The week of 23 – 29 September is Deaf Pet Awareness Week.
In many cases, when a dog is found to be deaf, it is put to sleep. However, more frequently there are pet owners willing to take on these special needs animals. These dogs can be trained using sign language and are just as intelligent as ‘normal’ dogs.
Deafness in animals can be inherited or acquired through trauma, drug reactions, or simply old age. Dalmatians and Boxers are more prone to deafness than others. Thirty percent of all Dalmatians born are either deaf in one ear or bilaterally deaf. Some deaf dogs also have albinism, meaning that they lack normal melanin pigment in their eyes, nose, or skin. Owners of these dogs have to pay special attention to sun protection.
The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund has a wonderful website with answers to questions involving the ownership and care of deaf dogs.
Use this special week to contact animal shelters in your area to find out if there is a special deaf dog waiting for you!