Dog sunglasses, also known as “doggles,” are sometimes necessaryif a dog needs eye protection or has a problem where light is hurtful to their eyes.
Rather than buying a pair, however, it’s easy to make your own.
I was given the instructions below by my friend, Ellen, whose dog had just had eye surgery for cataracts.
Ellen could tell by his reaction that the sun was bothering his eyes when he went outside, so she made him a pair of dog sunglasses.
Note that these homemade sunglasses will not be quite the same as commercial “doggles” since they do not fit as snugly.
We would NOT recommend them for high-speed situations such as your dog hanging his or her head out of a car window or riding on a motorcycle.
Ellen’s Dog Sunglasses
- 20 oz clear plastic beverage bottle (with no grooves or ridges under the label area)
- Automobile window tinting film (dark tint for a dog with cataracts)
- IMPORTANT: Make sure the film blocks ultraviolet (UV) rays (per “Further comments from Ellen” below).
- 1/4 inch [6mm] black elastic, 12 inches [250mm] long
- Stapler with standard size staples
- Empty beverage bottle – USD 1.25 or less
- Black elastic – less than USD 1.00
- Automobile window tinting film – this can be expensive and most kits or rolls offer much more than you will need – your best option would be to call around to automotive glass dealers and see if they have a small piece available for you to purchase or get for free.
Preparing the Bottle to Make Glasses
PREPARING THE GLASSES
- Cut out the middle bottle section along the label edges
- Next cut straight across the tube along the label seam as shown at right.*
- Remove the label and clean off any remaining pieces.
- The curled strip forms the basis of your dog sunglasses.
- Trim the edges smooth, rounding the corners.
Applying the Tinting Film
- Lay the glasses on the film
- Cut the film about 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger than the glasses
- Firmly apply a piece of tape to the backing of the film
- Pull up on the tape so the backing lifts off the film
- Peel off the backing slowly and start applying the film to the glasses
- Make sure you are covering the concave side (rounded outside) of the glasses
- Rub back and forth with your fingers to get the film to stick well
- If a bubble develops, peel the film back and reapply
- Once the film is firmly applied, trim the film flush with the edges
ADDING THE ELASTIC
- Staple the elastic twice to one top corner of the plastic tube
- Make sure the crimped parts face outward or the staples may catch in fur
- Place the glasses across your dog’s eyes
- Pull the elastic behind the dog’s ears to the other side of the glasses
- Cut the elastic, leaving an inch or so extra just in case
- Use a paper clip to fasten where you think it ought to go
- Check the fit – the glasses should be snug but not tight
- Staple and check the fit again
- If your dog has upright ears, you may need to add another strap under the chin (see picture of Comet)
Further comments from Ellen:
I have tried colored bottles instead of the tinting film to make the dog sunglasses. There were two problems with that:
- One, they don’t block much sunlight
- Two, they won’t block any UV rays
Articles on sunglasses for people state that using tinted glasses that don’t block UV rays actually makes things worse for the eyes. Because of the darkness from the tinting film, the irises open up to let in more light. However, they also let in more UV rays, potentially damaging the retinas.