Yes, dogs' eyes are very sensitive to the sun, but there are other reasons you need to protect your dog's eyes....
- Dog sunglasses or clear eyeglasses can be used to protect your dog's eyes from becoming dry from the weather, blowing dust, and from annoying insects in the summer time.
- They protect dogs with allergies or eye diseases like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, dry eye, or cataracts.
- Dog glasses can prevent a poke in the eye from a branch or other unexpected obstacle. There may also be other possible flying objects headed toward your dog, like a toy or a snowball, or sticks in a wind-storm.
- Dog glasses repel water splash-back, especially important if dogs are swimming in chlorine or questionable lakes.
Most of the serious protective dog eye-wear are made in goggle forms, like the Doggles below, that cling to the areas around the eye and are strapped around the head and chin in some fashion.
But some dogs, like low-vision or blind dogs, dogs with poor night vision, and dogs with dementia usually need other kinds of protection for their eyes that have visors or "halos" to keep them from bumping into things with their heads or faces.
Below, I'll give you some ideas of what's available in eye protection for your dog. These are not dog-rated so much as dog parent-rated, because most dogs would rather not wear these things at all, at least initially. But dogs can easily be trained to wear glasses, and once they are trained, wearing eye gear will be as routine as donning a collar or a lead.
1. Doggles Dog Goggles
Several years ago, when Doggles sunglasses came out, my dog Alfie became one of their first customers. He had cataracts and I knew that daily exposure to the sun would just worsen his condition.
After his cataracts were removed, Alfie continued to need Doggles to protect his eyes. One eye was nearly blind, and Alfie was walking into things which were potentially dangerous, so I put the Doggleson whenever he went outside.
Then there was Caru, and now there's Nukkles, and sure enough, they both developed eye issues and they both wore Doggles - even when swimming. They may not be 'waterproof,' but they sure make a tight enough fit to keep water out if your dog's head is above the water's surface.
Caru wears Doggles, even when he swims.
My dogs only wore their Doggles when they were outside or in bright lighting because the lenses were too dark to wear inside. Now, Doggles are made in many styles with different shades of lenses, as well as with clear lenses. The goggle frames are made of high-quality plastic and the lenses are UV protected, shatter-proof, and anti-fog treated polycarbonate, just like your own sunglasses.
Doggles are still making wonderful sun specs in many new styles for dogs that are very highly rated, and there are many imitators of Doggles. But some new 'kids on the block' have created eye/face-wear for dogs that address different eyewear needs. Regardless of how active your dog is, she needs eye protection from the elements just like we do.
Rex Specs Dog Goggles are for "The Active Dog," and promise to deliver full value on their protectiveness from sun, snow, wind, and any other condition your dog may face, whether she's out on the trail or riding in a sidecar from your motorcycle. Through all kinds of activity the Rex Specs are troopers.
There are tricks to getting the right fit on your dog, and Rex Specs lets you in on it with this video:
Rex has an unbelievable assortment of lens colors for the Specs and each pair comes with a lens color of your choice plus a clear lens. Now here's a sporty color... but some colors are more subtle if you prefer....
Rex Specs Dog Goggles Cobalt Blue/Red Mirror
You can always purchase extra lenses for different light or glare situations, or for a different 'effect.' Don't let the styling of the Rex Specs fool you; they are very high quality protective goggles for your dog.
The lenses can be easily removed from their frames and, actually, at least one customer recommends that you begin training your dog by placing the Rex Specs frames on her without the lenses to get her used to wearing her Rex Specs. Complete training may take from one to three weeks (depending on the rewards!) Rex Specs has plenty of dog goggles training videos on its website.
Dogs get plenty of attention in the Rex Specs and their owners rate the Rex Specs very highly, but complain that the lenses scratch too easily. They are pretty pricey too, but most say the Rex Specs are well worth it. You can always invest in some extra lenses, if need be, but the frames are solid!
Yellow is just one of six attractive colors offered by QUMY Dog Goggles that are very popular with dogs and their folks. They are low-cost compared to other dog sun goggles on Amazon, but they have a great reputation. The Qumys are for dogs above 15 pounds and, like the dog goggles above, are shatterproof and UV protected.
These come in one size, but the head and neck bands are adjustable:
- Head elastic band minimum 3.20 inches, maximum 6.63 inches.
- Neck band allowance is between 3.71 inches and 7.41 inches
Though reviews were very high for the Qumys, there were some complaints about the workmanship, and some issues with dogs like pugs and Bostons who have flat faces.
Qumys come in yellow (pictured above), black, white, blue, pink, and red!
For smaller dogs, even some teacup sizes, you might try Doggles XTRA Small Dog Sunglasses, but if you have a dog under 5 pounds, it's going to be hard to find a pair that small by any manufacturer.
Even blind dogs benefit from sun goggles when outside, but blind and vision-impaired dogs need more than that. They need to protect their heads! Blind dogs walk into things and they can really get hurt from that. Also, dogs with other handicaps, such as dementia, would be helped, as they tend to get more disoriented as the disease progresses.
Muffin's Halo For Blind Dogs was invented by Muffin's mom, Silvie Bordeaux, when Muffin became blind from cataracts. He, as dogs tend to do, walked into things, became frustrated, and stopped having interest in doing things. Out of frustration and love of her dog, Ms. Bordeaux created Muffin's Halo, and now many dogs all over the world are 'back to life,' with the help of Muffin's Halo.
As you see above, Muffin's Halo has a narrow harness that fastens beneath the tummy and at the neck. A pillow-like collar ("the wing") stands up from the neck of the harness and holds a clear vinyl tube with a wire inside. The tube is covered with material so it will not scratch your walls!
Muffin's Halo comes in many sizes from XX small to XXX large. Just make sure you measure your dog properly. In addition to the chart below, Ms. Bordeaux has posted a video on Amazon to show you how to measure your dog.
Not only are the Muffin's Halo size ranges wide enough to fit nearly every "Muffin," but the color range is pretty broad too - white, black, gray, pink, red, blue, and even camo! Some of the collars have designs on them, others read "Blind," and there is even one (the black) that has "Blind" over-written in braille.
Muffin's Halo can be gently washed and air-dried; the halo attachment can be wiped off with a damp sponge or rag.
Muffin's Halo has received praise and recommendations from veterinarians and dog shelter employees, who have seen dogs' lives change as a result of wearing their Muffin's Halos.
OptiVisor not only shields your dog from obstacles but perform as googles, being worn with either a dark or clear protective lens. It can be used as goggles or as protection against the physical world, and is especially handy after surgery to keep your dog from scratching his eyes or face. I like the fact that it doesn't cover your dog's ears like an e-collar.
As with all other canine headwear, measuring your dog is very important before choosing a size, as each manufacturer uses different sizings. Here is advice from OptiVisor for measuring your dog for its eyewear:
Those of you with small-snouted small dogs will be pleased to know that OptiVisor makes a special eye and face protector for your dogs.
Take care of your pet's eyes as you would your own. Now there are many ways to do it!
That's the buzz for today!