Some pet professionals (breeders etc.) believe deaf puppies should always be put down. Others believe a deaf dog can lead a happy, productive life with the right caretakers. If you have a dog or cat going deaf, or have one that is already deaf, consider how you might;

Create Signals: Deaf dogs and cats can see—use your hands, arms and legs to signal to them. Work with your dog or cat on signals. Such as pointing to your left arm and right arm can mean two different things. Showing your pet the palm and back of your hand can mean two different commands. Hold your hand up or down and you’ll create two more commands. Hold both hands up or both hands down, on top of your head, on one or both knees there are dozens of possibilities to use signals with deaf dogs. Work with your children and pet sitter to design and use the same signals for the pet. Use the reward system for making it work.

Always Use a Leash for a deaf dog: As hard as you try, you can’t always command a dog’s attention. That attractive squirrel may be all a deaf dog can focus on as he runs into the street.

Use Vibrations: When the dog or cat is not facing you, stomping your foot can signal them that you need him. Use one, two or three foot taps to create three different meanings for the pet esp. for dogs.

Say Goodbye: When you leave a room, tap (don’t stomp) your foot to let the pet know you’re leaving so she doesn’t look up later and is surprised and frightened that you are gone. When you leave the house, put an object near the dog that lets her know you are gone. Start by showing the dog the object each time you leave so she knows to look for it in the future. Two of the key struggles for deaf dogs and cats, are confusion and being startled.

Lights: Keep a penlight with you to flash on the wall, floor, or other object in front of the pet to get his attention. Turning lights on and off in a room will also alert him to where you are.

Alert Others: Let anyone know who could meet or find the dog, when you are not near of the pet’s condition with an, “I’m Deaf” collar, kerchief, or tag.

Take Your Time: Be patient. You may not be able to train a dog or a cat in one session. You are changing the life of a challenged pet, and it will love you for it, no matter how long it takes.