Whether you have decided to bring home a blind dog or your pet of many years has gradually lost their sight, there are several super helpful things to keep in mind for both the ease of your friend and you!
-Try to be clear with your words and tone. In general, dogs significantly rely on our word cues and tones to determine what we are asking or warning about, as well as praising!
-Try not to sneak up on your dog by walking with fairly heavy steps. This will keep him or her from startling, as well as providing the reassurance that you’re nearby.
-Attaching bells to the collars of other household pets, or even to yourselves also helps let them know you’re coming!
-Stick to their usually routine of walking, playing, etc… going blind, or getting used to a new environment while blind can be very disorienting. Try not to make it harder!
-Purchase toys that make noise to help your pup locate them. You can also rub treats onto them, so they can sniff them out.
-Use treats to reward your pet constantly for finding an object - or heading to the door to go outside, all by themselves.
-Area rugs can help your pup identify a safe space for playing. This helps them learn to be careful when outside of the perimeters.
-Use a large plastic mat to place food and water bowls on, your pet will quickly be able to recognize where to find them.
-Help your pup “map out” the house by having them follow you around with treats. Come up with keywords that help them navigate and learn where they need to be careful.
-Use gates to block stairs/dangerous door ways
-Place a bell or chime on the back door to teach them where to go when they need to go outside.
For every environment that they enter with you, consider all of the potential obstacles and risks. Being patient and aware of your surroundings will be key to successful training and most importantly safety! Blind puppies are just as loveable as others, you just need to be prepared that they have some special needs.
Boarding your pet can be a nerve racking thing to do! Especially for us owners, we worry about our fur babies when they are in our home alone all day, so when making the decision to board, asking the right questions is key. Asking these question will definitely help you determine if the facility is the right match for you and your pup.
Here is a list of items that are commonly found around the house during the holidays that pose a number of dangers to our pups:
Be careful when decorating your home for the holidays. Keep all dangerous items elevated and out of Fido's reach. When preparing for Christmas dinner, be sure to keep your pup out of the kitchen to ensure that they don't swipe any delicious items off the counter.
Source (Image): Buzzfeed
Body condition scoring is a way to determine if your pup is of the appropriate size for their body. Sometimes we think that they look great, until we bring them for their annual Veterinary visit and the doctor notes that they under or overweight. Body condition scoring is a standardized way to assess an animal's size.
Scoring allows Veterinarians and owners to share information back and forth. It can be used to determine the % of body weight a pet may need to gain or loose. You can also use it to track progress along the way.
Below is a scoring chart by Hill, click this link to see the chart and descriptions close up: Hills Pet Body Scoring Chart
Housebreaking your puppy can be a difficult time for both your new friend and your patience. It is crucial to make sure that you are understanding and positive throughout the entire process in order to keep the bond between the two of you precious. Puppies can often end up with difficulty controlling their bladders if they constantly think they will be punished or yelled at if they accidentally pee in the house. Remember, when puppies are born, much like babies, they are constantly relieving themselves. In the beginning, the mother cleans up after them, leaving no trace of urine behind. Once they are around 12 weeks of age, they need to learn how to relieve themselves in a way that doesn't drive you or your household nuts.
A puppy’s digestive tract moves very quickly. Your puppy will typically poop 30 minutes after they eat, and have to urinate shortly after that. So, pay attention to their daily schedule especially in the early stages.
Source (Image): Vet Street
Hide The Treats
As we prepare for Halloween it is important to remember to find a keen hiding spot for the treats. Dog’s have a knack for finding the “good stuff”, all of it can be very dangerous if ingested. When it comes to Halloween night, be sure to place your trick-or-treat bowl somewhere far out of reach from your furry friends. Chocolate of all types is toxic to dogs. Sugar free candies can also be very dangerous as they contain xylitol which can also cause serious problems for our pups if ingested.
As much fun as it is for us to dress our pup’s up in a cute or scary costume, it can sometimes bring great stress to them. If you choose to dress up your pup, make sure it is not restrictive in any way. If your pet's demeanor changes drastically (fear, panick, depression), consider skipping the costume. The designers of these costumes do not always think of the risks, make sure there aren't any pieces that can be easily chewed off creating a choking hazard.
Keep Your Pets Calm
As Halloween brings many strangers in strange costumes to the door, our pets can sometimes get stressed. Be sure to keep them in a separate room where they can relax. If your pup is very social, it is very important to make sure that he/she is wearing proper identification in case he/she decides to escape from the stressful situation.
Don't Leave Your Pets Outside
The odd prankster has been known to tease and or upset pets in the yard while walking by, to prevent your pup from getting upset or unfairly approached, keep him/her inside. Unsupervised outdoor animals are susceptible to stress, inhumane practical jokes and theft.
Keep Decorations Out Of Reach
As most pups are generally curious about anything new hanging inside or outside the home, be careful not to leave decorations in reach of your furry friend. A lot of decorations contain wire or cords that can cut or shock them.
Keep Them Busy
If your pup has a favorite chew toy or bone, use that as a tasty distraction. This way you will be including them in the treat giving while keeping them safe and calm.
Source (Image): Keyword Encyclopedia