No matter how it seems or feels right now... your dog's blindness is much harder on you than it is for him/her! Eye sight ranks #3 in importance compared to smell and hearing to your dog.
Our dogs pick up easily on our own feelings. Even though you are feeling sad for your dog, try to talk to him often in a "cheery voice" as if nothing has changed... and try not to "baby" your baby!
If you are bringing a new blind puppy or dog into your home and you have time, provide the dog with something with your scent on it for a few days before bring your dog home.
If you have other pets at home you can get "jingle bells" at any craft store (small pets - a cat collar w/bell) that can be added to the collar of other pets so your blind dogs can easily tell where they are.
Sew 1 or 2 "jingle bells" onto an elastic pony tail band (used for hair) to slip onto your own ankle, or attach bell to shoe laces, so your blind dog can hear where you are walking.
Having a "home base" is helpful as they learn to "map" of the house and yard. Bed, crate, or food bowl makes a good "home base" and if he/she becomes confused can start out again at home base.
Leave a TV or radio playing softly near the pet's bed (or wherever they spend the most time when you are gone) the sound is soothing, and may help prevent excess barking.
If your dog uses a crate - turn it on its side, so that the door opens "up" and you can bungee the door in place. This way your dog doesn't need to worry that the door may only be partially open.
If you have a smaller dog, avoid picking him/her up to "help" them get to food or other areas. They need to learn on their own, and actually become very confused when picked up and set down.
Your dog will learn to "map" home and yard in his mind when ready, but you can also put dog on a short lead and encourage to walk around room to room, and around yard.. using treats if needed.
If your dog hesitates learning to "map" the house, get down on all 4's with him, as this is TREMENDOUS fun for pup and you can slap door, floor, furniture with your key word: Ouch! or whatever words you choose.
Get down on the floor and crawl around at the dog's eye level to find anything that might be dangerous. Do the same in your yard... look for low growing branches etc. that could poke the eyes & trim.
More tips at blinddogs.net
Blind dogs do fine as long as you manage their environment. If you have a blind dog, the best way to ensure her quality of life is to keep the furniture in the same place so she can memorize where it is. Take care not to not move her food and water bowls as well. Also, keep any clutter off the floor that might confuse her if she stumbles on it.
Radio show host and pet expert Tracie Hotchner is the author of The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible. Click here to follow her on Twitter and be sure to check out her website.
NYC walkers Blog
Trusted and Respected NYC Dog Walkers-Insured & Bonded.