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Our border collie is getting old. Her eyes are beginning to fail and there are clear signs of cataracts.

She seems to sometimes feel stressed when she encounters stripes of contrasting colours. Crossing a bridge in bright sunlight when the sun is shining through the side of the bridge casting sharp shadows causing clear stripes on the bridge surface seems to freak her out. She will not walk across the bridge without pressure.

I noticed this too on the house stairs recently - she was standing on the landing clearly stressed and scared to venture further down the stairs. Our stairs are painted white at the sides but have bare wood in the middle so again dramatic contrast.

We have been planning to repaint the stairs - is there a colour scheme that may help her? Are there colours that will help her discern the steps as her vision fades?

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I found a website that I will quote one section from it. I don't know if a colour scheme would help but this section might help for the rest of your question. How Can I Create a Safe, Fulfilling Environment for My Blind Dog? FROM: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/blindness

You can help your dog feel secure in his surroundings by providing a stable, accident-free environment.

  • Give extra attention and TLC, especially for elderly pets.
  • Avoid moving the furniture.
  • Don’t leave boxes, toys or other objects in walking paths.
  • Cover sharp corners and objects with soft insulation.
  • Speak to your dog when you enter the room and before petting or touching him.
  • Let him smell visitors’ hands before they touch him.
  • Mark different rooms with different scents so that your dog can use his sense of smell to recognize where he is.
  • Mark the tops and bottoms of staircases with a bit of perfume.
  • Use rugs to texture rooms, allowing your dog to use his sense of touch to get his bearings.
  • Carry or lead your dog up and down stairs and block access to them when you’re not using them.
  • Place barriers around hot tubs, pools and other dangerous and off-limits areas.
  • Make sure she has her own safe place she can get to easily.
  • Buy toys with sound and scent.
  • Keep food and water bowls in the same place.
  • Be very vocal and be aware of your different tones.
  • Don’t baby or pity your dog—simply help him adjust.
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  • Thank you for your suggestions and helpful comments. Sadly the dog has since been put down due to a heart problem caused by bloody fireworks!!!. I appreciate your help and helpful and insightful suggestions - I hope others will find them useful and one day I ma put them to good use. Dec 4 '14 at 23:32
  • Wow ouch. Sry to hear that. But yeah you're welcome.
    – Derrick K.
    Dec 5 '14 at 0:16

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