Care For The Blind Pet

How do I care for my blind dog or my blind cat?

I think my pet has gone blind. What do I do?
If you feel your pet’s vision is decreasing, the most import thing to do is to have her examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Blindness in pets, as in people, can occur due to multiple reasons. These include but are not limited to cataracts, retinal degeneration, insufficient tear production, tumors and trauma. Sometimes these problems are correctable or controllable, and sometimes they are not. You will have the greatest likelihood of successful treatment if the problem is taken care of early on in the disease process.

Does my pet need to see a veterinary eye specialist (veterinary ophthalmologist)?
Most eye problems can be handled by your regular veterinarian. If the problem is more difficult or persists despite treatment, your veterinarian will refer you to an eye specialist. Specialists require that your pet see your regular veterinarian first.

How do I care for a permanently blind pet?
Should your pet become permanently blind, she can still live a happy and rewarding life with some care and precautions on your part. Overall, indoor cats handle blindness much easier than dogs do. Many owners whose cats have become blind don’t even realize it until the cat is examined by a veterinarian. Both cats and dogs adapt to blindness easier when it occurs gradually over an extended period.

How do I prepare my home for my blind pet?
Cats and dogs learn the layout of their home, so they can navigate around very well unless that environment changes. Because of this, it is important to keep furniture in the same spots at all times. Also, don’t leave potential hazards in a room which the pet may run into or trip over. Examples include the vacuum cleaner, low open drawers, shoes, and children’s toys. Of primary importance is safety. Prevent access to areas where your pet may become injured, such as stairwells and swimming pools. Most cats handle the stairwells okay, but dogs normally need to be blocked from access. Keep closet doors closed, so your pet doesn’t wander in and get trapped inside. Always place your pet’s food and water down in the same place at the same time each day. The kitty’s litter box should also not be moved from where he is used to it being.

How do I prepare my new home for my blind pet?
Should you have to move to a new home with a blind pet she will, of course, have to relearn the “lay of the land”. Walk her around the new home on a leash or harness. Walk her over to the food, water, and litter box. Refrain from carrying them to these areas, as they need to learn how to get there themselves. Limit access to just one or two rooms initially, and then expand her territory gradually.

Can I let my blind dog or cat go outside?
Blind cats should only be let outside with strict supervision and on a leash. It’s best to keep them indoors.
Your dog will also be safer if always on a leash outside. If you are letting your dog outside off of a leash into an enclosed yard, always be present to supervise. Beware of dangers in the yard such as holes, rocks and sticks. Never have any dog, but especially a blind dog, off of a leash in an area that is not enclosed. Should a stray dog suddenly appear and attack your dog, you will have no way of protecting your pet, and your pet will be at a great disadvantage.

My dog loves walks. Can I still take him on walks now that he is blind?
Going for walks can still be enjoyable for many blind dogs. Maintain a consistent route. Ask other dog owners to keep their dogs from approaching. And warn children that because your dog is blind, they may scare him if they approach him when he is on his walk. And, of course, as with any dog on a walk outside, always keep him on a short leash.

Virginia Beach Veterinarian | Birdneck Animal Hospital
508 North Birdneck Rd Suite C
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: (757) 355-5694


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.