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Blind Dog Day

August 15 2023

August 23rd is Blind Dog Day. This is an international awareness campaign, which both celebrates and raises awareness about blind dogs. While there’s no hard number on how many of our canine companions are vision impaired, a 2010 estimate put the number at about 300,000 here in the U.S. A Champaign, IL vet offers some information on blind dogs below.

Causes Of Blindness In Dogs

Fido can lose his vision for many reasons. Some common ones include cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, and retinal detachment. Our canine friends may also lose their sight because of infections, injuries, dry eye, tumors, or cancer.

Warning Signs

Your furry best friend can’t tell you if his vision is failing, but there are warning signs to look for. You may notice your pooch bumping into things, or having a hard time finding his dishes or toys. Fido may not look you in the eye, and may miss that squirrel running across the yard. You may also notice behavioral clues, such as a reluctance to get on or off beds or couches or get into the car. Some blind dogs become fearful, which can manifest as aggression.

Caring For A Blind Dog

FIdo can still have a long and happy life, even if he can’t see well. You may just need to make adjustments. Safety is the biggest issue. Block off potential hazards, such as pools and stairs, and don’t let him out unsupervised. Your furry friend may also appreciate things that can help him find his way around, such as carpet runners. Scent markers, such as stick-on odor-eaters, can also help.


Just like any other pup, Fido will still need enrichment and stimulation. Choose toys that incorporate scents or sounds, such as snuffle mats and puzzle toys. Cat toys that make noise can be fun for smaller dogs, but present choking hazards for large or medium breeds. You may also want to offer your canine buddy things like bacon-scented balls or bubbles, durable squeaky toys, or stuffed Kong toys.

If you suspect that your furry pal has vision trouble, contact your vet immediately. Some issues can be treated: others may require surgical intervention, up to and including the removal of one or both eyes. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the better.

Our Advice on Blind Dog Day in 2024

What is the purpose of Blind Dog Day?

Blind Dog Day, observed on August 23rd, serves a dual purpose: celebrating the lives of blind dogs and raising awareness about their needs and capabilities. This international campaign highlights that, despite vision impairment, these dogs can lead fulfilling lives with proper care and accommodation. It also aims to educate pet owners and the public on how to support and care for blind dogs, showcasing their resilience and the special bond they share with their humans. We embrace this day to spread knowledge and compassion for these remarkable canines.

What are some common causes of blindness in dogs?

In dogs, blindness can result from various health issues, including cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, and retinal detachment. Additional causes encompass infections, injuries, dry eye, tumors, or cancer. Each of these conditions affects the dog’s ability to see by damaging the eyes’ structure or function. Early detection and treatment of these conditions are crucial in managing or, in some cases, preventing further loss of vision. In Germantown, MD, we emphasize the importance of regular veterinary check-ups to identify and address potential causes of blindness in dogs promptly.

What warning signs may indicate a dog’s vision is deteriorating?

Warning signs that a dog’s vision may be deteriorating include bumping into objects, difficulty locating food, dishes, or toys, lack of eye contact, and missing visual cues like a squirrel in the yard. Behavioral changes, such as hesitation to jump onto furniture or into cars, increased fearfulness, or aggression, can also signal vision loss. Some dogs might exhibit reluctance to explore new environments. Observing these behaviors warrants a prompt veterinary consultation in Gaithersburg, MD, to diagnose and address any underlying issues affecting the dog’s sight.

What types of toys and enrichment are suitable for blind dogs?

For blind dogs, toys that stimulate other senses are ideal. Opt for items that make noise, like squeaky toys or balls with bells inside, to appeal to their hearing. Snuffle mats and puzzle toys that dispense treats can engage their sense of smell and offer mental stimulation. Durable toys with different textures can also provide tactile enrichment. It’s essential to introduce these toys gradually, allowing the dog to explore and become familiar with them through scent and sound, enriching their environment and enhancing their well-being.

How can owners ensure the well-being and happiness of their blind dogs?

Owners can support the well-being and happiness of their blind dogs by maintaining a consistent and safe environment and avoiding rearranging furniture to prevent confusion. Using scent markers, and auditory cues can help them navigate their surroundings more confidently. Regular exercise tailored to their comfort level, along with engaging their other senses through sound-making or scented toys, enhances their quality of life. Offering patience, love, and reassurance strengthens the bond and supports their adaptation. Regular veterinary care is also crucial to address any health issues promptly and ensure their overall well-being.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Champaign, IL pet hospital, today!

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