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Sunglasses put dogs in the shade

What are you looking at? (Doggles)

Dogs need no longer fear the strength of the sun’s rays, thanks to a range of hi-tech glasses on sale in Switzerland.

A Swiss optician claims his shop in Geneva is the first in the country to offer eyewear designed exclusively for man’s best friend.

Raphaël Barber says dog owners have been rushing to kit their pets out in the designer wraparound shades.

“It’s just gone mad. I’ve been doing phone orders from all corners of Switzerland,” Barber told swissinfo.

“I’ve even started to see dogs who have been referred to me by vets.”

Gimmick?

Barber denies that the glasses, which come in a range of sizes and are imported from the United States, are a fashion gimmick.

“The first thing I did before I started importing them was to go and see a very reputable ophthalmic veterinarian.

“I was scared that he might slam his door on me and tell me to go to hell, but I was pleasantly surprised by his response.”

Swiss vet Nicolas Murisier – who has years of experience in the treatment of canine eyes – assured Barber that some dogs could benefit from a pair of spectacles.

“These glasses may look funny… but there are certain cases where it is completely justified to consider protecting a dog’s eyes,” Murisier told Swiss newspaper “Le Matin”.

He argues that dogs taken for walks in the mountains at high altitude are particularly exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Chihuahua

Barber says that though many people treated him with suspicion when he announced plans to devote part of his shop floor to sunglasses for dogs, the reaction from customers has been overwhelmingly positive.

“A lady came to my shop with her pet chihuahua. The dog was getting on, probably about 14 years old, and both eyes had very severe cataracts,” he recalls.

“She said the dog was too old to be operated on, but because its eyes were extremely sensitive to light it didn’t want to leave the house.”

Tests confirmed that her pet was a suitable candidate for sunglasses and a pair were duly fitted.

“A couple of days later she got in touch with me and sounded so happy… the dog now loves to go outside again,” said Barber.

“Of course, it doesn’t cure the problem, but it’s a way of giving the dog a better quality of life.”

The sunglasses are sold under the “Doggle” brand and the cheapest pair can be purchased for SFr98 ($78).

swissinfo, Ramsey Zarifeh

In brief

An optician in Geneva is reporting a roaring trade in sunglasses for dogs.

The glasses are imported from the United States and sold under the “Doggle” brand.

The cheapest pair is available for SFr98 ($78).

A more sophisticated version sells for SFr110.

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