Eye protection

Dogs love to stick their heads into clumps of long grass, shrubs and bushes to get their noses as close to the fascinating scents as possible, but blind dogs are unable to see protruding branches and other hazards that may cause injury to their eyes. Even something as seemingly harmless as a blade of grass can cut or scrape an unprotected eyeball.

It is therefore advisable to provide some form of protection from these hazards; this can be in the form of a visor or goggles over their eyes.

  • Rex Specs K9 Eyewear – K9 Eye Protection for Chronic Eye Conditions and Environmental Hazards including UV, debris and vegetation – designed specifically for dogs
  • Doggles Mesh Eyewear – Revolutionary, comfortable, great looking, and dogs love ’em!
    Note: Although not designed to protect against vegetation and debris, if your dog won’t or can’t wear any other form of protective eyewear, then Doggles Mesh Eyewear will provide at least some degree of protection
  • The Optivizor – Face and Eye Protection for Injured, Blind and Working Dogs

Note: A “white cane” collar or halo vest can be used to to help your blind dog keep their distance from large, bulky obstacles such as garden, park or farm machinery but this device will do little to prevent a protruding branch from reaching an unprotected eyeball. If walking your blind dog in a location where bulky obstacles are also an issue it may be advisable to use a “white cane” collar or halo in addition to a visor or goggles.

4 thoughts on “Eye protection

  1. Dina Call

    I have a blind Lab that need serious eye protection as he runs in to everything. I have tried our Aussies regular Doggles but they do not provide a large enough coverage area. I am also sure he won’t wear something as large and cumbersome as the full face shield. Just curious if the mesh on the mesh goggles is rigid enough to provide enough bump protection?

    Thank you,

    Dina Call

    Reply
    1. Heath9409 Post author

      I’m afraid the mesh on the Mesh Doggles isn’t rigid at all. It won’t stop bumps and knocks but can give a degree of protection from long grass and soft shrubbery etc. If bumping is a serious problem you could possibly try a combination of a halo collar or vest along with the eyewear. I really hope you find something that works for your boy. All the best. Liam

      Reply
  2. April Hickman

    I took in a blind rescue about a month ago. I have purchased the muffins halo and the optivizor, both of which she does not tolerate. She just thrashed about until the halo part came off of the vest on the muffins halo and then there was no keeping it on after that. With the optivizor, she just thrashes about and when unable to get it off just stands there with head hanging or laying down. I tried to adapt a human visor attached to her collar, but even with that light weight material she started thrashing. She is 13 and usually very calm and quiet. Just don’t know how to solve the problem of her running into things. I am not so worried about in the house, but I have to be with her when ever she is outside and keep her from running into things. I am sure that she gets poked in the eyes with shrubbery and plants at times. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Heath9409 Post author

      As your dog has only been with you for a month or so, it may be that she’s still worried about fitting into her new home. Most dogs react negatively to visors and hoop collars at first, but they usually get used to them fairly quickly. Your dog’s reaction is quite extreme and it may be because she’s still nervous about her new surroundings. Blind dogs often take longer to settle into a new home – even if they seem calm and happy most of the time, the slightest disruption can cause them anxiety.

      Because your dog won’t tolerate the hoop collar, could I suggest you try this clever “Do-It-Yourself” alternative, using cable ties. The ties are lightweight so she probably won’t even notice them until they touch an object in her path. The ties will act like extra long whiskers for her. You could always try to reintroduce Muffins Halo at some point in the future when you think she may accept it a bit better.

      You could try different scents in each room around the home, which will help your dog identify the various rooms and areas of your house. Also placing scent markers at nose height on door frames, stairs, edges of furniture etc will help her navigate more safely. You can buy scent markers such as Innovet’s Tracerz, or alternatively you could use essences such as lemon, orange, vanilla etc as DIY scent markers. Remember to refresh the scents regularly.

      Strong smelling plants at strategic positions in your garden will help your dog to learn the layout (but obviously this will be of limited help in the winter months). Different surfaces such as lawn, paving, gravel, bark chippings, decking etc in different areas of the garden will also help her to know when she is passing from one area to another and will help her to avoid any parts of your garden that may be particularly hazardous, such as ponds, steps etc.

      Of course, none of this will help when out for a walk, and a visor of some type was by far the best solution that I found for Milo. Your dog’s reaction to the visor is therefore slightly more of a problem. I would suggest that short bursts and a lot of patience may be the only solution.

      Try putting the visor on her for half a minute or so, reassuring her all the time it’s on and perhaps distracting her with a tasty treat or two. Then you take the visor off, rather than waiting for her to struggle out of it, and reward her again. Keep doing this until she keeps the visor on for the half a minute without thrashing about and then try stretching the time you keep it on her. Keep increasing the time gradually until your dog allows the visor to stay on without complaint.

      Note: You may find that your dog accepts the visor better once she’s out and about – with all the interesting smells and sounds of the great outdoors to distract her. I found that Milo tolerated his eyewear much better if I waited until he was outside before putting it on.

      Try to keep your patience and not get too worked up or anxious yourself – your dog will pick up on your mood and get more anxious as a result. Be careful handling her or approaching her if she’s thrashing about because she could react aggressively if she feels threatened or she may not realise you’re close and may hurt you accidentally.

      As an alternative to the Optivizor, you could try the mesh eyewear from Doggles. However, although the mesh eyewear are lightweight, breathable and loose fitting, they do still make contact with your dog’s face and she may not like that any more than she likes the Optivizor.

      Note: The mesh eyewear are soft, not rigid, and they are made of an open-weave material. They are therefore not designed to protect from hard objects such as sticks, rocks, brush etc. Nevertheless I have found that they do still offer a fair degree of protection from these hazards – I never take Milo anywhere outdoors without his mesh eyewear.

      If none of the above works, I think you may need the help of a professional such as a pet behaviourist – your vet may be able to give you some advice too.

      I really hope you find some of the information above useful and I hope you’re successful in getting your dog to accept both the visor and the halo collar. Please do let me know how you get on.

      I wish you and your dog all the best for the future.

      Reply

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