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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!