Tips for helping a blind dog adjust - Series 2 Ep 1

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it can be heartbreaking when a dog goes

blind whether it's progressive or

happens suddenly it can be really hard

to know how to help them adapt I'm

visiting with Marie and her 12 year old

Puglia Marla who's gone blind over the

last three months so they're having some

troubles and we're gonna see if we can

help so how did Marla lose her sight

well I noticed your pupils dilated so I

took her to a specialist and he said it

was trauma to the head and then

eventually her eyelid didn't function no

tears were produced and then also

developed so that was about three months

she's lost her sure and then the other

eye just old age okay

there's no damage they said again and

lost her sight there as well so I

noticed Marla has a gash on her back yes

because she doesn't know where she's

walking she is scraping her body she's

hitting her head against the walls

walking into doors falling down steps

okay so it takes them a little while to

adapt now it's really important that we

make sure that the whole house and

outside is safe for a dog so we need to

get down to the dog's level we need to

check for any sharp corners on tables

chairs and just make sure that they are

buffered if you've got a swimming pool

it needs to be fenced off and the garden

needs to be clear of rubbish and

anything has it is so that's the number

one thing we need to do the good news is

dogs are actually quite adaptable when

they lose their sight because their

number one sense is their sense of smell

followed by their hearing and then

eyesight comes third so the great news

is a dog can adapt really easily if we

tap into that sense of smell and also

that sound so what we want to be doing

is we want to help Marla feel more

comfortable feel more confident and if

we can help her do that she'll be

adapted real easily we're the ones that

feel the loss not the dog so much yeah

absolutely so are you ready let's do it

all right come on Milo they're gonna

help you around huh yeah a great way to

tap into a dogs sense of smell is to use

essential oils and you can put them

around different rooms so for lavender

for your bedroom if Milo's allowed in

there that will help her identify that

we could use strawberry in the lounge

room and what you also want to do is put

it near different things that they use

regularly so in the lounge room Marla's

bed is there so we'd put a drop next to

that so she knows that that is her safe

zone in the lounge room and in the

kitchen whatever got vanilla

perfect so then that way she can find

herself from room to room now we also

want to tap into the

sense of sound wind chime by that back

door will be awesome because the

marlawynne oh that's her entry point to

go in and out and then also we want to

talk to them as much as possible and we

also could use bells in the early day so

you're wearing a bell so she knows where

you are

and you could also use them on other

dogs and then they act as a guide to

your dog so we're going to help map out

the place as well that's really

important you use different textured

rugs to show Marla where to go come on

Lola so here for example this floor is

quite slippery actually is because she's

gone sliding and also hit her head

against the bow folds okay alright so

they're a bit of a hazard what we want

to do is we've put a rug here it shows a

where the front door to the lounge room

is plus it helps keep her on track and

then she can find her way through and

not sleep as well

terrific also gonna get some other mats

of different kind of textures so that we

can then show her where other areas of

the house are fantastic alright so once

we can act out the house what we're

gonna do is put Marla in a harness a

nice tight once and we've got good

control and we're going to show her

around the home now you're gonna need to

do this constantly a few times every day

so she can really begin to navigate her

way around gonna use voice to give

commands and help teach that to her as

well so let's give us some direction

remember consistency come on Marla let's

go yes good girl left I'm showing her

left I'm gonna keep doing that in every

room and give her some direction as well

left this is a difficult area because

she does hit her head against this door

and also falls down those steps okay so

if we're able to get a couple of

different mats here this one would put

on the inside and then Marla will learn

maybe we give her some voice commands as

well which we'll work on later so she

knows that this means all door coming up

and she'll wait for his senses to check

whether the doors open or not and then

we have a different kind of mat on the

outside and then that way she knows oh

I'm outside coming up and this one means

inside going down good girl yes step

down yes good girl good girl Marla so

what we've done there is again we're

showing her where the steps are and

giving her new commands step down

putting our voice down when we go the

other way step up step up yes when she

gets it right keep practicing that and

she'll soon learn step down you can be

calling it from the lounge room and sure

no all this is what I need to do here

now once we sort of mapped out

the house and we've done all this the

important thing is don't change it

cannot change it so what we need to be

doing then is we also need to keep all

the floors clear because remember

anything as a hazard for a blind dog and

if you take a chair out you need to put

a chair back in really important if you

do go out and you leave her alone I

would recommend just leaving a small

space for her to start off with until

she's really you know comfortable in the

house and then leave a TV or radio on so

it you know it gets rid of that feeling

of isolation that they might have and

also helps them find where rooms are as

well mm-hmm how you feeling about it

well a lot more confidence I was

absolutely clueless before you came on

board so learning all these tips is

fantastic well good to hear I'll

definitely implement them good all right

so remember it is really important to do

it right so if you do need some extra

help and want to get a qualified trainer

in visit the mdtf website that's a good

place to start and build their

confidence keep them safe and life can

be just as normal as it used to be thank