Ten Tips To Train Your Dog To Wear Sunglasses

Angelo in his carseat with his sunglasses on.
Living in Palm Springs, CA we deal with lots of bright sunshine all year long. So, I put together a list of Ten Tips To Train Your Dog To Wear Sunglasses to protect their eyes.
A dog wearing Doggles

 

Which dogs need Sunglasses?

A dog wearing sunglasses with his head out the car window.
  • Any dog that is sensitive to light, squints from the sun or glare off snow and ice.
  • Any dog with eye disease. If your dog has eye problems or disease, talk to your vet about sunglass protection.
  • Hunting dogs that run through bushes that could scratch their eyes.
  • Dogs that stick their heads out the car window who are at risk of injury from debris or long-term damage from the wind.
  • Dogs that ride on bicycles or motorcycles with their pet parents. They have the same risk of injury or long-term damage.
  • If you need to wear sunglasses outside, there’s a good chance your dog does too. Their eyes are as sensitive as ours are.

Angelo in his carseat wearing Doggles

When I had Angelo, he went with me everywhere, sitting proudly in his car seat looking straight ahead out the front windshield. But In late afternoons, driving West, when the sun came directly into his face, he would squint his eyes and bury his head. After I got him a pair of Doggles, when the sun started shining in and he started squinting, I would pull over and put his glasses on. He immediately sat back up straight and proud. I’m serious, he had this proud, “look at me world” kind of stance. He was clearly more comfortable, and the sun no longer bothered him. But then, when we pulled into the garage and he was in the shade, he immediately shook his head and took them off. He no longer needed them. He was a very smart little guy. Too smart for my own good sometimes.

But customers often have concerns about whether their dogs will wear them. The answer is, like lots of things, it takes some training.

Here’s a list of ten tips I’ve found works best to make the process successful. 

  1. Buy a reputable brand like Doggles. They are made for a dog’s head and eye shape, have safe lens and good straps that go behind the head and under the chin to keep them on. Their goggle style keeps the lens from rubbing against the eye. And they have total UVA and UVB protection. You might find cheaper or more trendy styles that you think make your dog look cool, but they may not be as safe. Eye safety is key here.
  2. Put them on indoors and immediately look into your dog’s eyes so he can tell he’s not being blindfolded and that he can see out of them. Assure them that it’s ok and don’t let them paw at them try to get them off.
  3. Adjust the head and chin straps so they are snug but not tight. Then take them off. This is a good time to give them a treat. This is not a good time to keep the glasses on to get that great social media post. You want this step to be fast, successful and done.
  4. Leash your dog and take them outside walking toward the sun without the glasses on.
  5. Bring treats to distract and reward your dog
  6. After a few minutes, when your dog can feel the sun in its eyes, put the glasses on.
  7. When the dog fusses or tries to paw them off, distract them and assure them. When they stop, give them a treat.
  8. Keep the training session short. It’s better to take them off after a short time of success and reward the dog rather than wait until they’ve had enough and get tired of them. You want the training sessions to end on a note of success.
  9. Next day, walk the dog into the sun for a while and do it again for another short session with lots of treats.
  10. Do it again but longer always letting them feel the sun in their eyes first, so they learn they are more comfortable with the glasses on. How many times you need do this before your dog is comfortable with the glasses will depend on your dog.

With patience and rewards, your dog will recognize that they are more comfortable with the glasses on than they are without them. And you will know that their eyes are being protected.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.

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