13 Tips for Relocating or Moving Home with a Blind Dog
Moving home or relocating with a blind dog probably seems like a stressful task. Your dog may already struggle to find his way around your current home, let alone a brand new home. However, there are many simple things that you can do to help your dog adapt to a new home.
The following are 13 helpful tips for moving home with a blind dog:
- Keep your dog’s favourite bed, blanket and toys
- Establish your dog’s safe zone
- Keep your dog’s food and water in the same place
- Talk to your dog softly and frequently
- Walk your dog through your new home
- Keep your dog’s routine the same
- Dog-proof your new home
- Choose a floor plan and stick with it
- Keep the floor clear of objects
- Try to teach your dog new commands
- Use a water dish that makes noise
- Try a Blind Dog Halo
- Avoid leaving your dog alone for the first few days
In this article we will discuss each of these tips in detail so you can minimise stress for your beloved pooch.
Signs your dog may be going blind.
If your dog’s vision is on the decline, he may show the following symptoms:
- Cloudiness and/or red blood vessels in the eyes
- Increased clumsiness and bumping into things
- Lower energy levels
- Noticeable eye pain
- Your dog gets startled easily
If you see these signs, take your dog to the vet to get checked out. Vision loss due to conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma may be repaired or slowed through medical care.
If you dog has been diagnosed as blind, don’t worry! Your dog will adapt and will even learn to compensate by using other senses like hearing, smell and touch.
Keep your dog’s bed, blanket and toys.
You don’t want your dog to feel completely out of his comfort zone.
Firstly, keeping your dog’s favourite bed, blankets and toys will give your pet a sense of familiarity and safety.
Additionally, these objects will be heavily scented, so, your dog will be able to locate them easily in his new home.
Establish your dog’s new safe zone.
It’s very important to establish an area in your new home that is safe and cosy.
Put your dog’s favourite bed and blankets in a corner to help him feel comfortable. With a safe zone, a blind dog will adapt to his new home quicker.
Keep your dog’s food and water in the same place.
When you have found a spot in your new home for your dog’s food and water bowls, keep them there.
Once a blind dog has learnt where he can find his food and water, he will return to that spot in the future. Moving them around will confuse your dog and will likely stress him out.
Additionally, his food and water bowls will act as a location cue. Therefore, he can use them to map his way around the your new house.
Talk to your dog softly and frequently.
You are already a major part of your blind dog’s safe place.
Talking to him softly and frequently will remind him that you are there and that he is safe.
Additionally, your voice can help him figure out where he is so he can map his way around the new home.
Walk your dog through your new home.
Pop your dog on a leash and walk him slowly around your new home. Show him where everything is, importantly, his bed, food and water bowls.
Let him sniff everything so he can create a map in his mind. Blind dogs often rely on their snouts and sense of smell to get around.
Keep your routine the same.
After relocating, try to keep your dog’s routine the same.
Thus, feed him and walk him at the same time as you would in your previous home. Additionally, keep his diet the same. Dog’s can be fussy when it comes to trying new food.
This will give him a sense of familiarity so that he doesn’t feel out of his comfort zone.
Dog proof your new home.
Get down to your dog’s level to spot any hazards that could hurt your pet.
Look out for things that he could bump into, trip over, or things that may fall on him if bumped. Additionally, just as you would for a baby, put corner protectors on sharp objects, and baby gates at the top of stairs.
Choose a floor plan and stick with it.
When you have decided the layout of your new home, try not avoid changing it. Keeping everything in the same place will help prevent disorientation and harm.
It will take a while for your dog to adapt to his new home and learn where everything is. Therefore, you want to avoid moving things around and confusing him again.
Ideally, you’ll want to introduce your dog to his new home after you have already arranged the furniture. This way, your dog can gets used to his new environment correctly the first time.
Keep the floor clear of objects.
Any objects that are left on the floor become a hazard for a blind dog. These include, shoes, clothes, toys, among other things.
Additionally, tripping over objects will likely startle your dog and stress him out.
Keep the floor free of clutter so your dog has a clear walking path.
Try to teach your dog new commands.
If possible, try to teach your dog some new commands. These include important words such as ‘up’, down’, stop’, ‘left’ and ‘right’.
These commandments will help a blind dog navigate around the new house after relocating.
Use a water dish that makes noise.
Having a fountain-style water bowl is ideal for a blind dog as it makes noise. This way, your dog can easily locate his water.
Additionally, it would also act as a location cue to tell him where in the new house he is.
Try a Blind Dog Halo.
Blind dog halos are a brilliant invention to prevent blind dogs from bumping into things.
They are normally attached to a harness or vest and place a protective ring around your dog’s head.
This way, your dog won’t bump his nose onto walls and furniture in the new home. This of course has a massive calming affect for your dog.
Avoid leaving your dog alone for the first few days.
As I’m sure you are aware, a blind dog doesn’t normally need around the clock watch. Once they have figured out their way around their home, they can wonder around like any other dog.
However, after relocating to a new home, your dog can become highly stressed and disorientated.
When disorientated, blind dogs can walk around in circles, pacing up and down and therefore bumping into things.
Try to avoid leaving your dog alone for more than an hour in the first couple of days after your move. This way you can keep an eye on him and calm him down while he acclimates to the new home.
Relocating to a new home with a blind dog is a daunting task. However you don’t need to worry. Follow these 18 simple tips to ensure your dog adapts to his new home with ease.
Hope you have found this helpful.
Good luck with the relocation!
My shih tzu is 12 years old and blind, we are moving house and I’m worried about how to get him settled.
Thank you for getting in contact. As long as you follow the guidelines above, your shih tzu should get on fine. Make sure you walk him around your new home and keep a close eye on him or her over the first few days. You will be surprised how resilient dogs can be!
Good luck with the move. Any questions, please ask.