How can I keep my blind dog stimulated?
(Q) My dog is 13 years old and has gone blind due to progressive retinal atrophy. I’m struggling to keep him mentally stimulated. Do you have any suggestions?
(A) Behaviourist Steve Goward says: I once had a dog who went blind in her later years, and I found that it was important to consider what she liked to do before she lost her sight.
Being a Labrador, food and toys were high on her list of entertainment. I bought her a ball with a bell inside and some other toys that made noises when they hit the ground, so she could still do a little chase and retrieve.
I also taught her to track a scent to find her favourite squeaky toy.
Be imaginative with scent games and you may be surprised how stimulating you can make them. Consider constructing mazes for him to negotiate and even varying surfaces to give him other tactile experiences when scenting.