Meet the dog who wears stylish shades on every walk – to protect her from sun exposure that can worsen her rare eye disease.
Cocoa, a mix between a Belgian Shepherd and a collie, has to wear the special goggles to save her from harmful rays.
The fashionable eyewear – called Rex Specs – are specifically designed to protect dogs’ eyes from up to 95 per cent of UV.
Owner Megan Novak, 32, spent £100 on the goggles and spare lenses after advice from a vet.
She said: “They look like skiing goggles, and I had to order them from America as we don’t have many options in the UK.
“I think she looks really cool in her goggles She’s a very fashionable dog – she’s pretty photogenic, but I am biased!
“But it does also make me a bit sad that she has to wear them for the rest of her life now.”
Megan brought Cocoa back to the UK in 2013 after volunteering with a charity which finds homes for Greek dogs.
But it wasn’t until late in 2021 that she noticed a cloudiness in both of her pet’s eyes – which she initially believed could be cataracts.
Taking Cocoa to the vet, Megan was in shock when her precious pooch was diagnosed with Pannus.
Also known as chronic superficial keratitis, it is a hereditary immune system condition that occurs as a result of ultraviolet damage to the corneas.
Megan said: “Pannus is apparent in America and hotter countries but it seems not many people know about it in the UK.
“I’m a dog walker so we are out all day so that could be a factor, or it could be one of the breeds she’s mixed with that is more susceptible to Pannus.
“The sun’s UV rays are higher than they used to be in the UK too so that could be a reason.
“The vet suggested buying ‘doggles’ which look like swimming goggles, but after some research, I decided to buy her Rex Specs as they don’t sit on each individual eye.”
Dog walker Megan also lives with her rescue cat Bonny and her tree surgeon fiance Paolo, 33, in Worthing, West Sussex.
And she says that, despite her new eyewear, Cocoa is still a happy dog – and even comes before her husband-to-be.
She said: “Cocoa is my life, we do everything together. I can’t imagine her not being a part of my life – she’s my best friend!
“I’m getting married in July and she’s going to be my dog of honour/ring bearer and walking down the aisle with me – my fiancee knows he comes second to Cocoa!”