Today is National Fire Pup Day, which means that the Dalmatian is in the Spotlight. These pups are remarkable in many ways: they’re super smart, and have a special way of bonding with horses. However, like many white dogs, they are prone to deafness. A local Bucks County, PA vet offers some insight onto deaf dogs and their care below.
Just like any other pup, your canine companion needs to know basic obedience commands. This is important for both safety and petiquette. Teach Fido to obey hand signals instead of verbal commands. You can also train him to respond to other visual cues, such as a waving flashlight or a laser pointer. Ask your vet or a professional trainer for assistance.
You’ll need to take a few extra safety precautions. If you have a yard, make sure your fencing is secure. Always keep your furry friend on a leash for walks. Fido won’t hear cars, voices, or other dogs barking. When walking down a road, keep your pooch to the outside, and walk towards oncoming traffic. Don’t let him get ahead of you when crossing driveways or parking lot entrances.
Having company? Always let people know in advance that your canine pal can’t hear. You may want to get Fido a little vest that says ‘I can’t hear’ or something similar.
One thing many deaf (and blind) pups hate? Being startled! Avoid sneaking up on Fido from behind, especially when he’s sleeping. Stomp your foot before approaching him if he’s napping.
Sometimes hearing impaired pooches can still pick up notes on a very high or low register. If you have a piano, experiment with using lower notes, and see if Fido reacts to the noise. You can also try dog whistles.
Consider putting a bell on your canine buddy’s collar. This will help you keep track of where he is. A light-up collar is also not a bad idea.
Dogs that can’t hear well often struggle to find forever homes. Many people just think that they’ll need a lot of extra work and/or expensive care. However, in many cases, they just need slightly different care. Don’t be afraid to find out more. It never hurts to ask questions! You may also find it extremely rewarding to help a sweet pup that can’t hear well.
Do you have questions about caring for a deaf dog? Contact us, your local Bucks County, PA animal clinic, today.