If your dog spends a considerable amount of time outdoors, whether during hiking alongside you or running on a beach, a pair of dog sunglasses might not be a bad idea. According to Dr. Jessica Stine, a veterinary ophthalmologist with BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Clearwater, Florida, whose statement was published in Pet MD, there are two reasons for dog eyewear. It can both protect their eyes from injuries and protect them from the sun, which could exacerbate existing conditions.
Here are a couple of factors that might play a role in whether you should look into buying doggy sunglasses:
Your dog’s breed plays a big role in whether your pooch is susceptible to developing serious eye problems if it’s consistently exposed to the sun. For example, dogs with prominent eyeballs such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Terriers are more prone to have eye problems at some point in their lives if they are constantly exposed to the sun.
Increased Sun Exposure
Active dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Siberian Huskies, and Labrador Retrievers tend to spend more time outdoors. Whether it’s running on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or playing in the park, active breeds get a higher dose of vitamin D.
According to Dr. Jessica Meekins, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, UV doesn’t affect dogs the same way it affects humans. For example, dogs develop cataracts as a result of their genetics; they don’t live long enough to develop the disease through age, as people do.
But the sun rays can have other consequences for dogs, Meekins says. For example, UV light can have other consequences for dogs, such as worsening pannus. Although uncommon in dogs, “UV light can increase risk of the development of a certain kind of surface ocular cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.”
Eye Surgery or Underlying Condition
If your pooch has recently undergone a medical procedure such as eye surgery, you need to consider protecting its eyes because dogs with ocular trauma can damage their eyes by trying to scratch or rub them. In this case, googles are not the only option. Some veterinarians also recommend an e-collar and other devices that could prevent your pooch from accessing its eyes.
Helping with Eye Pain
Goggles could be useful for dogs that experience eye pain when it’s caused by scratches and abrasions of the cornea (the clear surface of the eye).
For example, if your dog has red, irritated eyes, or teary and squinty eyes, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. While some of these problems causing these symptoms might be well outside of your control, you could help your pooch by equipping it with a pair of goggles every time you go out on a sunny day.
There are many types of dog sunglasses available on the market. And while there’s no lack of options when it comes to colors or brands, one of the most difficult aspects of this transition is making your dog wear them. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right type of dog sunglasses and properly adjust them for your dog.
First, make sure that your dog sunglasses fit properly and don’t impair your dog’s ability to navigate its surroundings. If your dog is uncomfortable, it’s unlikely to wear those fancy goggles that you bought.
But before you go to a store, make sure to take your dog to a veterinarian who can correctly assess whether your dog needs goggles or not. If a vet concludes that your dog would benefit from wearing sunnies or has an underlying condition that could get worse because of sun exposure, you should heed their advice and check a local pet store that offers a selection of goggles for your dog.
After all, your furry friend might look so cute rocking a new pair of dog sunglasses.