Why Dog Goggles?

Dog with goggles.

Dog with goggles1 Many people ask me, “do dogs need goggles to swim?” This is when I launch into my cognitive rationale about the benefit’s of a dog wearing goggles, and none of the reasons are related to swimming. Goggles are clearly important to the dog.  Let me explain – Goggles actually provide protection for eyes,  just like sunglasses protect the human eye. Here is the explanation of the importance for protecting the dog’s eyes:

Communication. Normally, we don’t think about eyes as a means of communication, but it is probably the biggest part of the way humans and animals communicate. Researchers report that most communication is as much as 93% nonverbal. Scientists studying the cognitive behaviors of dogs are uncovering the variety of ways dogs are able to communicate with humans and with each other. Recent studies have shown that dogs are able to read many of their human companion’s nonverbal cues.  Dogs, as our family members, rely on their ability to read our body signals in order to understand what we are trying to convey to them, much the same way that infants are able to understand nonverbal messages of their parents. Many dogs have learned to understand our hand motions, the tilt of our head, the movement of our eyes, and even the point position of a toe or elbow. Dogs interacting with each other, understand the position of another dog’s ears, and the downward movement of the upper body as either aggression or “let’s play.” Dogs and humans understand the position of a dog’s body when they are afraid of us or of an uncomfortable situation. There are multiple methods of nonverbal communication that dogs and a dog person understand.

Knowing how important it is to a dog to be able to understand our body language, along with the body language of another dog, is the purpose of protecting our canine friend’s eyes.  Dog’s eyes communicate many things to us.  How often does your dog tell you he has done something wrong by squinting his eyes?  Maybe they have told you where the treats are by just moving their eyes. How about how happy they are with those sparkling, shiny eyes, staring at you and the corners of their mouth turned up in a smile?

It is worth the $10.00 investment to protect our best friend’s eyes so that he can continue to understand us and we can understand him!

Here is my list of possible situations that could cause damage to dog’s eyes:

  1. Dog’s eyes are subject to the damaging effects of over-exposure to bright sunlight and ultraviolet rays, just like their human companion’s eyes. 11232914_720628374738767_651815782773661456_oHumans wear sunglasses to reduce the glare from the sun on bright sunny days, and from the white snow, that create difficulty in outdoor vision. Dogs are susceptible to the same difficulty with vision, under the same conditions.
  2. Most dogs love to hang their head out the car window, while riding in the car. Going down the road with the wind blowing in their fur, also makes up for dangerous conditions for their eyes. The drying wind, debris, sand and those UV rays, can cause an unpleasant experience after the once exciting ride.
  3. Harmful objects while hiking or boating can cause severe injuries to a dog’s eyes. Running through the bushes or the trees, the dogs are subjected to branches catching them in the eye. Salty water sprays from riding on the boat can create eye irritation.
  4. There are several dog breeds that are prone to chronic canine eye diseases and conditions that require protection from sunlight. Dogs can even get pink eye or cataracts, both conditions requiring protection from the UV rays of the sun.

 

There is just one big challenge – getting them to wear the goggles. Some dogs will gladly put them on, while others, not so easily. If you start when they are puppies, it is easier for them to get used to having the straps around their head. Here are some suggestions for the late in life learners:

  1. Put the goggles on your dog only when he is outside. It is just as hard for a dog to see inside with dark glasses as it is for you.
  2. Reassure your dog that he is okay. Walk, play a high energy game or do anything to get his mind off the goggles.
  3. Let the goggles hang around the neck before putting them over the eyes. The dog has to get used to having something around his neck first, before moving the goggles on to the face.
  4. Consistently go through this routine, as often as possible, until your dog is comfortable wearing the goggles. The number of training sessions required depends on consistency, patience and human attitude.

 

Goggles are available HERE on www.whywewag.com

 

 

Posted by
Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl Wilson created Why We Wag in 2012 as her result of her lifelong love of dogs. After 22 years in the Educational sector, Cheryl utilizes her expertise as an award winning educator, to educate dog lovers, along with offering supplies that support a healthy, meaningful relationship with canines. Residing in Utah, Cheryl is celebrating her 5th generation with dogs and now her first generation of grand-dogs.