" may be beneficial. Speak to your dog before petting him as it could startle him if he's unaware that you are near. Lastly, socialisation is very important, as dogs that are blind may be fearful. Socialising with people and other animals will help him overcome his fears, as well as letting him know someone is around.
Just like any other dog, a blind dog can also give you a lot of joy. PetPlace notes, "For giving them a good home, they will pay you back every day with unconditional love, a wagging tail to warm your heart, and all their silly dog antics to keep you laughing."
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