By Linda Cole
It’s not difficult to find a dog wearing sunglasses these days. You can find these cool pups at the beach or just walking around town. I have to admit, they look pretty cute with their shades on. My dog Keikei seems to enjoy wearing her sunglasses. But are sunglasses something dogs need to wear to protect their eyes, or is it just a fashion statement by the dog’s owner?
I’ve never been one to let my dogs ride in a car with their head hanging out the window or in the bed of a truck. We may think dogs are tough, but their eyes can be injured just as easily as ours if a bug or debris hits them in their eye. If you’ve ever had a bug or small rock hit your arm or hand while driving down the road, you know how it feels to you. Doggie sunglasses can give dogs protection from flying debris when they are riding in a car or outside, especially on a windy day.
The glare of the sun is another consideration. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage a dog’s eyes, and if your pooch spends a lot of time outside, sunglasses can help give him protection from the sun. Even in the winter, the glare of the sun off of the snow can cause snow blindness in dogs and humans. You wear shades when enjoying an afternoon boating on the lake or just sitting on the beach. Sunglasses give good protection from blowing sand and small debris, and reduce sun glare off of the water. Shades help prevent their eyes from getting dry from too much wind, and help to keep sea spray out of their eyes as well.
Even hiking can pose a danger to dogs running through thick brush and encountering low hanging branches. Some chronic eye diseases and conditions, like Dry Eye or cataracts, can make being outside painful for dogs with eye problems. Pink eye can cause a dog’s eyes to be sensitive to the sun. Proper sunglasses reduce the glare of the sun and allow dogs with eye problems the opportunity to enjoy outside activities with their family.