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Why Your Dog Needs Eye Protection

Published: May 30, 2024
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Have you seen dogs wearing goggles? It's more than just a fashion statement. Dogs' eyes are susceptible to injury or damage. Goggles for dogs can protect a dog with an eye injury while he recovers. They can also help prevent acute or chronic damage to your pet's eyes. You can find top quality dog eyewear from brands like Doggles and Rex Specs to give your pup the protection they need when out in the sun. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting goggles for your dog.

Protuberant Eyes

Some dog breeds have eyes that bulge a little further than others. Examples include Boston terriers, pugs, and boxers. These dogs are brachycephalic, meaning that their skulls are shorter than those of other dog breeds. The bulging eyes are a consequence of having a brachycephalic skull.

As you might imagine, if your dog's eyes stick out a little further, they may be more susceptible to injuries. Canine goggles can afford some protection. Be sure to choose goggles made for dogs with a deep cup that prevents the lens from coming in contact with the eyeballs.

Chronic Medical Conditions

Some chronic conditions can affect the health of your dog's eyes. For example, as your pet gets older, she may develop a degenerative condition called iris atrophy. The iris is the colored part of the eyeball, which is also responsible for shrinking and widening the pupil based on the level of light available. Atrophy means weakening, and if your dog's iris weakens, her pupils may become permanently dilated. This can be painful in conditions of bright lights. Dog goggles with dark lenses can protect your pet from bright light and make her more comfortable outside.

Some dog breeds are predisposed to develop a condition called chronic superficial keratitis, also known as pannus. While this is a hereditary condition, exposure to ultraviolet radiation can make it worse. Left untreated, it can cause your dog to go blind. As part of a larger treatment plan, well-fitted dog goggles can prevent your pet's condition from worsening.

Chronic Sunburn

All dogs are susceptible to sunburn, especially on the parts of the body that have less hair or fur, such as the eyelids. Skin pigment provides some protection, so the pooches that are at greatest risk are those with light-colored skin. Sunburn can be painful, especially on such a sensitive area as the eyelids. Dog goggles that provide UV protection can help prevent sunburn.

Skin Cancer Prevention

In addition to sunburn, exposure to UV radiation can also lead to skin cancer. Dogs are susceptible to a particular type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. The prognosis is usually good if caught early, but if the cancer spreads, it may be necessary to have one or both of your dog's eyes surgically removed. Dogs can even die from skin cancer if it spreads, so better to prevent it if possible.

Surgical Recovery

If your dog has to have some surgery on or around the eyes, he may have itching during the postsurgical period and try to scratch his eyes. This may pull the stitches out or cause further damage. Dog goggles can help protect his eyes as he heals.

Extreme Conditions

Perhaps you are the handler of a dog who works in law enforcement, military, or search and rescue. Your canine charge may be exposed to hazardous conditions during the course of her duty that may potentially damage her eyes. Dog goggles afford some protection.

If your working dog is exposed to extreme conditions, you may find that the lenses of the goggles get damaged. This is, of course, preferable to the dog damaging his eyes. Replacement lenses are available for just this type of situation.

Replacement lenses for dog goggles are not all interchangeable. Make sure you have the right type of lenses for your style of goggles.

Tall Grass

Are you and your pet adventurous types that spend a lot of time off the beaten path? If tall grass comes in contact with your dog's eyes, it can cause a corneal abrasion. This is a scratch on the front part of your dog's eye. Characterized by burning and stinging, a corneal abrasion is an extremely painful condition. Dog goggles present a barrier between your pet's delicate eyes and sharp stems.

Foreign Bodies            

Maybe you and your pupper like to hang out at the beach. If the wind kicks up, or a seaside game of fetch, gets a little too spirited, sand can get in your dog's eyes. Your dog will probably act instinctively to get the foreign matter out by rubbing her eyes, putting her at risk for a corneal abrasion. Dog goggles can keep the sand out of her eyes.

Even if you're nowhere near the beach, the wind can blow dirt or other foreign objects into your dog's eyes, which can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. If you like to take your dog on rides in a convertible or on a motorcycle, goggles can protect his eyes from pebbles or insects kicked up by wheels.

Eye Irritants

Maybe your dog loves to swim. You may have a swimming pool at home, or maybe there is a dog-friendly aquatic facility in your community. In either case, the chlorine used to clean the pool can irritate your dog's eyes, causing them to become red, itchy, or swollen. If you have ever experienced eye irritation from spending too much time in the pool, you know how uncomfortable this can be.

Like goggles made for humans, canine goggles have a waterproof seal that prevents water from reaching your dog's eyes. They also protect against other potential irritants, such as salt water.

Your veterinarian can tell you whether dog goggles are necessary and recommend which type to use.

 

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