Posted June 1, 2018
Approximately 44 percent of American households have at least one dog, with over 78.2 million dogs owned across the country. Many people lavish love and attention on their dogs and treat them as an honored member of the family. And although they spend considerable time with their pet, it’s easy to miss early signs that their four-legged friend may not see or hear correctly. Here are three things to know about your dog’s vision and hearing.
- Common vision problems – Vision problems, such as hazy vision or complete blindness, commonly occur as dogs advance in years. Other contributing factors may be heredity, disease or injury. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of dogs have diabetes, with an estimated 1 in 10 dogsworldwide experiencing this disease. Those that are obese or don’t have proper nutrition tend to be more susceptible.About three out of four dogs with diabetes also develop cataracts within in the first year of diagnosis, which may result in partial or complete blindness. Other vision problems include glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and suddenly acquired retinal degeneration syndrome.
Dogs do not have the same level of visual detail as their owners. Even though dogs can detect moving objects in dim light, they cannot focus as well on close-up objects. Many dogs also are colorblind.
- Signs of vision loss – Since dogs see differently than their human owners, it can be difficult to detect vision changes. Signs of vision problems could include:
- red or cloudy eye
- color changes in the eye
- rubbing, pawing or scratching the eyes
If you notice any change your dog’s behavior, contact your veterinarian. Early diagnosis is important in providing treatment. Learn more about vision loss in dogs by reviewing this article from PetMD.
- Protect hearing – Dogs depend on their hearing to guide them through daily activities. While humans hear about 20,000 sound vibrations per second, dogs hear 40,000 to 100,000 vibrations. Hearing is a critical sense for dogs.Help dogs enjoy good hearing throughout their lifetime by protecting them from loud noises, including:
- loud engines
Give dogs nutritious foods, and schedule regular veterinarian appointments to have their hearing and overall health checked.
Don’t forget to take care of your dog’s teeth. Watch this video to learn brushing techniques.