A new product is helping blind dogs get around

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Dogs have made a huge impact on visually-impaired people as guide dogs. Unfortunately there are many visually-impaired dogs that also need help. Two women in Georgia have created the “Halo Vest” to help dogs who are blind and need help getting around.

Dorie Stratton adopted a dog, Scottie Boy, who is blind. Her husband had told her, “Nobody wants a blind dog!” Stratton wanted him exactly for that reason. However, Scottie Boy struggled getting around. “He’d bump into things, and he’d cry,” said Stratton. She was determined to find a way to help him when she contacted Ellen Burgess.

Burgess runs an alterations business and Stratton hoped she could help her design something for Scottie Boy that would prevent him from banging into things. They spent about six weeks experimenting with different materials and how to properly secure what is now being called the “Halo Vest.”  It consists of a lightweight vest that the animal wears around its neck and front legs. The vest portion wraps around the dog’s back and is secured by Velcro. The halo is sewn into the neck of the vest and consists of aluminum wire and plastic tubing. The halo goes around the face acting as a bumper guard.

Dogs that are blind often keep their heads down and are hesitant. The vest helps protect the dogs from bumping their heads by acting as a guard. Each vest is handmade and costs between $35 and $65. More information on the product can be found at the Halo for Paws website.



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3 comments

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    November 1, 2012 11:23 amPosted 1 year ago
    Cheryl F

    I have two blind dogs. They both took about two days to understand where everything is – most of the time, people do not believe they are blind. I would never hesitate to adopt a blind dog. Their senses of smell and hearing are highly developed, if I see them headed for trouble , which is rare, I say “stop!” And they stop immediately.

    They would be catching that halo thing on everything and it could even cause them to be hurt. Don’t invest too much money in it. People experienced with blind dogs know they don’t need it.

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    November 1, 2012 1:36 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Kim

    A dog born blind won’t need this..but dogs that go blind later in life might benefit from this if used as a training tool. My baby was born deaf and blind and mapped out the house in three days…occasionally bumps into things but not often.

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    October 28, 2013 5:22 pmPosted 9 months ago
    Barbara Mumm

    My pug and I both love this halo. She has gone blind, age 6-7, is in otherwise good health. I put the halo on the minute I get home and she is free to roam around the house. Without it, she will bump into walls, chairs and any other object in her path, even though I keep the house in a very safe, clean manner. She now knows to stop when she feels the edge of the halo make contact with an object. It was so sad to see her run into things, and now she is much safer. I am considering buying a second halo because the first is stretched and is full of dog hair. Also some of the stitching is coming loose.

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