How to Care for a Blind or Visually-Impaired Dog

Like people, dogs often experience failing eyesight because they get older—and need a "seeing eye" in the same way you would. Looking after your pet dog who's losing his vision (or who's already gone blind) can give you a special set of challenges for the remaining family. But a loss of eyesight certainly doesn't mean an undesirable standard of living, especially for pet parents that are willing to modify how they care for their impaired canine.

Common Causes

Dogs can go blind for a number of reasons, from disease to old age. Some of the very most common reasons for blindness in dogs are cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and suddenly acquired retinal degeneration (also known as SARDS).

Certain breeds and sexes will also be more susceptible to blindness. Middle-aged female dogs, for instance, are especially vulnerable to SARDS, that causes blindness quite suddenly. Dachshunds, miniature schnauzers, and mutts are at higher-than-average risk for the disease as well, according to research reported on by PetMD. Cataracts, meanwhile, tend to be more common in miniature poodles, cocker spaniels, miniature schnauzers, golden retrievers, Boston terriers, and Siberian huskies.

Beta Carotene

Good nutrition is crucial to your dog's health and can help in keeping his vision healthy in some cases, although SARDS and similar vision-impairing conditions have no known treatment or approach to prevention.

But, beta carotene will help a dog's vision. In accordance with Pet360, several foods which can be healthy for both of you, such as for instance carrots and cantelope, are recognized to strengthen a dog's vision and decrease the chances of cataracts. Try to find dog food that lists beta carotene in its ingredients — Hill's® Science Diet®, for example.

Necessary veterinary care will be different according to what's causing your dog's blindness. Along with beta carotene, your vet might suggest seeing a veterinary ophthalmologist, which may be more costly than routine care. When searching with this specialist, a great place to start is an on line directory kept by your country's veterinary ophthalmologist professional organization, such as American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist (ACVO).