Why your dog should wear sunglasses at the beach
Dogs which run on the beach and paddleboard should wear sunglasses to stop them developing eye problems, vets have said.
Active canines that spend a lot of time in the sun are at risk of suffering pain caused by UV light.
Vets have now advised owners to use goggles or visors on their dogs to protect their vision and ensure they can stay outside as long as they like.
Eastcott Veterinary Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, told the BBC that eye protection was particularly helpful for older animals suffering from age-related eye conditions.
Alison Thomas, head vet at Blue Cross, added: “Sunglasses are not essential summer wear and shouldn’t be used as fashion. However, sunglasses and particularly those which exclude UV can be helpful for some dogs with certain eye conditions and may be appreciated by other dogs.
“If you wish to use sunglasses for your pet’s health then all dogs need time to get used to wearing them by using positive reward-based training.”
Miluse Vojtiskova said sunglasses had helped her 14-year-old poodle, Celine, cope with iris atrophy caused by age. Celine’s eyes struggle to filter brightness.
She said wearing a pair of goggles allows Celine to enjoy a normal quality of life for a dog of such an age, rather than being “jumpy” in the sunshine and accidentally walking in front of moving objects.
“She can walk outside now and she can do anything she did before,” Ms Vojtiskova told the BBC. “Now she can do what any dog can do. We are happy.”
Ida Gilbert, head of ophthalmology at Eastcott Referrals, said sunglasses have saved Celine from having to undergo any eye surgery.
Wearing them is “absolutely appropriate” for animals in various settings, and could even lead to the medication a dog needs being reduced, she said.
Dogs which join their owners on paddleboards, run beside them while cycling or run on the beach are particularly good candidates for sunglasses, she added.
The charity PDSA said signs that a dog has problems with their eyes or vision include redness or swelling, weeping or discharge, and a lump in or around the eye.
Common conditions affecting dogs’ eyes include conjunctivitis, an infection caused by bacteria or viruses, and dry eye, when the eyes fail to produce enough tears.
Reference: The Telegraph: