The following article was produced by Canine Rehab Systems.
Authorization for use of this article was granted by the authors.
The following home modifications can be used for those dogs dealing with vision issues to help them to better function in their homes:
- Make sure to fence off potential hazards, such as stairs or around a pool.
- Use particular odors at doorways to help them navigate easier through their home. This can be a small bowl of spices, a Q-tip or cotton ball infused with an essential oil, or a small bowl of potpourri. Remember, a dog’s sense of smell is much stronger than ours, so it does not need to be very potent to be effective.
- Another option to smells is to use different textures at transitions to other rooms. Small area rugs and yoga mats can help the pet anticipate changes at doorways.
- Place a bell at the door you use to take your pet out to potty, and teach them to ring it when they need to go out — this can give them a stronger sense of independence in the home.
- Verbally teaching them “stay,” “step up,” “step down,” can help them navigate unfamiliar territory more safely.
- Don’t move your furniture if at all possible. This allows the dogs to develop a “mental map” of their house.
- If the dog has a sudden loss of vision, or if they have to stay in an unfamiliar house/environment periodically, having them wear a Halo vest can help protect them if they bump in to objects.
Lisa Bedenbaugh, PT, CCRP
Canine Rehab Systems