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Healthy Pets Holiday Gift Guide

WebMD offers ideas for pet gifts, from dog beds to music for cats. Get your pet something healthy and useful this year.
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Dr. Snyder says: Most dogs do not require extra protection for their eyes from UV damage. The sunlight (and the UV rays that come from it) can be harmful in a couple of circumstances, however. The most common is a disease usually seen in German Shepherd dogs called chronic superficial keratitis (or pannus). This disorder can cause blood vessels and tissue to cover the surface of the eye (the cornea) and may eventually lead to blindness. UV light is thought to cause this condition to progress. In people, UV light is thought to contribute to cataract formation, but this link does not appear to be significant in dogs.

However, if your dog is going to be out in very bright sun, eye protection may simply make their eyes feel more comfortable. It will also help prevent dust or strong winds from causing ocular irritation. If your dog will wear them, they shouldn’t cause harm and may be useful.

Here are some examples:

Doggie Shades: These shades offer 100% UV protection, come in six sizes and seven styles, and fit dogs of up to 200 pounds (www.doggieshades.com).

Doggles: These glasses, offering 100% UV protection, are fashioned after goggles and have fog-proof lenses (www.doggles.com).

4. Question: Do my dog’s feet need protection from snow and rain? What kind of trouble can my dog’s feet get into? Do I need Uggs for Dogs? And are other outdoor products, such as protective vests, worth the investment?

Dr. Snyder says: This question goes back to the answer for the first question: it all depends on your dog and your environment. In general, dogs’ feet are naturally durable and their thick foot pads can tolerate most types of surfaces and environments. However, those in very cold locations or dogs who are out in the ice/snow for extended periods of time could definitely benefit from foot protection. Also, if your dog is going to be walking on sidewalks where ice melting-materials have been used, boots may provide additional protection from these more caustic substances.

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