5 things to consider when you have a blind pet.
When, my 13-year-old sheltie, Maddy, went blind quite quickly; it was a difficult adjustment for her as well as for us. So I want to share five things I did in my home to make it safer for her but still keeping it attractive.
1. Soften all of the corners in their path. I used lots of throw pillows and plants in the areas where she was getting stuck or bumping into.
2. Keep them away from unsecured exits or areas they can fall, like a sunken room. Instead of a standard baby gate, I found a beautiful iron doggie gate from Frontage.
3. If your pet still has some sight and is sleeping on the bed or sofa, you need to help them with their depth perception. There must be a contrast from where they are to the floor. I added contrast with lighting and pattern. In my bedroom, I placed rope lighting underneath the bed. It gave a soft glow and didn’t bother us at all.
In my family room, I have an ottoman coffee table, so I made a slipcover in a contrasting fabric from the floor. It has to be a dramatic contrast, so I’d suggest a bold print. If you have a regular coffee, first I’d suggest moving it. I found she jumped farther out than before. Then add an area rug for the contrast. It doesn’t have to be a room size rug, just large enough for the front legs to sit on the area rug to keep it from looking like a throw rug.
4. To help her find the back door, I put area rugs inside and outside the door. They needed to be the same rugs, but completely different texture from any others in the house; otherwise, she got confused.
5. And this should go without saying, do not move anything around. Even though things have been in the same place for 13 years, it’s hard to remember how to get there when you can’t see. I tried it myself, so I could see what she was experiencing, and I bumped many times along the way. They need to learn how to map their area to be able to get through the house and to their bed and food by themselves.
We all have to make adjustments when our pet’s lives change. Blind pets can live healthy, long lives if we just help them along the way.
To read more about pet health, wellness, resources, and tips for you and your pet, visit Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine