How To Tell If Your Puppy Is Blind – 8 Ways To Check

A blind or partially impaired Yorkie puppy.

When you bring home your new puppy, it’s likely one of the happiest days of your life.

If you suspect your puppy may be blind, it may cause you to feel sad, nervous, and even scared about his future.

Dogs are very adaptable, so if your puppy is blind, he can still live a normal life as long as you provide plenty of love and proper care. 

How do I know if my puppy is blind? Signs of puppy blindness include indications such as the eyes appear cloudy and/or are unable to track movement, the dog bumps into things or doesn’t move his feet in response to being carried toward a flat surface, and no response to sudden movements near the eyes.

If you suspect our puppy may be blind, read on to learn ways you can tell for sure and how to help your puppy with their disability. 

Is My Puppy Blind? How To Tell

While it’s best to get a proper diagnosis from a veterinarian, there are some signs that can tell you if your puppy is blind. 

Cloudy Eyes

Cloudy eyes are often a sign of cataracts, which can cause blindness.

While this is more common in older dogs, puppies can also develop cataracts, especially if there is an injury to the eyes.

Pupils Don’t Dilate in Response to Light

If you shine a light in your puppy’s eyes or bring him from a dark room into a well-lit room and you notice the eyes do not dilate, it could mean your dog is blind.

Unable To Track Movement

Puppies should be able to move their eyes to follow the movement of a treat or object. If your puppy is not able to track movement, this could be a sign of blindness.

Menace Response Test

This test can be conducted by a veterinarian but may also be done at home. It tests the optic nerve and whether or not the signal travels to the brain.

It is conducted by making a menacing gesture toward the dog to see if he sees it and responds.

While a veterinarian can test the actual optical nerve response, if your dog doesn’t respond to the gesture, it’s likely he is blind and couldn’t see it.

No Response To Soundless Objects Tossed in Line of Sight

Dogs have very good hearing, and their other senses are just as sharp.

You can test your dog’s vision by tossing a soundless toy or object in the air. It forces your dog to track it with his vision. If he’s not able to do so, he could be blind.

Bumps Into Objects

One of the first signs of vision problems or blindness is the puppy bumping into objects or furniture as he moves around the home.

Some accidents are common, but if your dog walks into things directly in his line of vision, he may have some blindness.

Fails Visual Placing Test

This test is also usually conducted in a veterinarian’s office, but you may be able to do your own version at home.

Simply hold the puppy in your arms so his legs can dangle freely below him. Move him toward a table directly in front of him and see if he attempts to reach out toward the table.

A dog with good vision should put both front legs out as if reaching for the table.

Veterinary Evaluation

If you suspect your dog is blind, it’s best to let a veterinarian evaluate your puppy’s eye health.

Not only will a veterinarian determine if the dog is blind, but they will also be able to determine the cause of the blindness and whether or not it can be treated. 

Can a Blind Puppy Live a Normal Life?

Blind puppies can absolutely live normal and happy lives.

Owners may have to accommodate their blindness, but dogs that are blind from a young age usually adapt to it easily and can use their other senses to navigate the world around them. 

An older yellow Lab with obvious signs of blindness.

How To Care for a Blind Puppy

Caring for a blind puppy is not difficult, but it does take some patience and a willingness to work to accommodate your puppy.

You will need to communicate with your dog via your voice and may have to use clicker training in place of any visual training.

You will also need to keep your dog on a leash anytime you are in a new place or outdoors, as your dog will not be able to see the world around them or watch for danger.

You may also need to move your furniture around at home to ensure your puppy can move around without bumping into anything until he adapts to the surroundings.

Related Questions: 

Do Puppies Have Poor Eyesight?

Newborn puppies do not have good vision and can only see light, movement, and shapes when their eyes first open.

As puppies age, their visions become better, and they should have full vision by the time they are eight weeks old. 

Can a Puppy Be Born Blind?

Puppies can be born blind. There are a number of genetic disorders and health problems that can affect puppies in the womb and cause them to be born blind or partially impaired.

Final Thoughts 

Finding out your puppy is blind can be devastating, but it doesn’t mean your puppy can’t grow up to live a full and happy life.

Understanding your puppy’s blindness and finding ways to make life easier for him will ensure your puppy can experience as much normalcy as possible.