I recently began fostering a 15-year-old blind (and we think mostly deaf) dog. He seems…

I recently began fostering a 15-year-old blind (and we think mostly deaf) dog. He seems to get around alright and walks on a leash (though you do have to guide him so he doesn’t collide with walls and things), but how can I get him to get to know the layout of my house? When he walked in for the first time, he took a few steps, nudged a wall, then plopped down where he was and doesn’t seen to want to move from there. Obviously we’d like him to be able to get around to some extent on his own (at least enough to drink/eat and not run into furniture), but he doesn’t seem to want to move. When I went to the next room and I wanted to keep an eye on him, I just picked him up and moved him with me. Is there a good way to be doing this? Should I keep him leashed at first to bring/show him around? Help!

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Jana Rade
7 years ago

Hi Anna. Blind dogs are able to use other sense to make their way around. This includes the sense of touch (their paw pads are actually very sensitive and "read" the terrain for them, as well as their whiskers), their sense of smell and even their hearing. What you can do is to "map out" the place for him using different textures, smells and sounds. For example, if you had different texture flooring in each room, he’ll know by that which room is which. It might also help to "line" the walls and doors with different textured strip, which would… Read more »

Krista Magnifico
7 years ago

Hello Anna, Thank You for the question, and more importantly, A BIG GIANT THANK-YOU for fostering a pet. Especially for fostering an older pet. Without people like you many rescues, and many rescued animals would never have a second chance at finding a loving home. It takes a very special person with a very big and generous heart to take a pup in need of so much assistance. I applaud you for not only being courageous enough to foster him, but also for seeking help in understanding how to best care for him. Because I am a veterinarian I would… Read more »