International Blind Dog Day, observed on August 23, is a day meant to appreciate blind dogs. Blind dogs are just like any other group of animals or humans with a disability. They’re generally healthy and can function as optimally as regular dogs, except that they could use some guidance and probably expert handling to train them to be able to function despite having no vision. There are several factors affecting and determining blindness in dogs, and these range from disease to old age. Most commonly, dogs go blind from medical conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and suddenly acquired retinal degeneration (SARDS).
History of International Blind Dog Day
The history of dogs dates back tens of thousands of years when their primary purpose was to assist humans in hunting. Over the years, dogs have evolved from hunters to pets, companions, assistants to law enforcement and the military personnel, et cetera. The earliest accepted remains believed to belong to dogs were discovered in Germany and were proved not to be those of a wolf. They dated back 14,000 years and were found buried with two humans, male and female and their cause of death was said to be what is known as ‘canine distemper.’
The origin of the domestic dog cannot be discussed in isolation from its genetic evolution and divergence from its closest extant relative, the wolf. Studies have been able to show that dogs (ancient and modern) all share a common ancestry from an ancient wolf, now extinct, which was a different lineage than that of the modern wolf. The ancestor of the modern dog is believed to most likely have been the Late Pleistocene wolf. The dog is a member of the wolf-like canids.
By association with humans for so many thousands of years, dogs exhibit the most human-friendly behaviors of any animal, and many of their health issues are relatable to human nature as well. Blind dogs have existed for as long as regular dogs have. However, it was not until very recently that the care of blind dogs became a priority. International Blind Dog Day was created to sensitize dog owners to the subject.
International Blind Dog Day timeline
The dog collar is invented between 2040 and 1782 B.C.
The first corneal implant procedure is done in 2008.
In 2010, researchers at Iowa State University developed two tests; High-Frequency Ultrasound (H.F.U.), and Pattern electroretinography (PERG) for canine glaucoma.
The first-ever International Blind Dog Day was on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.
International Blind Dog Day FAQs
When is International Blind dog Day?
International blind Dog Day is observed annually on August 23. This year, it comes up on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
Can blind dogs live normally?
Yes, they can. Unlike us humans, dogs can cope better without eyesight as they can easily depend on other sensory organs to function optimally.
Are blind dogs a burden?
Blind dogs are pretty much like regular dogs, except for the fact that they don’t see quite as well. They are not as much of a burden as they are feared to be and can function normally with the appropriate training.
International Blind Dog Day Activities
Support the B.D.R.A.
The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance works to rescue blind dogs and provide care for them. You can celebrate International Blind Dog Day by supporting them.
Adopt a blind dog
This one might be tricky if you haven’t done it before, but if it's something you’re ready to commit to, it’s worth it. Go to your local shelter or contact the SPCA and find out if any blind dogs need adopting. Be warned, it takes work and shouldn’t be done on a whim.
Participate on Social Media
Join the conversation online. If you own a blind dog, you can post pictures on your Instagram (or any other social media platform) using the #InternationalBlindDogDay hashtag.
5 Interesting Facts About Blind Dogs
Blind dogs are easily adaptable
Though blind and in need of a little more care, blind dogs are easily adaptable and ARE NOT a burden to their owners.
Blind dogs are trainable
Unlike humans who rely heavily on their sight for primary sensory functions, dogs can cope far better without seeing and are as easily trainable as dogs who have sighted eyes.
Blind dogs can still move around well
Dogs generally rely on more than just their eyesight to function and can hear, smell, and feel their way around.
Blind dogs are not depressed
Blindness is not a cause for depression in dogs — they can live healthy and happy lives just as any other dog if they get the support they need.
Blind dogs can guard the home
Blind dogs can guard the home as long as they have other sensory functions besides their eyesight, in working order.
Why We Love International Blind Dog Day
They’re great companions
Dogs are extremely loyal and offer very valuable friendship, hence the tag they’ve been described as ‘man’s best friend.’ Take the leap if you’re ready and get your fur-ever companion today.
They improve our health
Research has been able to prove that individuals who have dogs as pets, tend to live longer and healthier lives than individuals without one. It has been proven in the case of elderly people, life is prolonged with a pet around.
They are good for therapy
Just as a dog with sight can provide comfort to its owner, so too can visually impaired ones. There are instances where dog adoption may be prescribed as therapy for individuals.
International Blind Dog Day dates