Activities For Dogs With Cataracts

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Introduction

If your furry buddy is older and suffers from cataracts, then you may be searching for fun activities that your elderly pooch can still enjoy. Cataracts make sight difficult for older dogs. Although cataracts do not make your dog completely blind, they do cloud the vision and limit sight. Simple activities that your dog once enjoyed may not be as appealing if your beloved pooch can't see things clearly. However, the lack of clear sight does not mean that your dog can't still enjoy fun activities. You will have to explore ideas that do not require vision to come up with adventures.

Car Ride

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Dog car seat
Leash
Collar
Activity description
All dogs, no matter what age, enjoy going on a car trip. No, your pooch may not be able to enjoy the passing scenery because of the cloudy vision caused by cataracts but your pooch's sense of smell and touch remain the same. In fact, some dogs who have lost their sight have even more heightened senses as they try to stay in tune to the world around them. If your dog has always enjoyed going on a road trip, then your furry buddy will probably still favor an outing. Requiring only a car and your time, an adventure in a vehicle can make a dog's day!
Step
1
Safety first
Nowadays, there are innumerable pet car seats that allow your dog to sit in the seat by the window, safely restrained in case of an accident. If this is the first time your dog has ever ridden in a car seat then you will need to take things slowly so your pooch gets used to sitting in the seat. Be sure to offer ample praise when your dog sits there quietly.
Step
2
Feel the breeze
It's always best to wait a few hours after feeding your dog before you head out on a car ride. So, at the appropriate time, help your dog into the car. Once your dog is firmly attached in the car safety seat it is time to roll down the windows a little and turn up the tunes just a bit as you hit the wide open road. Your dog will enjoy the feel of the breeze in their fur as you sail across the roadways.
Step
3
Stop for a break
Remember to stop for occasional breaks at a rest area to take your dog for a walk so they can have a bathroom break, soak up some sunshine, smell a few new scents, and stretch their legs and paws. Always offer ample praise on the road trip so your dog knows that you are enjoying the time together.
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Walking Excursion

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Pet Stroller
waste bags
Activity description
Yes, cataracts do impair your dog's sight, but they can still see shadowy movements. If your dog's eyesight is severely limited but you don't want to stop taking your canine friend for walks because they enjoy getting out and about, then you will have to think about other ways to walk your dog.  You can always use a shorter leash so you can watch for obstacles that impair your pet's walk. Additionally, consider using a pet stroller to place your dog into while you explore the great outdoors. Doing so will give your dog a comfortable ride while still giving them the option to walk part of the way. There will be an expense for the stroller, but your pet's sense of security is worth the cost!
Step
1
Doggy stroller
Doggy strollers are a relatively new pet walking tool. They are designed to comfortably hold dogs of all sizes. The stroller usually has a visor that also drops down to shield the dog's face from the sun. If your dog has never ridden in a dog stroller you may want to give your pooch time to adjust to the feel of riding in the stroller. Offer lots of words of encouragement so your pal sits quietly. Offer them opportunities to get down and walk around as the mental stimulation of sniffing and exploring is important.
Step
2
Dog leash options
If you don't own a pet stroller then you can take your companion for a walk using a leash. Use a short leash that measures about four or six feet so your pooch doesn't wander off during the walk. Remember that cataracts may impair your dog's sense of sight but they will still rely on their ability to smell and hear to follow along beside you.
Step
3
Lots of encouragement
Your dog's lack of sight can make life more difficult. They may feel vulnerable when out for a walk so always provide ample words of praise and encouragement. Your dog should know that you are always right there beside them and you are not going to leave them alone. Other things to remember are to watch out for other dogs approaching quickly as you do not want your dog to be spooked at any time, offer water often, and always pick up after your dog.
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Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Scented toys
Treats
Activity description
Even though your dog can't see very well it does not mean that they do not still enjoy a fun game. Your dog relies on their sense of smell and sound to navigate their world while dealing with failing eyesight. Many people theorize that an animal's other senses become more honed to compensate for the lack of sight. A game of hide and seek with scented toys is a stimulating daily exercise that your dog will enjoy. Playable any time of day in any weather, hide and seek works your pet's mind and gets them moving!
Step
1
Hiding the toys
At first, make the game a simple version. Even if your dog does not see clearly because of cataracts they may still be able to make out where you are hiding the items. For this step of the game, your pup will rely on the visual cues that they are given and will also count on your voice for guidance.
Step
2
Finding the first toy
Tell your dog to, "find it." In the beginning, your pooch might not know what you want, so gently take their collar with your hand and guide them to the first hidden toy. If it is a scented toy, let your dog play with the toy for a little while to get used to the smell. If you have decided to use one of the many toys that are available that allow you to stuff a smell-good treat into the middle, give your dog the time required to get the treat from the toy.
Step
3
Going solo
Once your dog has a general idea of what you want it is time to let them search through the house on their own. You can offer words of encouragement when they get close to the smelly item. Usually, most dogs suffering from cataracts can quickly grasp this game and love playing. If you sense frustration though, continue to show your dog where the item is or give the game a break until another day.
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More Fun Ideas...

Dining Together

Many dining establishments such as restaurants, cafes, and breweries welcome dogs, especially on patios. Why not take your pooch out for dinner or lunch? Your dog might not see very well, but they will enjoy the variety of smells and the hustle and bustle of such establishments. Some places even provide treats and a bowl of water for your dog to enjoy while you dine.

Dipping a Toe

Even if your four-legged companion can't see well, they can still enjoy dipping a toe in the cool refreshing water on a hot day. Many dogs who have cataracts or other disorders that impair their eyesight no longer want to swim in the water. Undoubtedly, the feel of swimming in water and not being able to see can be terrifying. However, on a hot day, your older canine buddy might still enjoy dipping a toe in a shallow river or lake. Just stay by your canine's side and offer ample words of encouragement as they cool off.

Conclusion

Even if your dog is losing their sight due to cataracts and advancing years you can still enjoy a bevy of activities together. Your pooch still enjoys life and going on adventures with you. They may not feel up to running a marathon, but an occasional walk, game, water outing, or dining activity are all great ways to spend quality time with your furry buddy.