Dog Goggles: Does My Pup Need Them?
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If your dog loves going on adventures as much as you do, you may want to consider purchasing dog goggles. But, adventures aren't the only reason you should be considering protection for your pup's eyes. In fact, there are many situations that would call for a pair of goggles.
Fitting your pet with dog goggles for car rides can protect their eyes from irritants. Goggles can also be critical for dogs suffering eye complications, such as conjunctivitis or glaucoma. And the good news is, if you train your pup and do your research, there's almost certainly a pair of goggles that your dog will feel comfortable wearing no matter the occasion.
Let's explore the situations in which goggles would be necessary, how they protect your dog and what you should keep in mind when purchasing new goggles for your favorite furry friend.
How Do Goggles Help Dogs?
Dog goggles are closed-fit to your pet's face (just like a pair of goggles you'd wear to see underwater), whereas sunglasses are open. Goggles provide a great way to protect your pet's eyes from dust, debris and other elements.
If you and your dog love playing on the beach, goggles will protect their eyes from sand. Maybe you take to the open roads together on a motorcycle or bike; goggles will ensure their eyes are safe from wind-blown debris along the freeway. Once you've trained your dog to wear their sunglasses comfortably, you'll want to ensure you have a pair for traveling.
Dog goggles can be important for more than protection during activity. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), goggles with ultraviolet (UV) eye protection can help dogs who have conjunctivitis, glaucoma and other eye conditions. Dogs with cataracts can also benefit from UV-blocking lenses, as they may enhance visual clarity.
When Are Goggles Necessary?
Dog goggles are necessary any time you're about to engage in an activity that may introduce irritants, extreme sunlight or debris to your dog's eyes. A good rule to follow is to consider using them any time you'd put sunglasses or goggles on yourself. Have dog goggles for car rides so that your pup's peepers are protected when they pop their head out the window. Stash a pair on your boat to protect their eyes from salt. You may even want to leave a pair poolside so your dog's eyes are safe from chemicals if they swim.
If your dog suffers from an eye condition, you'll want to keep a pair handy any time you and your dog are going outdoors.
What Should I Know Before Buying a Pair?
Your dog likely won't tolerate goggles without a little training, but there are some things that can help make everything go more smoothly.
- Function: First, know why you're buying them. Are they for a dog who will spend a lot of time in the sun? If so, you'll likely want to seek out goggles with UV protection. If you're engaging in an activity where a wide visual field is key, you might want to think about mask-type goggles (one big frame that sits across both eyes) instead of goggles that protect each eye individually.
- Style: The shape of your dog's goggles can be a major factor. As the AKC explains, "Some styles have relatively shallow lenses that won't fit well on a breed with large, round eyes, like the Boston terrier. Other styles have deep eyecups that will be more suitable for those breeds."
- Comfort: When considering comfort, the head strap on your dog's goggles will be key, as well. Just like buying a harness, there are many different straps and strap lengths out there that may work well for some dogs but not others. You can use the product's stated measurements as a guide, but be sure to measure your dog's head and shape and understand how a pair of goggles might fit their head.
If you're unsure about which pairs to consider or how to train your dog to comfortably use goggles, consult your local veterinarian, pet expert or behaviorist. They may be able to help you narrow down your search and find the perfect pair for your pup. Then, you can get back to the great outdoors and build that bond as you adventure and explore side by side.
Erin Ollila is a pet enthusiast who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Instagram @ErinOllila or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.