Toys for Blind/Visually Impaired Dogs

A reoccurring question on the blind dog list and also from private email I receive is what type or specific toys are available for blind/visually impaired dogs and where can they be found. This is especially an important concern for owners of visually impaired puppies or those thinking of adopting. Here are some suggestions for toys that are available for sale and places that sell these type of toys. Keep in mind, all dogs are different and what works for one dog may not for another.

For those that can sew or are "crafty" you may also want to consider altering your dogs present toys by either scenting them or by "safely" sewing bells or noise markers inside them. (When scenting anything make sure it is something that will not make your dog sick if licked. Flavored extracts are something that is good to try)

Most retailers have the following type of toys

bulletJingle Balls-Tennis Balls that have bells inside
bulletToys that squeak
bulletScented Tennis Balls
bulletOther scented toys (stuffed animals and chewy bones)
bulletWiggly Giggly Balls-giggle when moved or rolled. Some dogs really love these balls however, others have said their dogs are a little afraid of them ****NEW*** Wiggly Giggly Bones
bulletNylon type Frisbees-A suggestion would be to try scenting or possibly sewing a bell or noise maker "safely" inside

These retailers sell these specific toys (Others may also or in the future sell them)

bulletPush and Play Ball-has a removable plug that you can put noisemakers inside. Pets.com or in their catalog
bullet"PAWS"itively Goofy Ball-makes goofy gurgling noise PetSmart.com
bulletLook Whose Talking Toys-Toys make repeated sounds a few times than shut off -require batteries Pets.com Pet Warehouse Drs. Foster and Smith SitStay.com RC Steele
bulletTriangle Toy (see picture below) Nobler Pet Supplies (toll free in Canada and US 1-800-738-7570) Web site under construction http://www.noblerpet.com
bulletAtomic Saucer-Center holds a removable tennis ball (could replace with a tennis ball with bells) so far have only seen them in RC Steele Great Companions The Dog Lovers Catalog
bulletZap Ball-Makes 8 wacky sounds (& lights up for sighted/deaf dogs) each time you bounce it-so far only have seen them in Great Companions The Dog Lovers Catalog

Retail Places that may sell these toys and others

In the US (you will have to check for service to Canada)

bulletFoster and Smith
bulletDogtoys.com
bulletPets.com
bulletPetSmart
bulletPetopia.com
bulletPetWarehouse
bulletRC Steele
bulletSitStay.com
bulletCare-a-Lot Pet Supply Warehouse
bulletNobler Pet Supplies (toll free in Canada and US 1-800-738-7570) Web site under construction http://www.noblerpet.com
bulletGreat Companions The Dog Lovers Catalog

*Dogtoys.com, Pets.com, Petsmart.com, Petstore.com are all merchants within the igive mall. When you are a member of igive, make a purchase and have the IMOM Blind Dog Fund as your preferred charity, a portion of the sale will be donated to the fund. For information please click here IMOM Blind Dog Fund

Brenda said: One of Aurie's favorite toys (this triangle toy) -- he doesn't like it to leave his side (This is a great toy for visually impaired dogs -- it has squeakies in all the tips, it's high enough that they "hit" it if they've lost their orientation on it). Brenda could only find the toy at Nobler's Pet Supplies in Winnipeg, Manitoba (5-999 King Edward Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba (1-204-694-6990). Brenda also said Noblers seems to have many, many interesting toys that many other stores do not seem to carry Toll free in Canada and US 1-800-738-7570

If anyone knows anywhere else that might carry the Triangle Toy please let us know. 

bulletIn Bay City Michigan the triangle toy and other shapes) can be found at Companion's Cuisine
bulletPetco also has the triangle toy and the other shapes

NEW Blind Dogs Just want to Have Fun Page

HomeMade Toy ideas

Daria writes: The best toy I have found is a gallon milk jug. There are two different ways I use them.

Pug Hockey: Put small 'cookies' in the jug, leave lid off. Kick it across a linoleum floor or outside on cement, it is noisy so even the blind ones know where to run. The chase ensues and if you have several k9's they will bat it away from one another, try to steal it with the others in hot pursuit. Some goodies fall out and, of course, some dogs temporarily drop out of the game to eat their prize, fun for dogs and to watch also.

Hanging Jug: Loop heavy duty rubber bands together to form a chain. The thick blue bands from broccoli last longest and present the least danger of breakage. Attach the jug handle to the chain. Attach the chain securely to the top center of a doorway (preferably one without a door). Put something noisy into the jug, I use dry beans, or scent it. Dogs will bat it like cats, or grab it and run. When it stretches so far, it will return to the home position. This is a special favorite of blind pups.
* Plastic Jugs may not be suitable for large dogs or chewers, who could chew and digest pieces of the plastic. Supervision maybe needed with some dogs

Mary writes:

Re: homemade toys for blind dogs. I have a rescue Sheltie (or maybe she's a collie, hard to tell as she's very big) who has very limited vision. She finds lots of toys around my house! One favorite is any fairly small (12 - 16 inches) corrugated cardboard box. She loves to wrestle w/ them, growl at them, and carry them around. Eventually she begins shredding them and I throw it away. Her favorite outside toy is my big heavy plastic watering can. She can easily grab hold of the spout w/ her mouth and shake the can around. She can also put her leg thru the handle to manipulate it. It's heavy enough that she can't shred it. She either likes BIG toys, or small smelly toys. Therefore my shoes are all fair game. Otherwise she doesn't readily see small toys.
-Mary McComb

If you have a homemade toy idea that your blind/visually impaired dog loves please share it with us.   Or if you have suggestions of other national or regional retailers (or specific toys) in or outside the US to be added to the list please let us know at blinddogs-admin@yahoogroups.com

You may also get some ideas from Scent Games a site with scent games for sighted dogs

*Information was current as of 5/14/2000

 

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