How To Care For a Deaf Dog; Things You Should Know

how to care for a def dog

Deafness in your dog can be either partial or complete hearing loss and can be temporary or permanent. This can be in one or both ears which is called unilaterally deaf or bilaterally deaf. 89 breeds of dogs have been identified to have congenital birth defects. 30% of Dalmatians are born deaf in one or both ears. Other breeds that are at high risk include the Bull Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, English Setter, Australian Cattle Dog, Catahoula Leopard Dog, and Whippets.  

What Causes Deafness In Dogs?

  • Accumulation of earwax

  • Untreated or chronic ear infections

  • Injury

  • Tumors

  • Congenital birth defects 

  • Hereditary deafness 

  • Drug toxicity 

  • Gradual loss of hearing due to aging 

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Def

  • Not attentive
  • Confused or unable to follow voice commands
  • Does not respond when you call them
  • Does not react to common noises 
  • Excessive barking for no reason
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Shakes head or tilts head toward side of ear that is affected
  • Discharge or painful ears
  • Change in personality 
  • Change in obedience
  • Reacts aggressively when woken
  • Easily startled 


how to care for a deaf dog

Tips On How To Look After a Deaf Dog

  • Take your dog to the vet - During the exam your veterinarian will make sure there is no earwax buildup or infection. Your vet will also stand behind or to the side and make noise to check your dogs responsiveness. The BEAR Test (brainstem auditory evoked response) is the sure way to know if your dog is hard of hearing. It tests the electrical activity in the brain. This will most likely be done.  
  • Keep your dog on a leash or a fenced yard - This prevents your dog from danger such as cars because of their hearing loss.  
  • Buy a Bell and light - both are good ways to know where your dog is at all times. They can be placed on their collar. 
  • Buy a new dog tag - write on the tag that your dog is def and who to contact. It helps others to better understand the dog that they found. 
  • Learn to communicate with hand signals - Any verbal command your dog knew can be taught with a hand signal. Even if your dog is older they can still learn. 
  • Use a flashlight - This is a great way to get your dogs attention especially when it's dark. 
  • Be consistent - whatever forms of communication you use, be consistent so your dog does not get confused. 
  • Make your dog aware when you leave - don't leave when your dog is asleep or in another room. They can become scared or startled upon your return. 
  • Wake a deaf dog safely - wake your dog by touching them away from their face and teach any children in the house to do the same. Some dogs may try to bite if startled when woken.


About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our dog wheelchairs. We have small, medium and big dog wheelchairs

We offer a front support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog cart, a dog cart for rear legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only affordable dog wheelchair that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it.


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