Whether your canine companion was already blind when you adopted them or you have an older pooch that is starting to experience some visual impairments, the key to helping them thrive is to adapt their lifestyles to their unique handicap.
Visual impairments are not easy to adapt to. Like humans, dogs rely heavily on their vision to navigate the world and have fun. When that sense of sight is no longer there, your dog can easily become trepidacious and anxious.
With that said, all dogs need some enrichment in their lives. Even blind dogs need to let loose and have some fun! Of course, standard toys aren't going to provide the same benefits to a blind dog.
Traditional games of fetch or tug-of-war can prove to be dangerous to canines with vision impairments.
Luckily, there's no shortage of toys that take advantage of other senses. Some of the best toys for blind dogs don't rely on sight at all, allowing your pup to get the fulfillment they need. We've rounded up a collection of some of the best dog toys for blind dogs that you can buy today.
7 of the Best Toys for Blind Dogs
1. Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball Dog Toy
The Babble Ball from Pet Qwerks is a unique little toy that can provide hours of fun. At first glance, it looks like your average fetching ball. However, there's a small speaker hidden within the body of the ball.
When your dog pushes it around, it will spout off fun sounds and funny sayings. This isn't your average squeaker ball. There are over 20 different audio clips to keep your dog happy as they play.
The body of the toy is made out of high-impact plastic. While it is tough, it's not made for heavy chewers. Luckily, Pet Qwerks does make a separate rubber cover that can keep the hardware safe from voracious chewers.
2. Multipet Deedle Dude Singing Plush Dog Toy
From Multipet is this soft and cuddly stuffed animal. It's available in a range of designs. These include a shark, mouse, monkey, and rabbit.
The cool thing about this toy is that it's hiding a small voice box. When the toy is pressed, the voicebox will start singing a cute little tune.
This toy is meant for light play under direct supervision. It's covered in plush fabric and has thick stuffing inside. The toy is great for gentler dogs and can be used to lounge around or sleep.
3. Ethical Pet Sensory Ball Dog Toy
The Sensory Ball from Ethical Pet is designed to simulate all of your dog's senses. While your blind dog can't take advantage of the bright colors, they can certainly enjoy the scent, taste, sounds, and feeling of the ball.
The outside is made out of tough thermoplastic rubber. It features a few different textures, making it a joy to chew on.
The rubber is covered in a beef-flavored treatment. It produces a strong smell and subtle taste to entice your pup. Finally, there are two distinct sound makers inside. One makes a bell sound while the other is a traditional squeaker.
4. West Paw Qwizl Dog Toy
With this toy from West Paw, you can use your pup's favorite treats to get them excited. The device has a very uncomplicated design. It's a simple chew stick that's made out of thick and durable rubber.
There's a small compartment inside and large ventilation holes. When you place a treat inside, the aroma will waft through the air. Your dog will have to work hard to gain access to the treat. This challenges your dog's mind and keeps them occupied for quite some time.
When all is said and done, you can pop the toy in the dishwasher to keep it clean.
5. Chuckit! The Whistler Ball
If you're looking for something that your dog can use in the backyard, this toy from ChuckIt! may be the solution you're after. It's a fetching ball that takes on the iconic design of a tennis ball. However, it's made out of durable plastic that's comfortable to chew on.
The standout feature of the ball is the whistling cutout. A small hole on the side of the ball is designed to catch wind during the throw. The acoustics of the toy creates a signature whistle. It's great for blind dogs because they can use their ears to follow the path of the ball.
6. Tamu style Dog Safe Latex Screaming Chicken Toy
This is a great toy to keep your dog entertained while you're away from home. Why might you want to give it to your pup when you're out of the house? Well, it produces a loud screaming sound anytime it's squeezed.
As the name of the product would suggest, the toy is modeled after a chicken. It has some quirky details that make it stand out from other chicken toys on the market. The entire toy is molded out of latex rubber.
The exterior is covered in a grippy texture, which makes chewing enjoyable for your dog.
7. Crocodile Sensory Natural Rubber Squeaky Dog Toy
Here's another fun squeaking toy. This one takes on the shape of a cartoonish crocodile. What sets this toy apart from others on the market is that its made to high-quality standards.
First, the entire thing is handmade out of natural rubber. There's no BPA, toxic paints, or any other toxic substance that could harm your dog. It's made to the same quality standards as a child's toy, which is nice.
For blind dogs, the toy is particularly enjoyable because it features many different textures. There are tough spikes, smooth rubber, and textured scales. The different sensations make it fun and safe for your dog to chew on.
Why Your Blind Dog Needs Toys for Stimulation
Many owners of handicapped canine companions often find that it's very easy to shelter pups from the outside world. Whether it's vision problems or physical limitations, owners tend to err on the side of caution and avoid anything that could potentially cause harm or discomfort for their furry pal.
While that behavior comes from a good place, coddling pups with impairments can actually do more harm than good. Dogs need that stimulation. They don't know that they're different from other pups.
Canines don't have that awareness and preconceived notions about disabilities. They just want to have fun.
Providing your dog with toys that they can enjoy will help to build confidence in themselves and their environment. Some dogs get tentative in the early stages of vision impairment. This is especially true if a traumatic incident caused sudden blindness.
Playing can teach them to overcome those fears that they have and enjoy the world around them.
Toys are particularly useful when it comes to putting off bad behavior as well. Blind dogs are known for being quite defensive.
Because they can't see another person or dog coming, the sudden realization that another being is near them can result in a gut reaction to bite. A high-quality toy can inhibit the behavior and put them at ease.
Keep Boredom at Bay
Toys can be used for training purposes. Canines are impulsive creatures. If it were up to them, playtime would be around the clock. Of course, that's not always possible.
With a toy that they love, you can provide some structure in their lives. You'll be able to use the toy to put boredom at bay and cut back on potentially dangerous impulsive behavior.
Perhaps the most important reason why you should invest in toys for your blind dog is that it can strengthen the bond you have. Many of the toys we recommend can be used for interactive playtime between dog and owner.
Take some time out of your day for some one-on-one fun. Your relationship with your dog will only get stronger.
Types of Toys That Will Suit Blind Dogs
So, what kinds of toys are good for blind dogs? As we mentioned earlier, your average stuffed toy is not going to provide joy to a dog that can't see it. Without their sight, dogs need other ways to scratch that itch.
Toys with Sound Stimulation
Once dogs start to lose their vision, they rely on their ears to make their way around your home. One of the biggest problems with a simple ball or stuffed animal is that they are quiet toys that don't provide any audible stimulation.
If you really want to send your dog into a tizzy, go with a toy that produces interesting sounds. Crinkly foil, cracking plastic, and powered toys with all the bells and whistles are great fun for blind dogs. You can also get a toy with a built-in squeaker. All of these options react to your dog's touch, which ultimately promoted more play.
Mental Stimulation Toys
Also known as interactive toys, products that provide some mental stimulation are great for any dog. These toys challenge the mind and can keep dogs occupied for hours. The design of interactive toys varies quite a bit. Some have small compartments to hide treats while others simply make noise with every positive action.
Whatever the case may be, it's important to spend some time teaching your dog to use the toy. These products can be confusing at first for your pooch. But, after showing them how things are done, your dog can use the toy to get smarter while having some fun.
Toys that dispense treats also provide some mental stimulation and challenge. As the name would suggest, they have a small compartment that releases treat with play. These toys can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.
On the simpler side, you can get a small ball that releases treats as it rolls on the ground. Alternatively, there are also high-tech options that use cameras and artificial intelligence to supply treats when you're not around.
Strong smells can motivate dogs like nothing else. Food-scented toys are great for dogs with vision impairments because they tap into your pup's heightened senses. Most scented toys feature a light spray of long-lasting scent. While the aroma will subside with time, you can always freshen them up with a vet-approved spray that's safe for chewing.
Tough Chew Toys
What dog doesn't love a good chew toy? Tougher toys made out of thick rubber can withstand a lot of wear and tear. While they may look simple to us humans, dogs are determined to ravage the toy.
The good news is that most are built to be safe. Plus, the chewing action can help to scrub the teeth clean, which is a nice perk.
Like any other piece of pet gear, it's important to make sure that your dog's toys are safe for use. Steer clear of anything that has small parts. Your dog can accidentally swallow small components, turning the fun toy into a serious choking hazard.
It's also a good idea to keep an eye on the quality of the toys over time. This is especially true with chew toys.
The older a toy gets, the more damaged it will become. Small plastic or rubber bits can start falling off and get swallowed.
Finally, when you're playing with the toy, make sure that your dog is in a safe environment. Your blind dog doesn't have a ton of spacial awareness. So, avoid playing fetch in a room with a ton of sharp furniture that could injure your pooch.
With all the great toy options on the market nowadays, there's no excuse to not keep your blind dog entertained. The right toy can keep your pup active and happy for many years to come. The key is to consider their disability and choose a product that can stimulate their other senses.