Contrary to popular belief, it is actually sometimes kind of tricky to realize if your dog’s vision has been worsening. Dogs can still function properly and hide loss of vision quite well since they then rely on their hearing to locate things and move without difficulty.
Nonetheless, it is important to note even the slightest of changes in order to treat and prevent further loss of vision. The following are some common signs that your dog may be progressively losing his sight:
1) Whenever you toss a toy or a treat to your dog, and he doesn’t seem to notice it, he may be experiencing difficulty seeing. You can also test your dog’s peripheral vision (as it is the one that tends to deteriorate faster) by tossing something to the far left and far right. Notice your dog’s reaction and see if he seems to be able to see and locate the object.
2) Hesitation to do active things he used to enjoy before may also indicate progressive loss of vision. For example, being hesitant to jump to the bed or into the car could be due to fear of falling since the dog cannot see properly. (Note: this could also be due to other ailments, including but not limited to, arthritis or other joint diseases).
3) Misplace some furniture or other large objects in your house and notice if your dog can move around them and avoid them easily. Bumping into misplaced things suggests poor eyesight, as dogs tend to memorize the location of things in their home. You could also take them somewhere unfamiliar and see how they move around objects.
4) Your dog doesn’t seem to like being with little to no light. Dogs that are reluctant to go outside with no lights could be having trouble seeing. However, it is actually common for older dogs to develop night blindness as they age, resulting in even poorer vision without lights, so take notice of other signs in addition to this one.
5) Take notice of your dog’s eyes in order to see if they have developed cataracts. These often look blueish or white and decrease your dog’s eyesight. It may be easier to see cataracts under the sun as they appear brighter with light.