Is your pet blind or does he/she have limited eye sight? Pets’ may be blind or lose eye sight for multiple reasons. They may be born blind, their eye sight may deteriorate with age, or they may become blind due to a medical condition or old age. Here are some ways you can assist your pet living with limited or no eye site.
- Firstly if you suspect your pet is going blind, visit a vet for an examination to establish the reason for this. There may be treatment available to delay the blindness or you may get some valuable information on the condition your pet may have.
- Keep daily routines and furniture the same at home and don’t leave items on the ground that don’t belong (like the washing basket). Although pets have an incredible ability to adapt to change, despite limited or no eye sight, they will appreciate your assistance.
- Keep your pet safe from hazards and startling encounters. Be aware of other pets or children running up to greet your visually impaired pet. Intervene as they get closer and manage the encounter slowly so your pet does not get overwhelmed. Assist your pet orientating through new environments. Remove or block access to hazards where possible using baby gates and toddler protective corners on furniture.
- Put a bell on other family pets to prevent unexpected encounters and defensive responses when startled.
- Train your pet to come to a whistle or a strong recall of their name. This will be useful to gain their attention or call them over to you. In certain circumstances continue talking to your pet to assure them of your location.
- Provide comfortable and safe resting areas at low levels for your visually impaired cat, so he/she does not feel the need to climb to a higher area and risking being unable to get down safely.
Hope these tips help both you and your visually impaired pet and you feel comfort in being able to help your pet where you can.
Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.