It’s National Deaf Dog Awareness Week, September 22-27. Hearing loss in dogs can occur for several reasons. The most common reason is due to old age. As a pet parent, it is very important to educate yourself on ways to care and how to communicate with your deaf dog. You want your dog to continue to live comfortable and be safe.
On Sugar’s last vet visit, it was confirmed the she is losing her hearing. For the past months, I’ve noticed a change in her obedience behavior. Sugar ignored many of my verbal commands. She was unresponsive to common house sounds like the house door alarm. Also, Sugar suddenly became sensitive to barometric pressure.
What Causes Hearing Loss in Dogs?
Many factors affect hearing loss in dogs. One of the factors that affected Sugar’s hearing is her chronic ear infections. Beside failure to respond when being called, here are
4 Simple Tests to Determine Your Dog’s Hearing Loss
1) When your dog is asleep, make some noises like clapping your hands. Did your dog wake-up?
2) Snap Fingers next to your dog’s ear. Did your dog react?
3) Play with your dog’s squeaky toys. Does your dog show interest to the sound?
4) Ear Check- Have your vet thoroughly check your dog’s ear.
The BAER (Brainstream Auditory Evoked Response) method is a more reliable test. It is costly but it can determine the degree of deafness in your dog.
Handling Hearing Loss in Dogs
The best way to communicate with a deaf dog is through hand signal commands.
Sugar is very fortunate to have learned many basic hand signals at a young age. The basic hand signals such as sit, stay and come are very useful. The watch me hand signal is crucial as it helps her to pay attention. Playing eye contact games are another method I’ve been using in handling Sugar’s hearing loss. I will share more about Sugar’s hearing loss on a future post.
Do you have a senior dog? Is Your Senior Dog Going Deaf?
Hearing loss should not diminish your dog’s quality of life.