Summer is perfect for spending sunny days outside with the dogs. But I worry about my dogs’ eyes in the sun. After all, I always wear shades to protect my eyes. Do my dogs need sunglasses, too?
It turns out, dog sunglasses and “doggles” protect pets from much more than the sun. Dog eye protection keeps them safe from sun, dust, debris, and other irritants. Plus, they look adorable—just check out this post with photographic evidence.
From protective goggles to retro shades, dog sunglasses come in many styles. Read on to learn all about why your dog might needs sunglasses, and how to choose the right pair for function, fashion, or both.
Why Does Your Dog Need Sunglasses?
According to veterinary professionals, protective eyewear for dogs protects their eyes from injury and sun exposure (source). Although the science is out on whether or not UV rays affect dogs the same way they affect humans, we know bright sunlight can irritate dogs’ eyes. Dog sunglasses can increase your dog’s comfort and range of vision in bright conditions.
Sunglasses or goggles also protect your dog’s eyes from wind, dirt, branches, water, and other potential irritants. Here are some situations and activities in which your dog might need eye protection:
- Car, motorcycle, or boat rides
- At the beach, when sand can kick up into their eyes
- In windy conditions where big gusts (plus the dirt and debris they carry) may irritate their eyes
- Jogging with you along busy roads or in open, sunny places
- On sunny days, or in places where the sun reflects off surfaces, creating extra-bright conditions
- Wading in lakes, rivers, or reservoirs where dirty water can splash into their eyes
Basically, dog goggles or sunglasses can be a good idea in any situation where your dog’s eyes are exposed to the elements.
Eye Protection for Specific Dog Breeds
Dog sunglasses are a good choice for almost any dog in certain situations. But some breeds have especially vulnerable eyes.
In particular, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds and mixes are more susceptible to an eye injury. These include pugs, French bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and Boston terriers. Their eyes are large and bulge out, plus they’re closer to the ground, making them more vulnerable to plants and other items that can irritate eyes.
In addition, dogs with specific jobs or hobbies in outdoor environments benefit from eye protection. These include search and rescue breeds like labs and bloodhounds, police dogs like German shepherds, and any dog that regularly runs through brush or other outdoor environments.
Dog Sunglasses for Fashion
Let’s face it: dogs in sunglasses are cute! A good pair of doggy shades can really up your Instagram game. But will your dog tolerate wearing sunglasses?
Some dogs will take to glasses or goggles easily, especially sunglasses specifically designed to fit doggy heads. But other pups need some coaxing to wear protective eyewear. For pointers, check out our post on how to dress up your dog.
If you just want to snap some quick pics, you can place a pair of human-style sunglasses on your dog’s eyes. But if you want your dog to wear sunglasses for any length of time, look for dog-specific sunglasses with straps to keep them securely in space. And don’t ignore the utility goggles! Plenty of protective eyewear for dogs is designed to look cool, too.
Best Dog Sunglasses for Utility and Fashion
We’ve scoured online reviews to find some of the best-rated dog sunglasses. Ranging from ultra-protective doggles to flashy, fashionable shades, these are the best sunglasses for dogs.
The classic, functional dog goggle to protect dogs’ eyes from irritants and the elements. Size range from small to XL, from toy to giant breeds.
Why we like them
- Doggles are the “original” dog goggle, with years of experience designing eyewear for dogs
- Shatterproof lens and wrap-around style keeps out dirt, debris, and elements
- Padded all around for comfort
Promising review: “My pup got one of his eyeballs scratched up when he stuck his nose in a scratchy desert plant on a recent walk in my neighborhood, leading to pain for him and an expensive trip to the vet, so I was looking for a way to prevent it from happening again. [These are] PERFECT! They’re very sturdy and very adjustable. He’s not too thrilled wearing them on our walks now, but he’s getting used to it; like anything else, with a good dog, you can get there, it just takes patience and training. Also, obviously, he looks adorable.”
A popular bargain pick for function and fashion.
Why we like them:
- Adjustable neck and chin straps for a secure fit
- Wide nose bridge and deep lens cup for comfort and safety
- Come in a variety of cute colors
Promising review: “Our little girl loves riding in the convertible. Her hair blows in her eyes so we bought these doggie goggles for her. I love the way the straps go under her neck and behind her ears to hold them on. We love them.”
A fashionable, contemporary dog goggle for large dogs.
Why we like them:
- Shatterproof lenses offer UV protection
- Adjustable neck and chin straps mean these stay on
- Hinged nose piece comfortably fits over big breed noses
Promising review: “These are wonderful for my dog. He is an 85 lb boxer mix and they fit perfectly. I got them to keep wind/items off his eyes when we are in car rides with head out window.”
How cute are these? Sized down for smaller breeds, these dog sunglasses are both fashionable and functional.
Why we like them:
- Come in classy black and fashionable pink to suit your dog’s look
- Adjustable elastic straps for a secure fit
- Reviewers praise their stay-put design
Promising review: Our 10-lb. chihuahua, Joey, is hard to fit. He has a long, slender neck and large girth (chest measurement), so I have bought and returned numerous harnesses and t-shirts that are either too big or too small. But these really cute, adjustable goggles fit!
These stylish dog sunglasses are purely for the ‘gram, and only for small dogs. But we can’t resist a retro John Lennon frame!
Why we like them:
- They’re cute as heck!
Promising review: “Cute and funny. Great for pictures. Sure do make you smile and catch attention when worn.”
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