At 12 years young Miss Tootsie Roll is starting to experience some hearing loss. As I am sure many senior pet owners are experiencing the same with their fur babies Tootsie and I decided to share some advice and links on how best to adapt to this life experience.
Tootsie Roll has always responded well to voice and hand commands. So for us, a simple transition to just hand commands for her sit, down, stay, come is working well...We do need to work on the "come" gesture a bit, she gets stubborn with that one:). I have also started using the "thumbs up" gesture followed by a gentle pat on the back to represent "good girl" and she is catching on because I tend to get a nice tail wiggle in response:). If she is not looking at me and I need her attention a stomp on the floor works as it sends a vibration that she feels. I have also started to experiement with using Lucille the Yellow Lab...I say to her, "Lucille, where's Tootsie Roll?" And she walks to Tootsie and gives her a little nudge with her nose:).
When Tootsie is deep in sleep I try not to startle her awake...Instead I put my hand close to her nose so she can smell me and then give her a few gentle rubs on the back.
As for outdoor time, we have a fenced in yard and I always walk Tootsie Roll on a leash....both are even more important with hearing loss as you can imagine.
Change in any form requires patience, which I have in abundance for my Tootsie Roll. We wish the same for you and your fur babies!
Some helpful reads: