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How to Care for Your Deaf Dog

How to Care for Your Deaf Dog

Deaf dogs make amazing pets and make wonderful companions. Deaf pets who rely on their eyesight to read human body language can form strong bonds with their owner.

What causes deafness in dogs?

Deafness can be caused by a number of factors including injury to the ear, ear infection, or from old age.

Congenital deafness is a genetic defect that causes a dog to be born deaf and there are several breeds that are prone to hearing loss: Samoyeds, West Highland Terriers, White German Shepherds, Dalmatians- about 30% of Dalmatians are born deaf in one or both ears.

Bilateral deafness is losing hearing in both ears equally. Unilateral deafness means that your pet has hearing loss in one ear a.k.a single-sided deafness (SSD).

How to tell if your dog is deaf

Recognizing deafness in your dog as early as possible is important for learning how to interact with your pet in a way they will understand.

Some signs to look out for:

  • Doesn’t respond when you call them or give commands
  • Doesn’t react to the sounds of common noises
  • Tilting or shaking their head constantly
  • Prolonged barking
  • Difficulty waking up

If you come across any of these signs with your pooch the best thing to do is take them to your veterinarian.

Ways to help

Deafness in dogs has its challenges but here are some ways that can help make communicating easier.

  1. Work on using hand signals instead of verbal commands. If you trained your dog well before they lost their hearing they will come around quickly to the new training. Patience is key!
  2. Light it up! If you’re that type of person that gets up in the middle of the night then you should think about installing nightlights around the house. This way you can prevent your dog from getting scared by your shadow because now they can’t hear that you are coming.
  3. Think about buying a vibration collar, which helps you get your dog’s attention. Don’t worry it’s not like shock collars used in training, it’s not painful. It could be useful in a park or any off-leash areas.
  4. Having a “deaf dog” patch on their harness or collar helps other people know to carefully approach the dog.
  5. Your dog will probably not have much fun with a squeaky toy but instead, you can get them toys like light-up balls/ Frisbees or scented chew bones.

Remember these are just a few tips so find out what works best for you and your dog, be patient, and give them lots of love and cuddles!