While some pups are born blind, dogs with perfect eyesight can lose their vision as they age as well. To keep these dogs entertained, there are toys for blind dogs that can bring into play other senses like touch, taste, hearing, and smell to interpret the world despite their vision impairment. Surely, losing their eyesight doesn’t mean that your dog can’t have a wholesome life. In fact, most dogs that suffer vision loss live long and happy lives.
As blind-pet owners, we are bound to make necessary efforts to provide for them and enrich their lives. Vision impaired dogs can also have a contented life, just like their sighted siblings, and blind dog toys are an excellent way to achieve that.
What Are Blind Dog Toys?
Dogs with vision impairments can live a content life, you just need to provide them with a comfortable environment that also fulfills their needs. To make it easier for them to adjust there are various toys for blind toys that can bring a hint of color in their lives. While petting a blind dog, one might feel scared of the dog’s safety due to its inability to look out for itself. However, dogs have a heightened sense of smell and taste as compared to humans.
Toys designed for blind dogs use sound, smell, and flavors to capture their attention. This gradually helps the blind dogs enhance and depend on their senses of hearing, touch, smell, and taste to fully live their lives. When it comes to buying toys for your blind dog, you need to choose wisely and check if the toys are suitable for visually impaired dogs, utilize other senses properly, and help your dog with its vision impairments. Further in this article, we have highlighted the key features to look for when buying sensory toys for blind dogs.
How to Choose the right toys for Blind dogs?
Due to the loss of eyesight, consider getting toys that make use of other senses. Moreover, no two dogs are alike, so you should consider your dog’s aversions or inclinations towards certain foods, sounds, textures or fragrances when choosing the kind of toys it might like to play with.
Choosing the right toy for your blind dog helps them interpret the world in a friendly way. The playtime with your dog becomes more fun and consequently, they are encouraged to move around and be more active. Blind dog toys can also aid with behavioral training. You can learn more about behavioral training for dogs by looking it up on these blogs.
Dogs are blessed with exceptionally good hearing. A good way to introduce playing activities is through noise-producing toys. Look for a toy that can produce sounds for longer as compared to the common squeaky dog toy. These toys successfully engage blind dogs in playful activities. They use their sounds in various ways to keep the dogs engaged, such as hide and seek or fetch. This way, blind dogs can be mentally and physically stimulated.
However, you should also consider your dog’s behavior towards sounds when buying such toys. Some dogs love high pitched squeaky toys, while others not so much.
Dogs can get familiar with the texture of toys by chewing. Loss of eyesight in dogs can enhance their sense of touch. This makes them more sensitive to the textures and materials of the objects they come in contact with. Blind dogs detect a change of surface by using their paws or tongue. Texture cues can be very important for these dogs, allowing them to differentiate between a grass and a concrete surface. Another instance where texture cues may come in handy is dogs figuring out places for rest, such as a couch or a comfy dog bed.
Chew toys and treat dispensing toys with distinct textures allow blind dogs to interact with them using their tongue, teeth, and paws. Similarly, sensory toys for blind dogs such as sensory play mats help create awareness of the surface textures in blind dogs.
Smell & Taste
Blind dog toys can utilize your dog’s senses of smell and taste. Dogs love treats and can smell them from seemingly a mile away! Treat dispensing toys can be quite intriguing and interactive for blind dogs, which makes the whole process a lot of fun and keeps them engaged for quite some time.
Apart from treat-dispensing toys, scented toys are also suitable for blind dogs. A scented toy will allow your dog to use its ability to smell and find the toy. These toys come in a range of flavors. You can choose from a vanilla or lavender-scented toy to a beef scented one according to your dog’s preference of scent. Read this excellent guide on how blind dogs use other senses to navigate through life.
It is important to consider the safety of any dog. This becomes even more of a concern if your dog is blind, or visually impaired. Toys for dogs that are blind must be checked thoroughly for possible safety hazards. For instance, a blind dog may accidentally swallow and choke on a fragment of a toy, or even other products for blind dogs.
First, research what kind of toys would be best suited for your dog. Read reviews and check the toys for possible red flags, such as sub-par materials or loose fragments. Next, keep a check on the condition of those toys after a while.
Apart from that, dogs can be aggressive during playtime, which can lead to toys getting chewed up or torn apart. Pieces of toys like rubber, plastic, cloth, fur that come off can be ingested by the dog and may lead to digestive issues or choking hazards. Finally, since blind dogs cannot look for their own safety, the dog’s play area must be cleared of any sharp objects that may harm it.
The sizes of blind dog toys available in the market can vary. Toys designed for small breeds such as chew balls are often not as durable and cannot withstand the bite force of a big dog. Therefore, the toys you purchase, such as treat-dispensing toys or squeaky toys, should also be suitable for your dog’s size.
5 Best Toys for Blind Dogs
Such sensory dog toys can provide healthy mental and physical stimulation for blind dogs. Mentioned below is a list of our favorite dog toys available for purchase, considering the features discussed above.
1. Hartz Dura Play Bacon Scented Toy
The Hartz Dura Play Bacon Scented Toy is an interactive toy available in two shapes (ball and bone) and three different sizes. As the name suggests, it has a bacon scent that helps attract blind dogs in getting attracted and interact with it. Moreover, the squeaker inside the toy supports hearing stimulation for vision-impaired dogs.
The bacon flavor is bound to get any dog hooked onto the toy. In addition, the high-quality materials make the toy durable enough for dogs no matter how rough they are with it. Most dogs love squeaky toys. Blind dogs are even more sensitive to them. As a result, the squeaker keeps the blind dog involved for a longer period.
While this toy has its merits, it is not indestructible. After all, it is made from rubber. If your dog is aggressive or you have a large breed, this toy may not hold up for very long. Moreover, getting the small size for a large dog might become a choking hazard.
2. Pet Qwerks Animal Sounds Ball
This unique Babble Ball by Petqwerks is amazing for your dog’s sensory activities. The babble ball produces 20 various animal sounds including Barnyard and Jungle sounds. It is motion-activated and can be trigger with movement and vibrations. A blind dog can easily interact with it through physical contact. Moreover, It comes with its own batteries and turns off automatically.
Since it makes a variety of sounds it can keep your visually impaired dog interested for a long time! The automatic motion-detecting sensors turn off the toy and prolong its battery life. Moreover, the durable plastic materials keep the toy from getting chewed up easily.
On the flip side, the hard plastic may break if the dog is too aggressive. Broken shards can be a serious safety hazard for a blind dog. The chances of this ball-breaking may increase if you by a smaller size for a large breed.
3. Canine Hardware Whistler Ball
The Chuckit! Canine Hardware Whistler Ball is a great toy for your dog’s physical activities. It is a high bouncy ball ideal for outdoor fetch play. Even if your dog has lost its eyesight, it can still play fetch with this toy. Upon throwing the ball, it creates a whistle that your dog can track. As with other toys, this ball also comes in different sizes. Moreover, its made from durable rubber and can be used with a Chuckit! dog ball launcher as well.
The non-stick rubber prevents dirt and mud from sticking to the surface of the ball, making the cleaning process super convenient. In addition, the availability of different sizes makes the toy suitable for small, medium as well as large breeds. Since the toy created a whistle when thrown in the air, it is a unique toy that can be utilized especially for blind dogs.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of this toy, it only created a whistle when thrown over a long distance. Because of this, it won’t make any sound if thrown indoors. A normal dog with be able to play with it but a blind one probably won’t.
4. Sensory Caterpillar Toy
As the name suggests this toy targets your dog’s senses. It uses a unique texture and shape to stimulate your dog’s senses. This one-of-a-kind toy is basically an elongated textured caterpillar made from natural rubber. It claims to be chemical-free, 100% BPA free, and toxin-free. Hence, its made from materials that are safe for your pooch from every aspect. In addition, this toy also squeaks when pressed of chewed.
The safety standards followed in the manufacturing are similar to children’s toys, making this toy superior in safety standards. The prominent texture and squeaking feature stimulate your dog’s touch and hearing senses. These features make this caterpillar and ideal toy for blind dogs. In addition, the option to choose between different sizes makes the toy suitable for dogs of all sizes.
The toy is made from natural rubber which gives it superior texture, but on the flip side, it’s also not very durable. As a result, the toy may not last very long with heavy chewers or aggressive dogs.
5. Paw5: Wooly Snuffle Mat
Paw5 is a pioneer in making various dog toys. To mimic the hunting process in nature, PAW5 has made this interactive dog toy. It focuses mainly on your dog’s sense of smell and acts as an excellent treat dispenser. You can put the food in the Wooly Snuffle Mat for your dog to enhance its foraging skills. In addition, this toy is designed to keep dogs busy for longer periods and stimulate their minds. Moreover, the toy is machine washable and made from up-cycled materials.
Since the toy is machine washable, cleaning, and maintenance will be very convenient for you. Moreover, since it requires your dog to use its mind and sense of smell, it is the ideal toy for blind dogs. Moreover, this shuffle mat is perfect for indoor use.
While this shuffle mat gets the job done, it does not grip the surface very well. Some users have complained about their dogs shrugging the mat and sending the kibble flying off around their living room. There won’t be hours of playtime if your dog learns this trick!
Blind Dog Toys – FAQs
Owners of blind dogs have various questions regarding their dog’s well being, and how to keep it engaged. This section answers some of these queries.
How do you Keep a Blind Dog Entertained?
As a pet owner, you need to step in to spend time with your dog for them to adjust around the house. Create a safe space for your blind dog with no harmful objects in its reach. A blind dog can still use its other senses like smell, taste, touch, and sound to spend a fulfilling life. Your dog can play with dogs toys suitable for blind dogs.
Moreover, you can hide treats around the house for it to forage. In addition, you could buy scented dog toys, treat-dispensing toys, and sensory dog toys for blind dogs to keep your pup entertained. AKC has prepared a list of creative ways in which you can keep the light in your blind dog’s life.
Can I Play with my Blind Dog?
Just like any other dog, a blind dog can live a fulfilling life and play too, provided you take the right measures. A pet’s bond with its owner goes a long way to make the pet’s daily life fulfilling. You can have the same relationship with your dog regardless of its vision impairment. To have a healthy relationship, you need to spend some quality time with your dog. There are various blind dog toys that you can buy.
Just like other dogs, blind dogs also need activities to improve their health and physical stimulus. But beware! A blind dog needs extra care, and you need to carefully supervise it to prevent any injuries during playtime. Furthermore, click here to read further on other ways to help your blind dog.
What Sort of Toys do Blind Dogs Like?
As blind dogs cannot see, they use their sensory organs like nose, ears, skin, and tongue to interpret and understand their surroundings. Blind dog toys utilize these other senses to keep blind dogs entertained. Interactive brain toys for blind dogs help with their mental stimulation. A wide range of toys is available for blind dogs, such as:
- Scented toys
- Sound making toys/ squeaky toys
- Food/treat dispensers
- Other textured toys
Is it Safe for Blind Dogs to Play?
Safety should always be the primary concern for a blind-pet owner. As your blind dog cannot see, it’s vulnerable and much more likely to get hurt. You need to supervise your pet at all times and create a safe environment. This can be achieved by dedicating a specific area for your dog to play in or simply buying a playpen for your dog. We’ve prepared a list of excellent dog playpens for you.
Then introduce your dog to various activities. Start with an enclosed space, and introduce sensory toys for blind dogs that produce an odor, taste or make sounds. This will make them familiar with their surroundings. Remove any hazardous or sharp objects from the area.
Toys for dogs that are blind are indispensable and their value cannot be overstated. Our list contains some of the best toys for blind and deaf dogs. These toys provide mental stimulation for blind dogs as well as keep them physically active. Needless to say, mental and physical activity keeps dogs calm and makes their life so much more fulfilling.