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Caring For A Deaf Dog

May 3rd is Specially-Abled Pets Day! Just like people, pets sometimes face medical challenges, such as being deaf, for instance. However, our furry friends are very resilient, and often aren’t bothered by being specially-abled. In fact, many of them just need a little extra TLC! As your local Marion, IA vet, I offer tips on caring for deaf dogs below.

Bells

Put a bell on Fido’s collar. This will help you keep track of where he is, as he won’t hear you if you call him.

Keep Fido Informed

Never leave the house while your furry pal is sleeping. Fido may get very distressed if he wakes up and realizes you’re gone! Wake him up and say goodbye first.

Safety

Your pooch won’t be able to hear traffic or people approaching, so you need to take extra precautions with him whenever you take him out. Keep Fido on a fairly tight leash at all times. This is particularly important when walking on a road or sidewalk.

Let Others Know

Whenever you have guests coming over, let them know in advance that your canine companion can’t hear. You may want to put a little sign around Fido’s neck. I also recommend including this information on your pup’s tags.

Avoid Surprises

Many deaf dogs absolutely hate being surprised, especially from behind. Before you approach Fido, make sure he knows you’re there. If he’s asleep, stomp your foot or wave a treat under his nose to wake him up. This is much more pleasant for your pet than being constantly startled!

Training

Dogs can learn to obey hand signals, just as they would vocal commands. Training may take some time, but it will be well worth it in the end.

Flashlight

Teach Fido to come when you wave a flashlight. This one is really handy if you are trying to call him back to you at night!

Sounds

Some hearing-impaired dogs can still ‘hear’ the vibrations from low notes on a piano. If you happen to have a piano or keyboard, try sounding some of the lower keys, and see if Fido reacts. If he does, you may be able to teach him to come when you play a certain note or sequence.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about your deaf dog’s health or care. As your Marion, IA vet, I’m here to help!

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