Is your dog suffering from partial or total vision loss? A blind dog halo could be a helpful tool for allowing them to get around more easily and gain back some much-needed independence.
To help you decide if it’s right for you (and, even more importantly, your pup), we’ve put together this quick guide on blind dog halo products, including what they are, what their pros and cons are, and some other useful advice that can help you figure out if one of these halos is worth a purchase.
What is a Blind Dog Halo?
Blind dog halos are supportive aids that can help dogs with partial or full loss of vision better navigate their surroundings. While there a couple of different brands, the premise is almost always the same, with a lightweight and flexible halo-shaped tube that, when attached to a harness or vest, encircles a pet’s head and safely alerts them to nearby obstacles before they walk into them.
A blind dog halo is intended to offer support for dogs with a range of vision-related conditions, including:
- Retinal diseases, such as Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS)
- Vision loss due to diabetes
- Eye injuries
Depending on your own dog’s needs, a halo could be helpful in allowing them to move around more freely. It could also give you a lot more peace of mind, since you won’t have to worry quite so much about your dog getting injured from walking into walls, furniture, or other obstacles.
As for the product itself, you have a couple of choices, including the Walkin’ Blind Dog Halo and Muffin’s Halo, which are similar in functionality but differ slightly in structure and use. Notable is that the Walkin’ Blind Dog Halo can be attached to any vest or harness, while Muffin’s Halo comes with its own harness.
Pros and Cons of a Blind Dog Halo
In deciding whether a blind dog halo will be a worthwhile investment, you’ll want to consider your dog’s lifestyle, as well as how comfortable they might be wearing a halo throughout the day.
- Provides blind dogs with more independence
- Can be a confidence booster
- Minimalist devices that are easy to use
- Can be secured to an existing harness or vest, depending on type
- Can be easily put on and removed
- Some dogs will need support to make them feel comfortable wearing the device, and others may never enjoy wearing it
- May not be comfortable for your dog to wear while sleeping
- Your pet may not like wearing a harness or vest all of the time
- Flexible tubing possibly not strong enough to protect powerful dogs or those moving too fast
- Potential safety concern if tubing gets stuck on an object
Some additional things that you’ll want to keep in mind regarding blind dog halos is whether your pet needs one as an aid indoors as well as outdoors, and how well your dog might tolerate wearing a halo for long periods of time.
How to Train a Dog To Use a Halo
Training your dog to use a blind dog halo should be a pretty simple process. Since it might feel a little bit awkward to them at first, the key is to ensure that you get the right fit—and to provide plenty of positive reinforcement along the way.
Some tips for making it easy on the both of you:
- Introduce a blind dog halo to your pup gradually, starting with shorter sessions and, based on their comfort level, introducing longer sessions over time.
- Offer a lot of positive support by means of treats and verbal encouragement as you introduce the halo.
- Practice with a blind dog halo inside before venturing out for walks, especially if your dog’s behavior tends to change on leash.
Fortunately, many dogs take to a blind dog halo quite easily. And as your own canine companion discovers the benefits of wearing one, they should be more than happy to have it put on. Practice, have patience, and stay positive, and a blind dog halo could be a wonderful aid for your pup.