Why Should I Buy My Dog Goggles?

Changes are you’ve seen dogs wear goggles before, either as working dogs or pups looking stylish with their head out the car window. While your first thought might be “oh my gosh, that’s adorable”…. you might also wonder: why do some dogs wear goggles? And does your dog need dog goggles of their own? And how the heck do they even manage to stay on?

This post covers reasons for getting dog goggles, what to look for, and the best options for your dog’s shape and lifestyle.

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Does my dog need goggles?

So, why would a dog need to wear goggles? The short answer is “eye protection”, whether that means from UV rays, or sand, wind, and so on.

Here are a few categories of dogs that could benefit from having a pair of goggles:

  • Dogs that ride on motorcycles or bikes: if your dog tags along on your two-wheeled adventures, then you know that sometimes you get hit with bugs and other debris. Dog goggles will keep any flying debris and excessive wind out of their eyes.
  • Pups that stick their head out the car window: likewise, if you drive around with your dog, having their face out the window at high speeds can come with the same risk of debris.
  • Dogs that are running through brush or forests: if you spend a lot of time outdoors with your pup and they have a tendency to run through low brush or other potential hazards at face-level, dog goggles can keep their eyes safe.
  • Dogs with genetic eye conditions: some dogs are born with or develop eye conditions that require additional protection and care. Some examples include conjunctivitis, glaucoma, cataracts, and pannus (a condition common in German Shepherds). If you have a blind dog, you will probably want more than just eye protection, but some kind of “halo” that lets them sense when their head is close to obstacles.
  • Brachycephalic dogs, which means dogs with short snouts like French bulldogs. This facial shape often results in having eye that stick out more from the socket, which means these dogs have eyes that are more exposed to potential hazards.
  • Working dogs whose job exposes them to some of the hazards discussed earlier in this list, such as unexpected debris or inclement weather. This is often why you see police dogs wearing goggles (check out r/DogsWithJobs).
  • Other environmental conditions like dust storms or high wind.

In all of these cases, you can find a pair of dog goggles that allow you to protect your dog’s eyes against the elements.

How do dog goggles stay on my dog’s head?

You might wonder, how would I get my dog to wear a pair of goggles without them falling off?

While the fit varies by brand and style, most dog goggles have two straps to keep the goggles in place. One is an under-chin strap, and the other goes around the back of the dog’s head. These two straps, along with the shape of the eye pieces, keep the goggles in place on your dog’s head.

Dog goggles come with adjustable elastic straps, so you’ll need to loosen or tighten the bands for a comfortable fit.

What to look for when buying goggles

There are two important factors here: what you are protecting against, and size/fit.

From the list above, you probably have an idea of what you need to protect your dog’s eyes against. Nearly all goggles will protect against flying debris, sand, and wind, by virtue of having a lens over your dog’s eyes.

However, not all dog goggles offer protection from the sun. Some goggles have UV protection build into the lenses, or a way of swapping lenses out.

Secondly, the goggles must fit your dog well. While the under-chin and back-of-head straps keep the goggles in place well, different breeds have different face shapes. So, you’ll want to pick goggles that can sit comfortably on your dog’s face in terms of shape, and size.

What are the best dog goggles?

The “best” dog goggle option for your pup depends on your needs and dog’s size. Keep reading for options to fit all dog shapes and situations.

Best all-around: QUMY Goggles

These goggles from QUMY are very affordable and will work for most dogs’ needs:

  • UV protection
  • Adjustable elastic straps and wide nose bridge that can accommodate most face shapes
  • Ventilation to let moisture escape
  • Shatterproof and impact-resistant lenses
  • Fits most dogs over 15 lbs
  • 6 different color options
  • Best of all: very affordable at <$10 at the time of this post.

Cons: the design of the lenses are not well suited to Brachycephalic dogs (dogs with short snouts and large eyes) because the lens cups are shallow. These goggles may also affect peripheral vision when compared to a single-lens option.

Best for Working Dogs: Rex Specs Dog Goggles

You’ve probably seen Rex Specs before on photos of working dogs. These are a great option for dogs with jobs and for dogs exposed to the elements, as these offer fantastic sun protection as well.

  • Comes with two lenses – clear and a lens of your choice
  • Both lenses have UV Protection (UV400, which blocks 99.9% of UVA and UVB rays)
  • Adjustable elastic straps and a strap system that is more secure than other options on this list
  • Rex Specs offers training tips to get your dog acclimated to their new shades
  • Makes your dog look like a badass
  • Multiple color options

Cons: more expensive than the other options on this list.

Best for Brachycephalic Dogs or Dogs with Large Eyes: Doggles ILS Goggles

Doggles is the original dog goggles brand, and have been around since 1997 and are still going strong. For example, Tom Turcich of “The World Walk” has Doggles for his canine companion, Savannah, as they trek across the world.

While Doggles’ “Originalz” style is good for dogs with deep set eyes, their ILS model is great for dogs with large or even protruding eyes. This is the case for many Brachycephalic breeds like French bulldogs, whose face structure expose more of their eyes to potential debris. Doggles’ ILS model has very deep set cups that will have enough room for these types of dogs.

  • Good for dogs with large eyes (who find other goggles to be too shallow)
  • ~100% UVA and UVB protection
  • Shatter-proof, anti-fog polycarbonate lenses
  • Ventilation on the sides of the goggles
  • Adjustable elastic straps
  • Can buy additional interchangeable lenses
  • Multiple colors available

Cons: not a good fit for dogs with narrow faces

Most comfortable: NVTED Dog Sunglasses

These dog goggles from NVTED offer sun protection while also having a comfortable fit, by way of the soft padded frame and wide lens style.

  • Comfortable frames that many reviewers said made the acclimation process easy for their pups
  • Shatterproof, anti-fog polycarbonate lenses
  • Adjustable elastic straps
  • 100% UV protection
  • Good for dogs with “block-shaped heads”
  • Very affordable

Cons: not great for small dogs or dogs with thin faces; cannot swap out lenses like Rex Specs option

Best Dog Goggles for Small Dogs or Puppies: COCOPET

If you have a small dog, you might be feeling left out by the other options on this list, as many of the previous dog goggles are meant for dogs over 15 pounds. COCOPET has you covered with these colorful dog goggles meant for toy breeds.

  • Specifically meant for small breeds
  • 400UV protection
  • Foam padding around lenses for comfort
  • Shatter-resistant lenses
  • Adjustable elastic straps
  • Multiple color options
  • Makes your dog look like a movie star

Cons: small dogs only, doesn’t have ventilation that other brands have

Best for Dogs with Long Snouts: Namsan Dog Goggles Large Breed

Last on our list is a design from Namsan that works well for dogs that have a long or wide snout. Be sure to follow the Namsan dog goggle measurements in the listing to see if your dog’s snout is wide enough to ensure a secure fit.

  • Goggle frame is meant to sit on the bridge of the dog’s nose for a more secure fit
  • Better peripheral vision
  • Soft TPE frame
  • UV protection
  • Adjustable elastic straps
  • Vents to let moisture out
  • Easy to put on
  • 3 colors

Cons: likely not a great fit for smaller dogs or dogs who need deep lenses. Also could use more scratch resistance.

Dog Goggles For Your Pup

Does your dog love sticking their head out the window? Have you tried dog goggles in the past and if so, what are your tips for introducing dog goggles via positive reinforcement?

PuppyLists is written by J., who has owned, trained, volunteered with, and loved dogs for nearly three decades. When she isn't writing or researching, she's out adventuring with her 14 year old Lab mix.