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Blindness

General Information

Because we, as people, place such great value on eyesight, we are deeply concerned and saddened when we discover a pet is blind. In people, loss of vision brings a loss of a certain amount of independence. Pets, however, compensate very well and are free of the psychic trauma we associate with blindness. Their senses of smell, hearing and touch allow them to perceive their surroundings much better than a blind person.

Cats and dogs do not drive automobiles, read novels, watch movies, or even care how their owners look. Pets are content merely to sense their master's presence, and they do that with their other senses.

Even when pets can see, we owners wait on them, protect them, feed them and love them, and we'll continue doing those things even though they are blind. Pets generally adapt well to blindness and remain happy, especially in a safe, familiar environment.

Some Special Concerns

Working or hunting dogs should be retired to a more restricted life. You must decide whether the dog will be acceptable as a pet.

Small children should be taught how to treat your blind pet. You should instruct family members to call out your pet's name when approaching, so as not to startle the animal.

Pets that were nippy or anxious when they could see may present problems after they have become blind. Such individuals generally remain nervous, and the risk of biting may increase, especially when small children are involved.

As long as your pet remains in a familiar environment, it can navigate very well. Also, pets can generally adapt to changes in their environment if necessary.

Whatever the circumstances, please feel free to discuss any concerns you might have. We understand your feelings, and will respect your final decision on whether or not you wish to keep your pet as a family member.