You want to ensure that your blind dog’s safe when roaming around. Of course, his sense of smell and hearing will help guide him in his adventures. And there are special harnesses that you can use to keep him out of harm’s way.
You may have rescued a dog who was already blind. Or your pup has suddenly or slowly become blind. Whatever the circumstance, I’m sure that you want him to be safe and happy.
How to care for a blind dog
One way you can care for your blind dog is by getting him a harness specifically made for him.
Reasons to purchase a special harness for your blind dog:
- Keep him safe
- Build his confidence
- Give him more freedom and independence
- Lessen your and his anxiety
- Help you guide him
How the special harnesses for blind dogs work
The special harnesses have a regular-type harness or vest with a light-weight circular halo attached that extends out front.
When the halo contacts a hard surface, it acts as a buffer for your dog’s head, face and nose. By doing so, it prevents injury and pain to your beloved canine companion. It then helps teach your dog to go in a different direction. And he can figure out his environment by safely exploring.
The best harnesses for blind dogs
There are numerous brands of harnesses for blind dogs. You can choose what’s best for your pup depending on his weight and size.
- Muffin’s Halo is one of the most popular harnesses. It’s recommended by veterinarians and canine ophthalmologists worldwide. Customers have also given glowing recommendations when reviewing the harness. It’s composed of three pieces: the harness, angel wings that sit on the top of the dog’s shoulders and the halo itself that attaches to the wings. You can choose from black, white, bright or light blue, red, pink or black and gray. They cost between $89.95 and $154.95.
- GabeFish Lightweight Adjustable Blind Halo for Dogs Cats, Pet Harness Guide Device is a more affordable option that sells for $28.99. It comes in a small and medium size and you can choose from blue or red.
- The Walkin’ Blind Dog Halo sells for $67.95 and $99.95, depending on the size your dog requires. It comes in bright blue with black bands and red accent stripes. For dogs under 30 pounds, it comes in three extra-small sizes, a small size and a medium size. For larger dogs, you can choose from medium-large, large, extra-large and extra-extra large.
How to introduce the blind-dog harness
Get your pup used to wearing the vest or harness by using treats. Praise and reward when putting it on and intermittently while he’s wearing it.
Start with very short training sessions, inside only, of five to 10 minutes. Walk him on lead with it on. Do this for at least a few days until he’s used to it. If he’s already used to wearing a harness or vest, this step will go quickly.
Eventually attach the halo and again praise and reward when the halo harness is on. Practice walking him inside with the halo on.
Once your pup is comfortable with his surroundings and wearing the new equipment, you can start walking him outside with it on.
When you first let him wear the blind-dog harness in the house when loose (without a leash), carefully monitor your dog’s actions to ensure that he’s safe and comfortable with this new piece of equipment.
Other ways to help your blind dog
In addition to having your beloved canine companion wear a special harness for blind dogs, there are other measures that you can take to create a safe environment for him.
- Keep furniture and other items in place rather than moving them, so your dog is familiar with the layout
- Block off steps and dangerous areas with baby gates
- Ensure all sharp and dangerous areas in your home and yard are removed or blocked off
- Ensure there’s nothing that the halo can catch on
- Keep dog food and water bowls in the same place
- Gently lead him on leash through the house and yard so that he learns his environment
- Train him using treats and positive reinforcement
- Teaching him using the sound of your voice. Stand right in front of him to start, and then lure him with the scent of treats.
A special harness for blind dogs helps ensure that your blind canine best friend is safe and enjoys his life. After he adjusts to wearing it, you can give him more freedom. You’ll both be less anxious. And he will have happy adventures.