Sep 24

How To Know Your Dog is Deaf

There are many subtle signs that your pet may struggle with or have an inability to hear. This can be something they were born with, or that they acquired with age. These include: 

  • No response to loud sounds or claps etc
  • No response to their name (when they’re a distance from you, asleep or not looking at you – there are other reasons for this too!!!)
  • Surprised when approached normally from behind 
  • Heavy sleeper

At home, you can do some tests to check your pets responsiveness (or lack of) to sound. Make sure they’re not looking at you of course! These include: 

  • Loud clap of the hands
  • Shake keys behind your back
  • Bang two pots together
  • Have someone ring the doorbell

It’s important to note that sound vibrations or some air flow felt by your pet can elicit a response to some tests even if they can’t hear it! 

Whilst no response to sounds may increase the suspicion your pet may have trouble with their hearing the only way to know for sure that your dog is deaf is with a test called a brain stem auditory evoked responses (BAER) test. Your Vet will refer you for one of these if indicated after their examination.

There are many special considerations to help deaf dogs live their best life, so if you’re concerned about your pets hearing please see your local Veterinarian to discuss. 

About The Author

Claire is a QLD graduate with 19 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of VetChat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.