Posted on: 3 April 2019
There are stories about people who didn't realise that their dog was going blind until he bumped into the furniture after moving house. The dog had simply memorised the location of the layout of a place and managed to navigate astonishingly well, effectively disguising his degrading vision. You might have noticed something similar, or your vet might have pointed out your dog's loss of vision during a routine examination. When your dog goes blind, you simply adjust accordingly, whether it's maintaining the layout of a room, ensuring that nothing hazardous is inadvertently placed in your dog's way or carefully leading them through a new environment on their leash. What about when you need to go away and have someone look after your dog? Ideally, a friend or family member can stay in your home and care for your dog, meaning that it's business as usual for your pooch. This isn't always going to be possible, however. How do you go about boarding a dog that has lost their vision?
While you might not like the idea of your dog being alone while being boarded, this can be the safest option. It's only a short-term solution in any event. A pet resort might have larger sleeping enclosures than a standard boarding kennel, so this can be a better choice, giving your dog more room to move during the day but also keeping them safe. An inspection of the enclosure can put your mind at rest, checking that there are no sharp edges inside the space. Your dog might need to be gently led to the location of their water and feeding bowls within the enclosure, and the staff at the pet resort will probably need to repeat this step a few times during your dog's stay.
Communal playtime is a fairly standard part of boarding your dog, but a dog that cannot see might become distressed at this close proximity to unfamiliar dogs that they can smell and generally sense but cannot look at. This is why you need to choose a boarding facility that gives your dog sufficient one-on-one exercise time, which is easily accomplished by a number of decent strolls on the leash or within an enclosed exercise space (of which your dog will require sole usage during their allotted time).
If you have introduced additional training commands to accommodate your dog's loss of vision (such as clicker training), you will need to demonstrate these commands to the staff at the boarding facility. The familiarity of the commands can aid your pet in these new, temporary surroundings, so they shouldn't necessarily be abandoned when your pet is staying at the facility.
Even though your dog won't be able to see where they're staying, you certainly will need to see it to make sure that it's the best option for your pooch.Share