Home The Classroom Pet Ownership 5 Things You Can Do to Help with Your Dog’s Failing Eyesight

5 Things You Can Do to Help with Your Dog’s Failing Eyesight

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There are numerous things that can impact your dog’s eyesight, most notably, age.

As your senior dog gets older, you may notice that they begin to stumble or move uncertainly in areas where they were once more confident.

As Jet has aged and his beautiful eyes have begun to cloud, we have noticed these changes too. Fortunately, we have been able to implement a few tricks to help to make this change in eyesight easier on him. Today I want to share five of my favorite tips with you.

How to Help Your Dog with Failing Eyesight

Tactical Flashlight

1. Invest in a Flashlight

When you take your dog out at night, they will be less capable of seeing through the darkness. Carrying a high powered flashlight will allow you to light the way for your dog so that they don’t stumble, fall, or become as confused as they otherwise might.

Any flashlight will help, but we use a tactical flashlight like this one because it provides ultra-bright light.

Night Light

2. Provide a Night Light

You may recently have seen me talking about the benefits of night lights for senior dogs with sundowning syndrome over on Twitter, but night lights are great for dogs with failing eyesight as well. A good quality night light will help your dog to move around during the night and will also help to quell fears related to diminishing eyesight as well.

Any bright night light will do, we use these.

Don't Move Your Furniture Around!

3. Don’t Change the Layout of Your Home

Once in a while, we all get the “bug” to move around the furniture in one room or even the whole house. When you have a dog with failing eyesight, these changes can be very difficult to adapt to. Your dog has a mental “map” of the layout of your home just like you do, but now that their eyesight is failing, changes to this layout can be harder to see. Without changes to your home’s layout, your dog can rely on their mental map of the home to get around.

Talk to Your Senior Dog

4. Talk to Your Dog

Your dog takes comfort in your voice, talking to them when they feel unsure can provide comfort and give them a sense of confidence in a situation. Additionally, your dog can use the sound of your voice to help them to identify where you are if they are unable to see you.

Expand Your Dog's Vocabulary

5. Expand Your Dog’s Vocabulary

If you are like most dog owners, then over the years you have likely become lax in practicing training skills with your dog and working on expanding their vocabulary. You may have heard that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but this simply isn’t true and now that your dog’s eyesight is failing, it’s the perfect time to add to their vocabulary. Use new vocabulary words to guide your dog through their “new” world. Some great examples of vocabulary uses include:

  • Announcing steps and stairs to prepare your dog for mounting or dismounting stairs and steps.
  • Reinforcing the “wait” command to prevent dangerous traffic incidents.
  • Teaching the “take it” command to prompt your dog to take something they are being offered such as a treat.
  • Teach “left” and “right” if your dog does not know them already. These commands are helpful for walking, moving out of the way, and stepping around obstacles

What tips and tricks do you have for dog owners facing their dog’s diminishing sight? Leave a comment below and let us all know!

Amy

A thirty-something author, I have a passion for all things canine. I have shared my life with dogs of all breeds including the one-of-a-kind Great Dane-Pit Bull mix, Millie. My true heart-dog, however, was a black Labrador named Jet. Being Jet’s mom has taught me more than I ever thought possible about…just about everything. Together we had many a misadventure including a faceplant on river rocks, a dog bite, a brown recluse spider bite, giardia, cancer and the best of all – the exploding anal gland.

4 Comments

  1. jacki

    January 12, 2017 at 7:44 am

    That should say “D-oggles” – damn autocorrect

    Reply

    • Amy

      January 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Great advice, Jacki! Thank you 🙂

      Reply

      • jacki

        January 13, 2017 at 12:24 am

        🙂 you’re welcome

        Reply

  2. Jacki

    January 12, 2017 at 7:41 am

    invest in a pair of Goggles when walking your senior dog. It takes them a while to get used to but it stops the glare so they can see a little better and importantly, prevents more damage from sun to eyes and also lessens the impact when moving between light and shade that some dogs can find startling if their sight is going. Also, don’t try to give your dog a treat or whatever with the sun right in their eyes. Make sure you have the sun behind them as much as possible. Lastly, watch your fingers when hand feeding – they can accidentally bite you by misjudging distance or mistaking your finger for the actual food. If they do accidentally bite you please don’t punish them, it’s not deliberate. Lastly, don’t shine your big flashlight (torch) in their face.

    Reply

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