Blind dogs need guides too: towards technological support for blind dog caregiving

Alexandra Morgan, Dirk van der Linden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Abstract

Blind or visually impaired pet dogs have additional challenges to overcome in their daily life in environments typically built for sighted humans, as do their caregivers in supporting them. From simple activities like finding their food in a hopefully stable home environment, to more complex activities like navigating an ever changing outdoor environment safely. While some support exists for blind and visually impaired dogs, frequently in the form of physical safety products and veterinary guidelines for care giving, little interactive technology yet exists to inform and complement caregivers' abilities. In this paper, we present the results of an interview-based study with caregivers of blind and visually impaired dogs, using thematic analysis to construct core themes of support needed, and translated these into a prototype app. Our findings show that, while caregivers can adapt quickly to coping with a blind or visually impaired pet dog in their own environment, a gap exists in coping with (ever changing) outdoor environments, in particular identifying safe and suitable outdoor walking routes. We show an initial design of a mobile app for this purpose, and discuss to what extent software for informed caregiving of visually impaired pet dogs could benefit from further work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNinth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI'22)
Subtitle of host publicationDecember 5–8, 2022, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom.
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
ISBN (Electronic)9781450398305
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Sep 2022
Event9th International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction: Defining Tomorrow - Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Dec 20228 Dec 2022
Conference number: 9
https://www.aciconf.org/aci2022

Conference

Conference9th International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleACI2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle upon Tyne
Period5/12/228/12/22
Internet address

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