How to help your blind dog adjust to wearing the Blind Dog Halo
It’s normal for pets who are blind to become overly sensitive and reactive to touch or sounds once
they’ve lost their sight. Blind animals’ sense of smell and sound is heightened as their bodies try
to make up for their loss of sight. When introducing anything new to your blind pet, it’s always
best to go slow and be patient.
Introduce the harness by itself before placing it directly on your pet. Your pet needs to smell and get used to the harness and the sounds that it makes when securing it before putting it on. Allow your pet to smell the harness and reward with a treat; the association of a new smell with a reward works well.
Work on sound association of the buckles on the harness; sometimes sounds can really scare a blind pet since they can’t see where it’s coming from or what it is. Begin by sitting in front of your pet with the harness. Allow a couple of feet in between you to start. Buckle one of the harness buckles and immediately reward your pet by bringing a treat to him; this associates the
sound of the buckle with a positive response (not fear).
As your pet becomes comfortable, you may move closer and try it. The goal is to be able to buckle
the harness while you’re holding it directly next to him and over his back. It is very important to
take your time with this step. For some pets, this may take days or even longer.
Practice placing the harness on and reward immediately. Remove and repeat. Remember, always let your pet smell the harness and Halo first and use slow movements when putting it on. The first few times you begin to practice this, keep it short and positive!
Begin by placing the harness and Halo on your pet. At this point, your pet should be showing no signs of fear when wearing the harness and Halo. Now you will begin to encourage walking. Remember, the Halo is designed to protect your pet from running into things. It will slightly change the way your pet has to balance when walking and standing. Use a treat or command to encourage your pet to take a few steps. Reward with a treat. Repeat.
Your pet may hesitate to move at first. This is normal. Encouragement and rewards are the best
way to let him know it’s alright to walk with the Halo on. This step will take time and patience.
Never rush anything or force your pet to walk if he doesn’t want to. Once your pet has figured out
how to walk with the Halo and is moving around freely, you’re all set!
Remember, the key to introducing anything new to a blind pet is positivity and patience. They
depend on us more without the use of their sight. Take the time to introduce the Halo slowly, and
you’ll have better results.
Additional Blind Dog Halo Resources: