The omission of Deckard’s wife, along with Roy’s, Iran, means that both of these characters are free to be with other women in the film. Rachael is made to be more of a love interest than the femme fatale of the novel who pushes his goat off the roof, and Pris is a lot friendlier with Roy.
Speaking of goats, the book places a lot more emphasis on animals, both real and electric. This is evident from the change of title when it was adapted for the cinema. There is a longing for real animals, a rarity since the ‘World War Terminus’ which left the Earth covered with a layer of contaminated dust, destroying most animal life on the planet. Animals are seen as status symbols as they are extremely expensive, and those who cannot afford them buy electric ones instead, almost as realistic but not a proper substitute. Deckard’s motivation in the novel for retiring the androids is to get enough money to buy a real sheep to keep on the roof of his apartment and make his wife happy. In Blade Runner he has quit his job but is blackmailed into returning because he’s seen as the only one who can do it.