Activities For A Blind Dog

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Introduction

Dog's are often cited as having the keenest sense of smell among all of the creatures that currently walk the Earth but they also rely on their senses of sight and hearing just as much as any other animal. So when a dog's sense of sight is impacted (be it by birth, medical ailment, or an unnatural cause,) their lives will be just as impacted as ours would be despite their extraordinary senses of smell. Many changes to the way you interact with a blind dog would need to be implemented; the owner of a blind dog would need to change all their interactions with a dog, from how they'd feed their pet to how they'd play with them. Because of this, we've compiled a number of activities for blind dogs that will help with the latter.

Treat Toys

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Dog Treat Toy
Dog Treats
Activity description
The American Kennel Club recommends employing the use of a Dog Treat Toy as one of the various methods to play with your visually impaired dog. Dog Treat Toys come in many shapes and many sizes, but they all are designed to encourage your dog to use their senses of hearing and smell more than any of their other senses. Dog Treat Toys are a great starting point for your dog due to their simplistic designs, mass accessibility, and low costs. You can buy a Dog Treat Toy from your local pet store or you can order one online from a place like Amazon.
Step
1
Learn how to use the toy
Before you can hand a Dog Treat Toy over to your pet, you'll need to learn how the device works for yourself. Most Dog Treat Toys are like puzzles to dogs, with their favorite treats being the reward they get for completing the puzzle. So be sure to read the manual that comes with your Dog Treat Toy thoroughly before attempting to place any treats inside.
Step
2
Puzzle your dog
After learning how to operate the toy, try handing it to your dog. Their sense of smell will lead them to believe that you've just handed them a serving of their favorite food. While this is partially true, your dog won't realize that a puzzle has been given to them until they begin to nibble and lick on the toy. The emphasis of this step is acclimating your dog to the toy first and foremost, and then adding more to the toy later.
Step
3
Keep practicing
Great work! If you've followed steps 1 and 2, your dog should begin to get a handle on the Dog Treat Toy activity after a while. Continue to support your dog as they attempt this activity and swap the treats your put inside of the Treat Toy if you notice that your dog is learning how to solve this puzzle a bit too easily.
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Talking Ball

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Talking Ball Toy
Water
Activity description
Talking Ball toys are an excellent way to put your visually impaired dog's enhanced sense of hearing to the test; as the name implies, Talking Ball toys are devices that feature a built in speaker; these speakers can emit various noises and phrases that are intended to help your dog find the toy and bring it back to you. There's quite a large selection of Talking Ball toys that are currently out in the market, and almost all of them are cheap and inexpensive. The Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball Dog Toy is one of the most popular Talking Ball toys out there and it typically can be bought for less than $10.
Step
1
Find a play area
Talking Ball toys can be great fun for a visually impaired dog, but your pet will need an open area to fully be able to play with the toy hassle free. If you live in a home with, or have reliable access to, a backyard, then that'd be a great area to let your dog go at their Talking Ball toy. If not, a nearby park or even a local beach would also serve as great areas for you and your dog.
Step
2
Go out And play
With the previous step out of the way, you and your dog now have a place to give your Talking Ball toy a whirl. This activity can end up giving both you and your dog a workout, so dress appropriately and bring enough water for the both of you. All the physicality involved with a game of fetch will be present here, so be prepared to walk, jog, and run around with your dog.
Step
3
Mix things up
After you and you dog have become accustomed to the Talking Ball toy, feel free to mix things up from time to time; try hiding the ball in an area that'd be easy for your dog to access but a bit harder to find than usual or consider incorporating your dog's favorite snack into this activity if they aren't on a diet.
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Treadmill

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
20 min
Items needed
Treadmill
Water
Activity description
This activity can be a great workout for humans and dogs, visually impaired or otherwise. Helping your dog learn to walk on a treadmill is a great way to keep them in shape without having to worry about any environmental hazards or unexpected changes to the weather. There are a number of treadmills that have been specifically made for canines, however your dog will also be able to use a common treadmill without any problems at all, after you and your pet have logged in enough hours practicing together. The price of a good treadmill can range from $500 to upwards of $900, just as a heads up.
Step
1
Warm up
Before your dog can run or even trot on a treadmill, they must first learn to walk on one. First, you'll want to help your dog find their footing on the treadmill's belt. You'll then need to find a nice and slow combination of speed and incline settings that won't tire your dog out too much. At this stage of the activity, the main focus is familiarizing your dog with the treadmill more so than getting them to sweat, so keeps things low and slow in terms of the treadmill's incline and speed.
Step
2
Speed things up
After you and your dog complete a few sessions at a slow pace and low incline, you'll want to gradually increase the speed and height of the treadmill over time. The goal of this step of the activity is to build up your dog's stamina and confidence on the treadmill at a gradual and safe pace. This might mean that you and your dog will need to spend an extended period of time completing a few sessions at the same speed and incline before you attempt to raise either of those settings. Use your best judgement and only increase the settings when your dog seems to have hit a plateau.
Step
3
Keep it up
Exercising on the treadmill isn't always easy for dogs or humans, so be sure to offer your pet encouragement and praise during the workout. Try to stay consistent with this particular activity as well; the longer your dog stays off the treadmill, the more time will need to be spent rebuilding the endurance and confidence you two have already spent a lot of time working to improve. Try to help your dog complete a 20 minute session at least 2 times a week (5 minutes of warm up walking at the start, 10 minutes of jogging or trotting, and another 5 minutes at the end for cooling down).
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More Fun Ideas...

Scented Fetch

This activity will allow your dog to make great use of their sense of smell; get a hold of tennis ball, stick, or dog toy and then mark it or attach some sort of item to it that will cause the ball, stick, or toy to emit a strong aroma that your dog can follow with their nose. Try scenting the object you plan on having your dog fetch with a pleasant smell, like that of their favorite foods.

Hide And Seek

Your dog's senses of smell and hearing will really come into play with this activity; find a large clearing without any hazards to your dog, then try hiding away from your dog. Your pup will sniff you at their own pace, but be sure to adjust the difficulty to meet your dog's proficiency at this activity.

Tug of War

A gentle, friendly game of Tug Of War is another excellent activity to try out with your dog; get your hands on a dog friendly rope and offer the other end of it to your dog. Once you both are ready, lightly and playfully tug on the rope with your dog. Be sure to let them win a few rounds to build up their confidence as well!

Conclusion

The activities we've listed were presented for multiple purposes other than keeping your visually impaired dog healthy and fit; the activities we've listed were placed there in the hopes of helping you and your dog grow and remain close to one another despite your dog's visual impairment. We also hope that by engaging in these activities with your dog, you'll be inspired by the courage, persistence, and resilience that your pet will show you in the face of such a monumental challenge as blindness. And we also hope that these activities will grant you an even greater appreciation for the role you have in your dog's life.