What do you do when your old dog goes blind? A Comprehensive Guide

Let others know your dog is blind.

Get a shirt, bandana or vest for your dog that reads “I’m blind” to wear on walks. Tell people about your dog’s condition so they approach slowly and let the dog sniff them first. Also, get a tag for your dog’s collar that says “I’m blind” in case they ever get lost.

If your foyer has a distinct rug, it could be a cue your blind dog will remember.

”I used a carpet runner on well-traveled parts of the home. Farfel could feel the floor and use it to correct his course if he got lost,” explains Sarah Lammie of Chicago, whose dog lost his vision to glaucoma.

Get down on all fours and crawl around your home looking for hazards, such as things they could dangerously bump into or fall from. Put corner protectors on sharp furniture and baby gates at the tops of stairs until your dog can safely maneuver staircases.

What Can Cause a Dog to Lose Their Sight?

Have you ever looked into a dog’s eyes and noticed they appeared cloudy, a bluish haze? Although many people assume that’s cataracts, most of the time it isn’t.

What is it?

  • Result of age related changes to the lens
  • Often seen in dogs over 7 years old
  • Usually develops in both eyes at the same time
  • Isn’t painful
  • How does it happen?

    The lens, which cannot expand, is made up of clear fiber cells that constantly grow.

    In young dogs the lens is clear, because there is plenty of room for new cells. As a dog ages, the new cells push the old ones towards the center of the lens, hardening it and causing it to cloud over.


    Living with it

    Doesn’t affect vision in any significant way, although your dog may find it a little difficult to see things close to them. All in all, your dog should get along fine.

    To learn more ⇒ Lenticular Sclerosis in Dogs

    20 Signs Your Dog Might Be Going Blind

    1) Walks on objects or surfaces he would normally avoid

    2) Rubs his face on the ground

    5) Stepping high – like he’s unsure when walking

    10) Can’t catch toys you throw at him

    16) Having trouble finding his toys/food/water bowls

    17) Doesn’t want to go out at night

    19) Not interested in walking as much

    20) Aggressive when he never was before

    Why Dogs Go Blind and 5 Tips to Help Them Live a Full Life

    Experts share advice for how to care for a blind dog — from how to spot the signs of vision loss to how to help them navigate at home and outdoors.

    On the list of things that are important to dogs, you might think about family, treats and toys — in no particular order. However, it might surprise you to know that their vision, or rather the loss of it, will likely fall in the “no big deal” category.

    “It’s more traumatic to us as an owner and as a pet parent than it is to the animal,” says Dr. Tammy Miller Michau, a board-certified ophthalmologist and vice president of medical affairs operations at Mars Veterinary Health. “They care about things such as, are they with you? Are they being fed? Are they in a safe, warm environment? If they are, they can live very happy lives, even with a loss of vision.”