Dog Glasses: Are Glasses Right for Your Dog?
Renae Hamrick, RVT
You've probably seen them in Hollywood, on the pages of People magazine, or maybe on CNN or Animal Planet. Glasses for dogs. Sunglasses, prescription glasses, protective eye wear, even dark lenses for blind dogs. These fun, fashionable glasses are not just for the celebrity pooch, your dog can join the ranks of his famous canine friends. And, YES, they are affordable!
Is Spot walking into walls or having a difficult time locating his toys? Does your dog squint or paw at his face when he is in the sun? Or maybe you have a fashionable pooch who likes to stay current with fashion trends.... Then Spot is in luck! A pair of specs, such as Doggles brand dog glasses, may be the answer for him!
Most dogs with failing eyesight learn to adapt to seeing less. His owners are usually instructed to avoid rearranging furniture or making drastic changes to the home that will confuse a dog with poor eyesight. Dogs losing their sight are often easily frightened and may be more prone to biting if they are startled. Handling the dog's disability can be challenging and even frustrating, but a pair of prescription Doggles can end that stress.
A veterinary ophthalmologist can view the anatomy of the eye to determine the dog's prescription strength. This prescription is then sent to Doggles, where the glasses are made, often for less than $100.
Prescription Doggles are giving sight back to many dogs, such as those who have had a natural decline in the quality of their eyesight, dogs with cataracts, and dogs who are farsighted due to cataracts surgery without lens implants.
Some dogs' eyes are particularly sensitive to sunlight. They may squint, whine, or paw at their face when they are in the bright light. A pair of sunglasses to block out the UV light may help these canines feel more comfortable outdoors.
The frames and lenses of Doggles sunglasses come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can coordinate them with your dog's personality. Dog shades are also fun for the pooch who likes to dress up and look stylish.
Protective Eye Wear
Doggles can also be used as eye protection for dogs who ride in cars, on motorcycles, or in truck beds. The unshielded eye of these adventurous passengers can get pieces of flying dirt and debris in their eyes. Not only would Fido look cool hanging his head out of your Mustang's window sporting a pair of Doggles, but he would also be much safer. Protective Doggles also shield the eyes of police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and military dogs.
Blind dogs may wear Doggles' opaque, black lenses, similar to the glasses blind humans often wear. These glasses alert strangers that the dog is unable to see, which should remind them to approach the dog appropriately. Doggles also serves as protection to the eye if the blind dog runs into things.
For a dog who has recently had eye surgery, solid, black lenses can also be helpful, working as a protective shield to the eye. The lens protects the eye from bumps, debris, and light.
Anatomy of Doggles
Doggles glasses are comfortable and durable, designed for active dogs. Doggles look similar to a pair of underwater goggles that a human would wear. They have a foam padding that sits between the Doggles frame and the dog's face. Doggles are flexible and can fit any face shape. Two soft, adjustable straps keep the Doggles in place, even during play. One strap wraps behind the dog's head, while the other buckles under the dog's chin.
Shatter-proof and anti-fogging, the Doggles lens shields dogs from debris and UV light.
The glasses come in a variety of sizes, fitting dogs seven pounds and up. To select the right size for your dog, use the sizing chart at www.doggles.com.
Helping Your Dog Adjust to Glasses
Begin by allowing your dog to sniff and investigate the glasses. Give him praise while he does this, perhaps even a treat. If he is comfortable around the glasses, touch them to his face and around his eyes, while continuing to praise him. Do not strap the glasses on until he seems comfortable having them near his eyes.
When you feel your dog is ready, slowly put the glasses on him. (If you are introducing sunglasses to your dog, put them on him for the first time outside in the bright sun. Do not begin using them indoors, because the darkness he will see will cause him extra stress.) Give him lots of positive reinforcement during this process. Do not allow your dog to paw at the glasses or rub his face on the ground. Distract him with a fun activity, such as eating treats or taking a short walk. Make his first few time wearing the glasses brief and positive, then slowly increase the length of time he wears them.
Until you feel your dog is 100% confident and comfortable sporting his glasses, you should closely supervise him while he wears them to prevent him from chewing them or becoming entangled in the straps.
Purchasing Dog Glasses
You can purchase sunglasses for your dog online and in some pet stores. Cost of canine sunglasses is approximately $15-$25, depending on style and brand. Corrective eye wear and lenses for blind dogs must be obtained through a veterinary ophthalmologist.