It is not unheard of, hearing aids for dogs!
How do you know if your dog is deaf? Do they have hearing aids for dogs? What is animal audiology? The U.S. military care very much about the animal hearing research.
Questions are answered by Dr. Peter “Skip” Scheifele. Dr. Scheifele is the executive director of FETCHLAB, the University of Cincinnati’s renowned animal hearing and bioacoustics lab.
Dr. Scheifele used his own dog as the first dog to try hearing aids on. His dog was doing a lot television work , when the dog got into his 12th or 13th year he was losing his hearing. He noticed that his dog was very confounded by off-camera verbal cues and things of that nature.
So he got some behind-the-ear hearing aids. The hearing aids were fashioned out of a special cape for the dog. The hearing aids were velcroed on the cape and the tubes went in. Because the dog was highly trained, it was easy for his wife to work with him to use the hearing aids.
People ask Dr. Scheifele every month if he can put hearing aids on their dogs. Yes he can. You have to be committed to training the dog, as the dog does not want something in his ear.
Steps Involved to get hearing aids for your dog
- The dog must have a diagnostic and hearing test performed.
- An evaluation is determined to see if your dog is a good candidate.
- Ear molds are made
- The hearing aids are made
- The hearing aids are than fitted and fine-tuned.
Even if you train the dog to accept the hearing aid, there is no guarantee the dog will acknowledge the fact that the hearing aid is doing anything different for him, other than having something in his ear.
Dogs do not suffer from hearing loss the way people do for several reasons. One reason, when hearing loss comes on slowly, dogs learn to adapt. Dogs rely more on their sense of smell than on their ability to hear. That is why they smell other dogs and why they are used to locate everything from missing children to hidden drugs. Hearing is a lesser sense. Even when their hearing diminishes your dog can still have a happy life.