Scent Markers for Blind Dogs - Helping Blind Dog Navigate
What are Tracerz®The unique scents of the obstacle and path markers are only noticeable up close to humans; however, dogs and cats can locate them from impressive distances.
Tracerz® scent markers are the most cost-effective way to help your dog or cat adjust to blindness. Tracerz™ are great for any indoor area such as a home, apartment, or office. Tracerz™ contain a calming blend of essential oils that are pleasantly distinctive so they won't be confused with other household products.
Tracerz™ can be affixed to walls, furniture, carpet, tile, hardwood, doors, trim, appliances, vinyl, glass, and more. Tracerz™ are less than one inch in diameter and can be easily concealed. You don't have to see them; your pet just needs to smell them.
Living with Blind DogsHOME: Maintaining a safe and unchanging environment is key. To a blind dog, rearranging furniture can be challenging and moving to a new location can be traumatic.
Blind pets may become lost and bark for help when adjusting to changes. Others may freeze up and be afraid to move. The first thing you should do is check your house for things that they can run into, knock down, fall into, or trip over.
Due to these unique challenges, we highly recommend that your blind dog have an exclusive safe spot, other than his sleeping area, to retreat to.
WALKING & JOGGING: With a few simple precautions blind dogs can still go for walks. You'll need to keep a tight leash and be aware that interaction with other dogs will be tricky.
Dogs assert their pack position with body language. Without the ability to read body language, blind dogs can often send unintended confrontational signals. Jogging on flat ground with a dog that has become blind is still possible with a bit of encouragement, caution, and awareness on your part.
SOUNDS: Although dogs can hear a wider range of sounds than humans, this is not an effective means of navigation for dogs because of their poor ability to determine what direction a sound is coming from.
When possible, leave a small radio on to give them some additional orientation, especially when they wake up from a deep sleep.
SPECIAL COMMANDS: You should teach your blind dog the special command "watch out" ASAP. Use the "watch out" command sparingly or else they will learn not to take it seriously. Be careful when verbally disciplining other dogs in your home because a blind dog cannot determine if a verbal reprimand is directed at him. Instead of the traditional "no" command, use a spray bottle with water to silently discipline other dogs.
OUTDOORS: For the most part, blind dogs navigate well in front and backyards. Scent marking outdoors is possible but not recommended. From a blind dog's point of view, variables such as strong winds, rain, and snow can disrupt outdoor scents and change the tactile feel of the ground. Those conditions can cause even the most well-trained blind dog to become lost. This is why drowning in pools is among the leading causes of death among blind dogs.
If you have a pool, it is important to create a physical barrier around it to stop your pet from falling in. If your dog is a good swimmer you should encourage, but not force, them to swim. In addition to being excellent exercise, swimming in the pool prepares them in case they fall in accidentally.
TYPES OF BLINDNESS: There are hundreds of eye diseases that can cause blindness in our pets. The most common causes are cataracts, glaucoma, trauma, and retinal degeneration or detachment. Many eye diseases are progressive and may take anywhere from days to years for total blindness to set in. You may find that your dog is blind only in certain conditions. There is often a very frustrating transitional phase where they can see in bright areas but then become effectively blind at night or in dim lighting.
Your dog can benefit from additional help, such as covering your floors in carpet runners or having your dog wear thickly cushioned suits to minimize injury when running into things.
While these methods can work, it is often unrealistic to cover your floors in carpet runners and have your dog wear an awkward foam suit.
If your dog or cat is developing signs of vision impairment, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- All-natural formulated oil blends allows dogs to distinguish Tracerz from all other items
- Helps blind dogs regain confidence and assists in developing a mental map of their environment
- Smell is only noticeable to humans up close; dogs, however, can smell them from impressive distances
- Contains proven scents dogs are great at detecting
- Lasts up to a year, simply scratch to renew
Blind Dogs and Cats can live long and happy lives.
The ability to distinguish between millions of different smells allows them to literally see the world through smell. Tracerz™ are pre-scented location markers that help blind dogs build up a mental map of their environment.
How do Tracerz work?
To allow your dog to build a 3-dimensional mental map, the scent markers are placed around the home to help your dog find important locations, avoid obstacles, and not get lost when waking up from a deep sleep. Blind dogs can visualize surroundings through their olfactory (smelling) senses alone.
Tracerz™ provide natural, oil-based scent markers that require no maintenance. They can last for up to a year before needing to be replaced.
We infuse each Tracerz™ marker with a unique mixture of highly concentrated essential oils. They are suspended in wax that won't wipe off or wash away. Tracerz can be scratched periodically to refresh scent emissions. This process maximizes the scented surface area and makes the marker active for 4-8 months. We have researched and thoroughly tested organic scented oils to find the safest ones that dogs and cats are most responsive to.
Each strip of four Tracerz has a different scent. The scents are a mixture of certified organic plant extracts including Clove stems, Vanilla, Cypress, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, and Ravensara. A rubber-based adhesive and scent-retaining polymer are also used. All components are non-toxic.
Affix the Tracerz™ dots as close as possible to the height of your dog's nose and adjacent to the spots they most often collide with. The adhesive backing will bond strongly to most surfaces. We make it simple:
Peel away the adhesive side of each Tracerz™ from its plastic backing. Use of gloves is recommended.
Use Tracerz™ marked with "obstacle" to stick onto obstacles that they commonly run into, such as table legs, corners of coffee tables, doors, appliances, and furniture.
Use the "path" Tracerz™ to stick onto important locations such as door trim, exits, entrances, doorways, and stairs.
Many dogs need little to no training to pick up the Tracerz™ scents. While your dog is in a calm state, SLOWLY lead him around through his typical paths to let him sniff out the new scent marks and allow him to develop a 3-dimensional map. Tracerz™ are not as effective when placed near open windows and doors or overpowering fragrances, candles, or colognes. Scratch the surface of each dot every few weeks to reveal fresh layers of scent-emitting material.
What can I expect from Tracerz™?
Dogs will typically start avoiding bumps and collisions within 48 hours. The first thing you will likely notice is not being awakened in the middle of the night to the sounds of your dog banging into things.
Within a short period they will build up confidence and begin to move around with ease. Many dogs will even begin to run around like they used to.
However, Tracerz™ is by no means a cure to blindness. All blind dogs are still going to bump into things, especially when they get excited. The mission behind Tracerz™ is to minimize the frequency of those collisions and make sure your pet never gets lost in the home. Tracerz™ are very helpful for cats, but they are most effective with dogs.
How can I get the best use out of Tracerz?
Tracerz allows your dog to create a scent map that will help them navigate through doors, around furniture, and other obstacles that create issues for blind pets. We carefully selected the best pet scents for our scent stickers.
To get the best use of Tracerz you’ll want to keep your house’s outline/set up consistent. Moving furniture and rearranging rooms is the easiest way to throw off a blind dog.
Fortunately, Tracerz are designed to help pets figure out new and old obstacles, and this makes rearranging furniture possible — just slowly move things and use the same Tracerz scent marker on the furniture.
For additional help, here are a few helpful articles that can help you when caring for a blind pet.
- How to Help a Blind Dog
- Using Tracerz To Help A Blind Pup Get Around The Yard
- Help Your Blind Dog Live a More Independent, Functional Life with Tracerz
Can Tracerz be used outside?
Tracerez can be used on doors going inside and outside of the house — inclosed patios are fine as well. The further away the Tracerz is placed away from the house, the less effective it becomes. Wind, rain, and the array of smells outside are the biggest obstacles as they will throw the Tracerz’ scent off — potentially causing confusion for your dog.
Do Tracerz work for cats?
Tracerz will work for cats, but they work best for dogs because they have way more olfactory receptors than both cats and humans. Dogs can have up to 300 million olfactory receptors, cats have up to 80 million, and humans have just around 5 million. The part of the dog’s brain that processes smell is 40 times bigger than ours as well.
I have an older dog that just went blind, will Tracerz still work?
Absolutely! In fact, we created Tracerz because one of our pets that inspired the foundation of our company — loveable Maximus — lost his sight when they were older at 8. We created Tracerz because we couldn't find any aids for blind dogs at the time.
We have heard countless success stories of Tracerz helping pets both young and old. You can teach an old dog new tricks.
Why is there a lack of blind dog products?
You know, we ask ourselves that very same question every day. Honestly, we were taken by surprise to find that there were no aids for blind dogs when we first looked for help. Using scent stickers is just logical when you think about it — a dog’s sense of smell is much stronger than their sense of sight after all.
And even though we created Tracerz a decade ago, there is still a surprising lack of products for blind dogs. We’re proud to say that we created a product that has given both us and other pet owners a helping hand when none were around.
Why is my dog having trouble with the Tracerz?
Smell is the name of the game, and while it’s rare for dogs to lose their sense of smell, it is possible. Dogs sense of smell can diminish as they get older — however, even when their sense of smell weakens, their superior smelling skills still often triumphs our own.
- If you notice an issue, check their nose and make sure it’s wet. A wet noise allows dogs to capture odor particles and its key to their sense of smell.
- As well, you’ve undoubtedly noticed how dogs smell by snorting in rapid successions — this is because when they exhale they lose the scent. When dogs are panting from heat, fatigue, etc. they can lose up to 40% of their sense of smell.
- Strong odors in the house unrelated to Tracerz can throw dogs off — it’s uncommon, but if you have fans air blowing around or windows open, odors can get jumbled.
- Candles and other air fresheners that share the same scent as the Tracerz may cause issues.