Dogs are pretty tough critters, but their eyes are rather delicate.
Things like wind, dust, sand, and gravel can irritate or injure your pet’s eyes.
For that matter, sticks and thorns may cause very painful wounds.
Fortunately, there are a number of dog goggles available, which will help protect your pupper’s peepers. We’ll identify a few of the best models on the market below and explain which ones will work best for various applications.
But first, let’s talk about the reasons that goggles are so helpful and explain some of the situations in which you may want to strap a pair on your pooch.
Best Goggles For Dogs: Quick Picks
- #1 Rex Specs V2 [Best Overall Dog Goggles]: Looking for the best dog goggles on the market? Here you go — it really is that simple. These premium goggles are extremely well made and feature impact- and UV-resistant lenses.
- #2 QUMY Dog Goggles [Best Budget-Friendly Dog Goggles]: Just need a pair of inexpensive goggles to help protect your pup’s peepers? QUMY’s Dog Goggles are the perfect choice.
- #3 Doggles Sidecar Goggles [Most Stylish Dog Goggles]: Looking for something a little different? These throwback-style shades will definitely turn heads and make your doggo look great!
Types of Dog Goggles: Picking the Best Eye-Protection for Your Pooch
For the most part, dog goggles are all pretty similar. Most feature some cushioned frames, one or two lenses, and a special neck or head strap that keeps the whole shebang in place.
But goggles do differ in a few key ways, which we’ll describe below.
Style: Single Lens or Individual Lenses
Most dog goggles have two different lenses – one for each eye. However, a few models feature a single, large lens, which protects both eyes at the same time.
Neither style works best in all situations; however, single-lens goggles may allow your dog to enjoy a slightly wider field of vision.
Lens Strength: Typical or Heavy-Duty
Most goggles – particularly economy-priced models – don’t provide a ton of information regarding the impact resistance of the lenses. We’d call such lenses “typical duty.” This isn’t really a big deal if your dog is just wearing them to shield his eyes from the bright sunshine or wind.
However, if your dog needs protection from sticks and similar dangers, you’ll likely want to opt for goggles that utilize lenses that are designed to be impact resistant.
Fortunately, there are at least one pair of dog goggles that feature these types of “heavy-duty” lenses.
Lens Color: Clear or Tinted
Some dog goggles have tinted lenses, which help to cut down on the sun’s glare, while others have clear lenses, which don’t appreciably reduce the amount of light passing through the goggles.
Just be sure to select lenses that are appropriate for your dog’s needs. Note that some clear lenses still block UV rays, so you needn’t stick to tinted lenses if you don’t want to.
Best Dog Goggles on the Market
There’s no shortage of dog goggles on the market, but they vary quite significantly in terms of quality. However, we found five different options that are well-suited for owners in different circumstances. We’ll detail each one below.
1. Rex Specs
About: Rex Specs V2 are premium dog goggles, which are made by a Wyoming-based company that produces nothing else – their entire product line consists of these goggles (although they do come in several sizes and a wide range of colors, and you’ll have your choice of lenses).
They were originally designed for the company owner’s dogs, who developed eye problems and needed extra protection from the sun and elements.
- Single-lens design with comfortable, 10 mm-thick padding
- UV 400 to block out 99.9% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays
- Tri-glide buckle and elastic strap system
- ANSI Z87.1-rated for impact
- Breathable mesh helps drain goggles and keep out fog
- Snug goggles fit well, even for short-nosed breeds
- Durable goggles were sturdy enough for everyday use
- Single lens design makes these goggles easy to fit
- There were little to no critical reviews, but some dogs may prefer a dual lens design
- These are some of the more expensive goggles on our list
2. QUMY Dog Goggles
About: QUMY Dog Goggles are affordable, no-frills goggles that should help shade and protect your dog’s eyes, without busting your budget. QUMY Goggles are primarily designed to protect your dog’s eyes from the sun, sand, and wind, and they work more like sunglasses than true goggles. This means that they won’t keep your pet’s eyes dry while he’s swimming underwater.
- Shatterproof lenses
- Hinged bridge allows goggles to fold in half for easy storage
- Dual strap system for a snug fit
- Sliding buckles for strap length adjustment
- Included carrying pouch
- Super affordable and travel-friendly goggles
- Owners found these goggles easy to adjust
- Great color options to match your pup’s personality
- Not suitable for dogs under 15 pounds
- Some owners had difficulty fitting these goggles for short-nosed dogs
3. Doggles Originalz
About: Doggles is a company that specializes in producing eyewear for dogs. Their Doggles Originalz models are pretty straight-forward dog goggles, which are designed to fit snuggly against your dog’s face and help protect his eyes, while also looking awesome. Doggles Originalz are pretty inexpensive, although they do cost more than some of the other options on the market.
- Dual-lens goggles
- Anti-fog and impact-resistant design
- Drain holes for ventilation and emptying excess moisture
- Elastic head and chin straps
- UV protection
- Flexible sizing for pups big and small
- Affordable price point
- Padded lenses for a snug and comfortable fit
- Some owners with long-haired dogs found that the adjustable straps could pinch their pup’s fur
- A couple of pet parents didn’t feel like these were the best pick for everyday use, though they worked fine for the occasional outing
4. Petleso Dog Goggles
About: Petleso Dog Goggles are inexpensive, yet great-looking goggles designed to help protect your pup’s eyes. Unlike many other goggles that feature oval lenses, these goggles have triangular lenses, which offer a better fit for some dogs.
- Polycarbonate shatter-proof lenses
- UV-resistant lenses
- Folding frames are great for travel
- Designed for medium to large breeds
- Adjustable straps around the head and chin
- Affordable, travel-friendly glasses
- Most dogs adjusted to these goggles fairly quickly
- Great for wind/debris protection during car rides
- Not suitable for small breeds
- Some owners found these goggles difficult to fit for long-haired breeds
5. Enjoying Dog Goggles
About: At first glance, Enjoying Dog Goggles don’t appear much different than a few of the other budget-friendly goggles on the market. And in most ways, that’d be a correct assumption: In terms of style, materials, and features, they are pretty similar to most other goggles.
The thing that makes them stand out amid the crowd is the fact that they appear to fit small dogs better than any of the other options on the market.
- Dual-lens design
- Flexible elastic strap system
- Cushioned frame for added comfort
- Head and chin strap for a secure fit
- Lightweight, shatterproof lenses
- Unique lens shape for wide coverage
- Super affordable goggles
- Head and chin strap make for a secure fit
- These aren’t the sturdiest goggles, which isn’t surprising bearing their price point, but they will still stand for occasional use
- Only suitable for small dogs
6. Doggles ILS Series Goggles
About: A newer line of goggles from Doggles, the ILS Series features a pretty simple design that is roughly similar to the Originalz line discussed above. However, the ILS series feature interchangeable lenses and upgraded graphics on the frames.
- Twin-lens with unique designs to express your pup’s personality
- Durable, rigid plastic frames
- Padded eye cups for added comfort
- Deeper cut lenses to give your dog’s eyelashes from bumping into the lenses
- Flexible head-and-chin strap for a secure fit
- Fun designs to express your pup’s personality
- These goggles seemed to fit small and large dogs alike well
- Deep lens cup may be preferable for some pooches by adding some extra room between the eye and lens
- Some dogs were deterred by the large frames of these goggles
- A couple of pups were able to take these goggles off without too much effort
7. Doggles Sidecar Eyewear
About: While most of the other dog goggles we recommend above look relatively similar (save for the Rex Specs), Doggles Sidecar Eyewear feature throw-back styling that helps them stand out in a crowded product category. These goggles are a true fashion statement. They’re ostensibly designed for dogs riding on motorcycles, but they’d surely work in a variety of other applications too.
- 100% UV resistant lenses
- Shatter and fog proof lenses
- Cushioned frames for comfort
- Classic, retro design
- Sliding buckles for a secure fit
- Adorable, classic retro design
- Thick, cushioned padding kept many pup comfortable
- Most dogs didn’t seem to mind wearing these classy goggles
- These goggles were too large for many small dogs
- No chin strap
Matching Your Dog’s Needs with the Best Goggles
While the seven dog goggles mentioned above are all worthy choices, it’s important to select the pair that’ll best satisfy your pet’s specific needs. Some dogs may need a pair of goggles to protect their eyes from wind, while some others may simply need glasses that’ll help them look as fabulous as possible. Some will belong to owners who need the cheapest eye protection available.
We’ll discuss a few of these situations in greater detail below.
Best-Looking Dog Glasses: Doggles Sidecar Eyewear
This is obviously a completely subjective recommendation, but we’re not apologizing for it: These goggles look awesome. And, judging by owner reviews and the product’s popularity, we’re not alone in this assessment.
They’re also UV-resistant and feature highly cushioned (meaning comfortable) frames.
Best Hunting Dog Goggles: Rex Specs
Hunting can be a dangerous activity, as forests and fields are often full of eye-endangering sticks, thorns, and other hazards.
Accordingly, you’ll want goggles that feature strong lenses, provide full-eye coverage, and fit securely. Rex Specs check off each of these boxes and more.
Best Goggles for Motorcycle-Riding Dogs: Doggles Sidecar Eyewear
Doggles Sidecar Goggles protect biker dogs from the three things that may endanger their eyes, including wind, debris, and the sun’s UV rays. These goggles are fit for a motorcycle ride!
They’re also designed with a motorcycle-appropriate aesthetic, which makes them the perfect choice for dogs who like to ride on the open road.
Best Dog Swimming Goggles: Doggles ILS Series
Because their furry faces make it virtually impossible to achieve an air-tight seal, there aren’t any “human-style” swimming goggles on the market. They’ll all fill with water once your dog starts swimming underwater. Fortunately, this isn’t really a big deal – few dogs swim underwater very much, and those that do don’t seem to mind opening their eyes underwater.
But, if you do expect your dog to swim underwater with his goggles, it’s probably a good idea to set him up with clear lenses, so he will be able to see as well as possible. Accordingly, Doggles ILS Series Goggles with clear lenses are your best bet.
Best Military-Grade Goggles: Rex Specs
There don’t appear to be any bona fide tactical or military grade dog goggles available to the public (we’d love to be corrected – let us know if you know of any that are). That said, a number of tactical supply retailers stock Rex Specs and incorporate them into their dog-protection packages.
Best Goggles for Working Dogs: Rex Specs
Rex Specs are the obvious choice for dogs who work outdoors or in other challenging environments. Not only do they provide better protection than any of the other goggles we found, but they also have interchangeable lenses, which make it easy to use the goggles in a variety of light levels and environments.
Best Clear Dog Goggles: Rex Specs or Doggles ILS Series
Most dog-goggle manufacturers try to provide everything owners may want in a single product. This means that most goggles are not only designed to protect your dog from wind, UV-rays, and debris but bright sunlight too. Consequently, clear lenses aren’t terribly common. However, clear lenses are an option with Rex Specks and Doggles ILS Series goggles.
Best Cheap Dog Goggles: QUMY Dog Goggles
Not all dogs need the type of serious peeper protection Rex Specs and some of the other goggles we recommend above provide. Some just need a bit of protection for when they’re scoping out the park scene on a sunny day or the wind starts blowing across the beach. For that matter, goggles are often simply a way to make your canine companion look a bit cooler.
In such cases, it’s hard to go wrong with an affordable pair that typically fit well, making QUMY Goggles the obvious choice.
Best UV-Resistant Dog Goggles: Rex Specs
Most of the goggles we recommend above have UV-blocking lenses. However, not all UV-blocking lenses provide equal levels of protection. Rex Specs are rated UV 400, meaning that they block 99% of the light waves shorter than 400 nanometers (which means all of the UV rays produced by the sun).
The Benefits of Goggles: Why Do Dogs Need Goggles, Anyway?
Let’s be clear at the outset: Goggles aren’t a necessity for all dogs.
If, for example, your 9-year-old greyhound would rather lounge on your lap instead of running through forests, swimming at the pool, or riding in the car with his head out the window, your money is probably better spent elsewhere.
But, a lot of dogs will absolutely benefit from a good pair of goggles or protective eyewear. Especially those described below:
Dogs Who Ride Motorcycles
You wouldn’t jump on your bike and hit the road without some kind of eye protection, so you shouldn’t expect your dog to do so either.
The wind will blast his eyeballs hard enough to dry them out, and he’ll likely get tons of dirt and grit blown into them too, which may cause serious injuries. But a simple pair of dog goggles will offer some protection from the wind and help keep his eyes safe.
Also, because biking weather is usually sunny, a set of tinted lenses may also be necessary.
Dogs Who Jog with Their Person
Unless you’re really picking them up and putting them down, you probably don’t jog fast enough for wind to be a problem. However, there are still plenty of reasons to protect your pup’s eyes during your daily jog.
There’s a lot of dangerous debris floating alongside roads and sidewalks, and the sun is often a factor too. But a good pair of UV-resistant goggles will usually keep your pet’s eyes protected.
Dogs Who Love the Water
Goggles are great for water-loving dogs, but they don’t work like human goggles do. They don’t provide an air-tight seal around your dog’s eyes.
But they still provide value for dogs who love to play around the water. Several will help protect your dog’s eyes from dangerous UV rays, while also shielding his eyes from splashing water.
Dogs Who Work for a Living
Not all working dogs need goggles, but those who are expected to spend a lot of time outdoors very well may.
This is particularly true of dogs who must work in places where bright sunlight, wind, and debris are factors. If you need eye protection in a given location, your dog does too.
Dogs Who Regularly Run Through Forests
Even if your dog doesn’t work for a living, it may be a good idea to strap a pair of goggles on him before letting him run, jump, and play in your local forest.
Most forests are full of sticks and thorns that are just waiting to jab your pooch in the eye, so goggles are a good way to help avoid such problems and protect your pupper’s eyesight.
Dogs Who Must Spend Time in Sunny Locations
If your dog spends a lot of time at the beach, chilling by the pool, or otherwise hanging out in bright and sunny locations, a good pair of tinted goggles will help keep his eyes comfy.
Additionally, the UV protection most dog goggles provide will further protect your dog’s eyes.
Dogs Who Have Eye-Related Medical Problems
Dogs with some eye problems – including pannus, which is an immune-mediated eye problem that often afflicts German shepherds – may benefit from the UV-protection many goggles provide.
Just be sure to discuss your dog’s eye problems with your vet and ask whether goggles would be a good idea for your pooch.
Dogs Who’ve Recently Had Eye Surgery
Eye surgery often leaves a dog’s eyes incredibly vulnerable, so goggles may be a good idea while your dog heals.
They may even help to protect your pup’s eyes from his own paws, which many use to scratch at itchy wounds. Just be sure to discuss the issue with your vet – goggles may not be ideal for all post-operative dogs.
This may sound counterintuitive – after all, why should you go to great lengths to protect your pup’s eyes if they don’t work anyway?
The truth is, blind dogs can still suffer injuries to their eyeballs, and because they can’t see, they aren’t able to protect themselves the same way most other dogs can.
Dogs with Bulging Eyes
Some breeds naturally have big ‘ol eyeballs and relatively shallow eye sockets.
This gives them a bit of a “bug-eyed” look (which is often cuter than it sounds), and it makes their eyes a bit more vulnerable to injury than the eyes of some other breeds. Some of the most noteworthy breeds with bulging eyes include:
- Shih Tzu
- Lhasa Apso
- Boston Terrier
If your dog is a member of one of these breeds, you may want to consider picking up a pair of protective dog goggles.
Dogs Who Like to Hang Their Head Out the Car Window
Let’s be clear: It is not a good idea to let your pup ride with his head hanging out the car window.
He may get smacked in the face by debris or objects found alongside the road. He could even be hit by a passing car. In fact, you should always have your dog ride in a car carrier designed to keep him safe while riding in your vehicle.
But we all do things we shouldn’t from time to time. I probably shouldn’t give my dog as many French fries as I give her, but I do anyway. We’re only human.
So, we try to be as realistic and down-to-earth as possible when providing advice for dog owners.
If you allow your dog to feel the wind in his hair from time to time, be sure to strap a pair of goggles on him to protect his eyes. And for goodness’ sake, please be careful.
Simply put, goggles are the best way to help protect your dog’s eyes while he’s enjoying the great outdoors. Just be sure to select a pair that’ll provide the specific type of protection your dog needs and be sure to check the sizing guidelines carefully before making your choice.
Have you used any of the goggles discussed above? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Let us know what you liked about them and what you didn’t. We’d also love to hear about any other goggles you may have stumbled across that have worked especially well.