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We all know about hot weather safety for dogs, but don’t always think about shading their eyes from the sun. Dogs’ eyes are very sensitive to light, and dog hats provide needed protection in bright conditions, and can also help preserve your dog’s vision over the long run. Plus, what’s cuter than a dog in a hat?
Read on to learn why some dogs should wear hats, and how to choose the best headgear for your dog.
Why should my dog wear a dog hat?
Consider the reasons you might wear a hat: for sun protection, comfort, and fashion. A dog baseball cap or visor offers the same benefits.
Here are some reasons to put a hat on your dog:
- Help them see better in bright conditions
- Protect their eyes from bright light that can aggravate cataracts, Pannus, and light sensitivity
- Shade delicate facial skin from harmful UV rays. Although dogs aren’t susceptible to the same sun damage as humans, some breeds with thin coats need extra protection.
- Last but not least, dogs look super adorable in hats!
The bottom line: hats provide sun protection and can make your dog more comfortable on a sunny day. Of course, you just might put a hat on your dog just for fun. Nothing wrong with that, so long as your dog is comfortable wearing clothes and doesn’t mind a strap around his chin.
The best dog hats for form and function (and fashion)
Sure, you could DIY a hat for your dog by attaching an elastic or drawstring strap to appropriately-sized human headgear. But we like hats specifically designed for canine heads because they stay in place and offer the best protection. Some are even made of UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) fabric or have cooling properties for summer days spent outdoors.
Like with any dog clothing, it’s important to measure your dog’s head properly to make sure of a good fit. You’ll want to measure the top of your dog’s head between the ears and compare the measurement to the product’s dimensions. Some dog hats claim to be “one size fits all,” but if you want the brim to cover your pet’s eyes, it’s especially important to get the fit right. Otherwise, the hat will only serve as an undersized (and annoying) accessory on your dog’s head, rather than as functional sun protection.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how well a dog hat stays on. Most hats use an elastic drawstring around the dog’s chin to keep it in place, but some use a velcro closure on the back of the hat to create a snug fit.
Here are our picks for the best dog visors and hats available.
With a generous, shade-providing visor, this dog hat mirrors a human ball cap. But it’s specially designed for dogs, with ear holes and an elastic rim to help it fit your pooch’s head. It’s constructed with lightweight nylon, which means a dog’s head stays cool, and the hat’s adjustable cord keeps it securely in place, so you won’t have to worry about it constantly falling off.Buy Now on Amazon
The PupLid trucker hat is the triple threat of dog caps, offering sun protection, a functional style, and an enviable hipster factor. You can choose between a variety of patterns in three different colors. The hat is also easy for dogs to wear: the chin strap, elastic bands, and slider loops can all be adjusted for a custom fit.Buy Now on Amazon
Your dog will look so cute at the beach in this bucket hat. Featuring openings for the ears and an adjustable chin strap to keep it secure, this hat is grade-A fly. The colorful canvas material is also lightweight and made for wearing on warm summer days.Buy Now on Amazon
Sure, it’s a novelty hat, but why not? Dogs just want to have fun, too! It’s cute, funny, and the brim is capable of providing the necessary sun protection. Available in two sizes, it also doubles as a humorous Halloween costume for your pet.Buy Now on Amazon
Looking for a great dog hat for your large breed pooch? This classic athletic style cap fits labs and golden retrievers. With cooling mesh and a wide corduroy brim, it offers sporty fashion and sun protection. The adjustable buckle ensures a good fit.Buy Now on Amazon
Got a small breed pup in need of some shade? Though it won’t fit bigger dogs, this straw hat with an adjustable drawstring offers fashion and function for small breeds such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies. (For fun, complete the look with this incredible Hawaiian shirt.)Buy Now on Amazon
The ingenious K-9 “Kooling” Hat dog hat has a wide brim as well as a foam pad and terry lining that function as a sweatband for hot dogs. Just soak the hat in cold water before placing it on your dog’s head, and it can help moderate their temperature. Each hat is handmade in the U.S. and there are over 15 different style options, including the classic red bandana pattern.Buy Now on K-9 Kool Hats
Git along, little doggies! This adorable cowboy hat isn’t quite as functional as others on the list. But you have to admit, it’s darn tootin’ cute! It has an elastic band with velcro closure for easy on/off.Buy Now on Amazon
Designed for small dogs, this round canvas hat is very breathable and functional, in addition to being cute (dare we say, classy?). It’s available in five different colors and has a cut-out on each side of the top to allow a dog’s ears to fit through it.Buy Now on Amazon
With a hard-wearing exterior and a cotton canvas lining, this Pawaboo dog hat is a lightweight and comfortable choice for dogs of all sizes. It’s available in sizes ranging from small to extra large and comes in four bold color options. Plus, pet owners love that the non-elastic drawstring chin strap actually keeps the hat in place.Buy Now on Amazon
Your pet can celebrate Cinco de Mayo all summer long with this adorable Baja Ponchos dog sombrero. Perfect for small breed dogs, this straw hat boasts a festive multi-colored brim and an adjustable elastic cord that fits snugly under the dog’s chin.Buy Now on Amazon
If your dog is not a fan of having a strap around his chin, consider this dog sun hat that stays on with a loop and velcro closure in the back. In addition, the hat offers UV protection and is made with UPF 50+ fabric that blocks 98 percent of harmful UV rays. It also comes in several sporty designs, including this paradise green turtle one.Buy Now on Amazon
Keep your dog cool and looking stylish with this dog baseball hat made out of ultra-lightweight mesh fabric. It’s available in three sizes and red or blue colors. It also features an adjustable buckle, rather than an elastic drawstring, to keep it in place.Buy Now on Amazon
This jet black canvas hat from Pet Life shields your dog’s eyes from the sun, providing protection from harmful UV rays. It also features an adjustable chin strap and generous ear slots to ensure a comfortable fit. This hat is perfect for days spent at the beach or lake since it’s 100 percent waterproof!Buy Now on Chewy
What if my dog won’t wear a dog hat?
Let’s be real: some dogs can’t handle headgear or hats. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other options for protecting your dog’s eyes, ears, and face from the sun.
If your dog absolutely won’t wear anything on their head, keep them inside out of the sun, and use a portable sunshade when spending time outdoors.
Featured image: Agnieszka Boeske on Unsplash