Caring for a blind or visually impaired dog is not easy and without the right tools, it’s nearly impossible.
Whether your dog suffers from a genetic disease or sudden SARDS, he can still enjoy life to its fullest potential.
These products for blind dogs are carefully selected and should build a solid foundation for your dog’s safety and enjoyment.
You wouldn’t believe how important blind dog aids can be for daily life.
While exploring his world on a different level, he will require additional protection to
Even your own home is full of edges, corners, and hurdles. He doesn’t know where his food or water is placed or whether doors are closed or open.
The following products are all things to help your blind dog master daily tasks, making it possible to walk around safely and comfortably.
I also included something to ease the anxiety blind dogs quickly feel and a couple of cool blind dog accessories.
1. Muffin’s Halo
This cute device helps your dog navigate his surroundings and boosts your blind dog’s confidence while wearing.
The ring at the top acts as a buffer to protect your dog’s head when walking against hard surfaces.
He will quickly learn to adapt his movements to the buffer effect and will be able to walk more confidently throughout the house.
The wings on the shoulders move with your dog to offer protection in any situation without impeding him from eating or sleeping.
If he has a tiny bit of remaining vision, the ring won’t interfere with his field of view.
This vest would be the best option for dogs that have recently gone blind or dogs that will have to become familiar with a new environment after moving, for example.
2. BLIND DOG Harness
This blind dog harness is an essential safety precaution for any visually impaired dog.
Too many dogs get startled by sudden touches because the other person didn’t know the dog was blind.
The harness is clearly labeled at the front and on the sides, so other dog owners are able to safely approach or avoid your dog.
No more explaining why your dog is behaving differently and why he might snap or be reactive in general when touched by strangers.
Take this as a warning, space-invading fellas out there.
When wearing the harness you have the option to either put the leash on the back clip or at the front as a no-pull option. Additionally, it’s a great way to teach a few leash lessons.
It’s nicely padded at the front for a comfortable fit with adjustable straps around the girth. There are also a matching leash and collar with embroidered words.
You can check out all the other options and colors which warn people that your dog is not good with other dogs or that he might need more space.
3. Snuffle Mat
Physical and mental exercise for a blind dog is quite different from a normal dog. While your dog’s visual sense regresses, other senses develop even further.
The sense of olfaction in dogs is outstanding as about one-third of the canine brain is devoted to smell. This section is 40 times greater than in humans.
Snuffle mats are a great way to exercise your dog’s mind by using his nose. My dog loves them and she could spend hours searching for smelly treats.
It’s also a great way to keep your dog safe and busy when you cannot supervise him for a minute.
Mental stimulation in dogs is definitely a must and not an option. Many behavior problems are easily preventable with boredom busters.
Boredom can lead to destructive chewing, digging, or barking. Anxiety can also develop out of a lack of mental stimulation.
Make sure that your dog has an opportunity to work his mind at least once a day.
4. PetSafe Drinking Fountain
Encouraging your blind dog to drink is definitely not easy.
Water bowls on the floor are prone to just being kicked over and it’s not that simple to find the liquid with no eyesight. A water fountain is a perfect solution for any dog reluctant to drink.
They are usually pretty quiet but the sound of falling water should be enough to guide your dog to the correct position.
The PetSafe water fountain comes with a solid base that is pretty hard to knock over. I recommend buying a non-slip mat to place under the fountain.
The drinkwell can be dissembled and cleaned properly by hand or in the dishwasher.
Water is not only passed through the pumped but also filtered by carbon water filters to remove bad taste.
5. Engraved Pet ID Tags for Dogs
A dog ID tag is the best addition to your blind dog harness or collar. It goes much by the same idea to warn and inform other people about your dog’s disability.
But the tag is actually much more important because you can engrave contact information and other messages on it in the unfortunate case of your blind dog getting lost.
You can fully customize the stainless steel tag and add up to 4 lines of deep engraved text.
More on how you can protect your dog from getting lost below.
6. Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball
My dog is absolutely obsessed with balls and it’s a great way to exercise her.
For your blind dog to find and navigate to the ball, the toy needs to make sounds and noises that your dog is able to distinguish from his surroundings.
This interactive ball is actually talking to your dog and demanding to be chased or played with.
It’s motion-activated and equipped with many sounds and phrases. Similar to the snuffle mat, it’s an awesome way to keep your visually impaired dog occupied.
When the play is finished, the ball simply turns off on its own and waits for the next session.
The different sounds will always keep it interesting and exciting to fight against boredom and anxiety.
7. ThunderShirt Dog Anxiety Jacket
Not being able to see what is in front and around it is the scariest thing I can imagine. Losing eyesight can severely change a dog.
Some become extremely anxious or depressed others develop aggression because they don’t know how to deal with this new situation.
Anxiety in blind dogs can be triggered by loud noises, like thunder and fireworks, or being separated from the family.
To help your dog in these stressful situations, an anxiety jacket might be a great choice.
Thunder shirts work by applying constant gentle pressure onto your dog’s body which helps them to relax and stay calm without using any medication.
I would definitely give this a shot before thinking about drug therapy.
8. Tracking Collar
The worst-case happened to you – your dog ran away. Maybe he was startled, chased something or whatnot and now he’s gone and calling his name won’t cut it this time.
For these cases, it comes in extremely handy if your dog wears a tracking collar.
No fancy unnecessary add-ons but rather a completely functional tracking collar. Just connect your phone with it and you’ll see the entire tracking history. It’s waterproof, reliable, and robust.
9. Ocu-GLO Vision Supplement
This supplement isn’t promoting getting your dog’s eyesight back if he is blind, unfortunately.
But this eye supplement contains different antioxidants to promote healthy vision in dogs. It’s good for two categories:
- Possibly effective for dogs that have recently lost the quality of their vision due to illness.
- Older dogs who have decreasing levels of antioxidants, making them prone to limited eyesight.
Ask your vet if this product would be a great addition to supplement your dog’s medication.
Sunday 16th of October 2022
Good information, I am adopting a 10 year old blind dog and this was extremely helpful for me
Monday 17th of October 2022
Hey Rosemary, I'm glad you found the information helpful. Thanks for adopting a 10-year-old blind dog, let us know how it goes!
Wednesday 31st of March 2021
Danielle, after several months of hourly spilled water and dripping fur spreading the mess everywhere, your advice has helped me solve the problem. I was reluctant, frankly, to invest $30 in raised feeding bowls as my dog clearly is on her last leg and I’m broke, but using your suggestions she’s now drinking (and eating) from sturdy, weighted raised bowls, created from items already at hand. So, a few more months on this earth for Taffy, my li’l wreck! She does still enjoy her food, a cruise around the back yard, and sleeping in the sun, but I know her time here is limited. Thanks again for the reprieve!
Wednesday 31st of March 2021
Hi Matt, glad that it worked. All the best to you and your furry friend!
Saturday 6th of March 2021
Excellent site, but any advice if old dog is both blind & deaf? Biggest hourly prob is she keeps walking through her water dish, constantly flooding the wood floor, despite a rubber tray, rubber-backed mats & other floor protectors in use. They get soaked through quickly, even though the dog weighs only 10 lbs. She's deaf, too, so no sound cues help. Thx
Friday 12th of August 2022
@Matt, I have just come to adopt a blind and deaf senior dog. I know what you are talking about. I noticed that my dog approached an outside square water dish pan/bucket (height of bucket to lower chest of dog) then stuck his head in and began drinking the water. So I learned that a bucket that reaches his lower chest and making sure he can reach his head in to drink works.
Sunday 7th of March 2021
Hi Matt, my Rottweiler has an elevated food/drink bowl which is heavy enough to theoretically avoid her knocking it over by accident. Since your dog's very small, this might not work because she can't reach the bowl pretty quickly. Water fountains are pretty heavy sometimes and if there is one that'll only dispense water when approached, that'd work even better (only found these step-on activators as outdoor water dispensers so they'll spill too). Just needs to be something that's pretty heavy.
Depending on your dog's drinking habits, you can give access to water only at certain times a day and mix it in with her food. My Rottie doesn't drink at all and even though I'm feeding her raw, I'll just add water twice a day to her meals.
If that doesn't work, just place the water bowl on top of an easily reachable and airtight basket that's pretty big. If it spills, it won't go over the walls :).
Sunday 1st of November 2020
Danielle, I just found your site and am very grateful! I had no idea these products existed (especially the bumper halo). I just adopted an older dog who has been through a lot of trauma in the last 6 months, including having her eyes removed. She seems to have the layout of my home down well, though still gets turned around and then walks into walls. I wonder if the bumper will help her confidence while outside?
Question: Can she play with the snuffle mat or balls with the halo on?
Thanks again for sharing wonderful information!
Friday 20th of August 2021
@Judy Tilton, I have a 12 year old husky mix that I’m scheduled to have both eyes removed after failed cataract surgery, followed by Glacoma. She has developed a skin reaction to her eye drops as well. Can you share any tips on recovery. She is totally blind however I’m having a hard time putting her through yet another surgery.
Sunday 1st of November 2020
thanks for your kind words, I hope your dog gets well soon! When she plays with the ball or snuffle mat, I'd suggest you set the halo aside. As long as you're careful not to wildly throw the ball around (under tables, between chairs) etc. your dog probably won't bump against anything. However, until she fully gets the layout, you can restrict games that need space to the outdoors. The snuffle mat is laying on one point, so if there's nothing around, you should be totally fine.
Toys and enrichment activities that sharpen their senses is especially important for blind dogs. I'm sure you'll be great at guiding her through this transition period.
Friday 23rd of October 2020
I am fostering a 3yo blind pitbull. He isn't wary or cautious AT ALL and I at first had to lead him with his leash around the house until he got the layout. I also have 2 young human boys and they are getting better at not leaving toys/shoes/books places they shouldn't be. I wanted to add to this post that I have noticed when walking him around a mile loop in our neighborhood that he was completely distracted by vehicles passing and other k9s in yards. I decided to work on vocal commands because if he ever gets out without his leash I want him to know the importance of my voice. To ensure I wasn't subconsciously leading him with my hands I attached it to a belt and strictly use "careful" when approaching a mailbox, or "to the side" when a car is coming up behind us. I use "leave it" and "with me" a LOT because once a dog can't see they want to mark their smell on everything!! Since I've been using the belt and attached lead he has done a complete 180. Hope this helps someone else in the same situation.
Friday 26th of March 2021
That’s amazing! Our dog recently had a stroke and lost all of her vision. It’s been kinda crazy. I’ve been looking for any tips and tricks to help her adjust. Thanks so much for your comment!
Saturday 24th of October 2020
Thanks for your input! Vocal commands really are key when working with blind dogs and it's great that you've been so successful with this technique.