Don’t Fret! You Can Communicate with your Deaf Dog
2 December, 2015

As our dogs get older, they will show some different signs of aging.  Some become arthritic, slow down while other dogs might lose their hearing.  Deafness in dogs (and cats) is very common and, for the most part, is harder on you than it is on them.  But, don’t despair, there are ways to communicate with your dog that has lost his hearing.

Try using hand signals with your dog – you’ve done it in the past!

Even when your dog could hear, you probably used hand signals on a regular basis.  When you are ready to take you dog on a walk, take out the leash and show it to him.  When you are ready to feed him, point to the bowl to eat (although most dogs will smell it).  Even giving your dog a thumbs up with a smile is a great way to imply ‘good dog.

Touching is key with a deaf dog – be gentle.

When you walk inside and you want to get your dog’s attention, approach you dog slowly, and give him a gentle tap on the back or shoulder.  Your pup might be startled at first, but you can also try approaching with heavy feet.  When you are leaving, touch him again to show you are on your way out.  You can even stomp a bit to emphasize your presence.

Take the lead and be attuned to your surroundings

With a deaf dog, it is critical that you become your dog’s eyes and ears.  You need to be extra aware of the environment around you.  When you go on a walk, you must lead and make sure your dog doesn’t cross the street or go on his own.  Keep treats handy to steer your dog in the right direction.

Attach a bell to your dog’s collar so you can always hear him

You should attach a bell to your dog’s collar so that you can hear him if he escapes or runs outside.  It’s also a good idea to have a bell in your home especially if you have more than one pet.   Pay attention to your dog’s chimes and you can use it to help you and your dog.

Be patient and extra loving with your deaf dog

Although this is probably understood, you need to be extra patient.  Try not to get frustrated (even if it is just sadness) when your dog doesn’t responds to you the same way she used to.   You need to treat your dog with extra kindness and compassion.  Your dog can and will be happy and fulfilled if you treat your pup with extra love, patience and understanding.

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