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Scent Markers for Blind Dogs: How They Help Them “See”

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

blind dog playing fetch with a ball in the yard

Scent Markers for Blind Dogs: How They Help Them “See”

When a dog starts to lose their vision, it can be heartbreaking for everyone. The dog doesn’t understand what’s happening, and their owner is left trying to figure out how to help them navigate the world.

The good news is that there’s hope. Dogs have incredible noses, and with a bit of training, you can unleash the power of their nose to help them “see” a map of the world around them. That’s the basis behind scent markers, and with a little training, it’s one of the most effective ways to help blind dogs.

But before you can start using scent markers, you need to understand what they are, how they work, and how to train your pup to use them! It’s a lot to take in, but the knowledge is well worth it.

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How Does It Work?

blind border collie
Image by: Safelight Images, Shutterstock

When a dog starts to lose their vision, it’s not easy for them. While countless tools help people navigate the world without their eyes, those tools don’t work for dogs. That’s where scent markers come into play.

Dogs have extremely strong noses and can pick up scents far better than humans ever can. Scent markers are essentially smells that you can place around different objects to help your pup navigate the world without their eyes.

The key is to not confuse your dog by using pheromones to attract them to certain objects. Instead, you want them to understand what’s there. For example, you would use a specific scent on all your dog’s bedding so that they always associate that smell with somewhere they can lay.

There are also scent markers you can use to keep your dog away from dangerous areas, like the stairs or open grates. These scent markers use essential oils with scents your dog won’t like. That way, they steer clear of the potentially dangerous areas.

It’s also important to realize that training is essential for a dog to use scent markers appropriately. While negative scents can help deter dogs a bit on their own, it’s still a good idea for owners to safely show their pups the dangers so they can understand what the smell means and why they should stay away.

Meanwhile, you’ll need to get your dog to understand what each individual scent means. Each individual scent could indicate something specific, like a doorway, a wall, a food bowl, etc.

Owners can also use scent markers as their pet starts to lose their vision. That way, they can begin to associate the scents to the objects before they can no longer see.

woman sitting with her seemingly blind dog
Image Credit: victoras, Shutterstock

What Are the Different Types of Scent Markers?

While you might think there are lots of different scent markers out there to pick from, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Right now, it seems that there aren’t a whole lot of products for sale, but one of the best products on the market is from Innovet and is called Tracerz.

This is an innovative solution to helping blind dogs navigate their home, and it’s completely natural. Tracerz comes with six different scents, and they all work together to help dogs navigate their home with their noses instead of their eyes.

Where Is It Used?

Scent markers are specifically for blind dogs and are to be used in a dog’s home. This not only allows your dog to understand exactly how to navigate your house, but it even allows you to move objects from time to time without completely disorienting them.

You can put scent markers in potentially dangerous areas like the top of the stairs or at grates with big openings. You can also use scent markers on some of their favorite locations, like their dog bed or a couch.

The options for scent markers are pretty much endless, but it just depends on the specific needs of the dog and the owner.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

blind dog relaxing on bed at home
Image Credit: Azahara Perez, Shutterstock

How Do You Use Essential Oils for Blind Dogs?

Essential oils can act as a roadmap of your home for a blind dog. They can navigate the world pretty well with just their nose, but you need to find safe and effective essential oils for them, as many are dangerous to pets, especially if ingested.

What Essential Oils Do Dogs Like the Scent Of?

There are a few different essential oils that most dogs like the scent of, and a few of these include: lavender oil, rosemary extract (not essential oil), cardamom oil, cedarwood oil, and frankincense oils. When using essential oils around your pup, ensure you get a dog-safe version and do not place it anywhere that it could get on their skin and potentially be ingested.

Can Blind Dogs Go Up and Down Stairs?

Many blind dogs will learn to go up and down stairs again, but you need to exercise extreme caution when training them. Once they’re comfortable in their environment, you can let them navigate the stairs with a little more confidence, but keep in mind that they can’t see, so if they lose track of where they are, they could end up hurting themselves.

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Whether you’re looking to help blind dogs in general or your pup is going blind, now that you know a little bit more about scent markers, all that’s left is for you to use them to your advantage.

Dogs can be incredibly resilient, and with scent markers, you can give them a new lease on life to “see” the world around them, even if they can’t use their eyes!

Featured Image Credit: Stratisnik, Shutterstock

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