Walking is a great way for your dog to get the necessary dose of exercise to stay in good shape. It’s also a chance for your pup to socialize with other dogs and make friends.
Unfortunately, some dogs get triggered outdoors and experience fits that prevent walks. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, including anxiety, fear, aggression, and light sensitivity.
But there’s good news!
You don’t have to give up on your pup going on the walk they deserve, thanks to an aid known as a dog blinder. The idea is to reduce the dog’s visual stimulation so they feel safer and less nervous.
In today’s post, I’ll be reviewing the 5 best dog blinders you can find online and sharing a buying guide to help you keep your canine pet healthy and happy!
Top 5 Dog Blinders for Walking
Kicking off our list with one of the highest-rated models on the market, this calming cap works wonderfully as a dog blinder to keep your 4-legged buddy from getting riled up during walks.
Designed by ThunderCap, this is meant to be a tool to help dog owners and caretakers manage unfavourable behaviour. It works to reduce aggression, fearfulness, and anxiety, so your pup can get the exercise they need with minimal interruption.
This calming cap is see-through so that it won’t block your dog’s vision entirely. It tunes down the visual stimulation while still allowing the dog to get around.
The sheer fabric is soft to avoid causing skin irritation. It’s also flexible to let your dog move freely and provide a more comfortable fit.
The ThunderCap dog blinder is available in 4 sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large; based on snout circumference and eye-to-collar distance.
Additionally, each ThunderCap mask features two adjustable straps so you can create a custom fit. They also support easier putting on and taking off.
- Easy to adjust
- Allows for better vision compared to competitors
- Good-quality, single-panel material
- On the pricey side
- You can’t use a muzzle and lead at the same time
Made for anxious dogs, this eye mask from NACOCO offers a useful shading effect when it comes to helping your dog feel safer and calmer. While the mask interrupts your dog’s field of vision, they’ll still see, only less clearly.
This unit is made out of soft nylon fabric that’s gentle on dogs’ skin, saving them from developing painful rashes.
The elastic on the muzzle side isn’t too tight that it causes discomfort, yet it’s secure enough to stay in place as your pup moves around.
The material is also pretty durable for the price, which helps you save in the long run. I especially appreciate that it doesn’t stick to dog hair, supporting the blinder’s comfort factor.
As for the closure system on the NACOCO unit, it’s a convenient buckle design that doesn’t fall easily.
You’ll also be able to easily customize the cap’s fit thanks to the 3-way lock feature for loosening and tightening the closure.
The NACOCO dog blinder is available in 4 different sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. The choice depends on mouth circumference and neck size.
- Secure closure
- Flexible fit
- Comfortable mouth elastic
- It doesn’t stick to dog hair
- It tends to run small
- The slider mechanism has a learning curve
From POPETPOP, you’re looking at a highly effective dog blinder for walking.
Unlike other eye covers on the market, this model comes in deep blue. I think that’s a nice change from all the conventional black.
Another perk to this calming cap is its affordability. So if you’re running low on cash, this is the most budget-friendly option on today’s list.
The POPETPOP dog blinder is made out of lightweight nylon. It obstructs the pup’s vision but still lets them make out their surroundings, which helps soothe nervous reactions.
I also appreciate the waterproof quality of this fabric. It’s particularly handy in rainy weather or when our canine buddies decide to play in a puddle.
While it may not be the most secure closure out there, the Velcro strap is more straightforward to latch than hooks or buckles.
The POPETPOP eye cap is available in 3 sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. I have to say I’m not very happy with the sizing chart of this model as it lacks specifications/instructions.
If you can guess your pup’s size correctly, it should be a solid buy.
- Very affordable price tag
- Waterproof material
- Easy to handle Velcro closure
- Unique colour
- The sizing process is confusing
- Not very long-lasting
Next up on today’s list is the Xuniea soothing cap for pet canines.
It’s made out of lightweight nylon with enough breathability to prevent overheating. It’s soft to the touch and won’t cause irritation to break out.
The mesh fabric is also transparent, allowing a certain level of light to pass through. This reduces visual stimulation to help calm your pup while still letting the dog make out some details of the environment.
The hole design offers decent flexibility to keep your pet comfortable without affecting their breathing. It’s pretty easy to slip on, you just slide it over the dog’s nose and fasten it around their neck like a collar.
There’s an adjustable drawstring to help create a custom fit over the pup’s face. The buckle lock adds reliability to ensure the blinder stays on as your dog moves around.
The Xuniea dog blinder comes in 4 different sizes for various dog breeds. These include Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large, with the sizing depending on the circumference of the mouth and neck.
I did notice that this model runs a bit small, so I recommend ordering a size larger for your pup.
- Good breathability
- The adjustable strap is easy to slide
- Easy to put on
- Some quality control issues; units occasionally arrive completely opaque
- Runs small
Another brand that offers dog blinders suitable for going out and about is DELIFUR. Although they call it an anxiety muzzle, it has the same design as a regular visual calming cap.
Similar to the industry standard, this model is made out of soft nylon. It’s non-irritant to keep your pup’s skin rash-free, and it’s water-resistant to remain dry in rainy weather and under wet conditions.
This soothing cap doesn’t accumulate dog hair, so maintaining its cleanliness should be a breeze. The elastic at the mouth section has good flexibility to not cause discomfort, but it’s still tight enough to not slide down.
One aspect that sets the DELIFUR dog blinder apart from other options is its black-out effect. This means your dog won’t be able to see through the mask’s material.
Eliminating visibility can work especially well with easily triggered pups; when they can’t see the stimulus, they’re much less likely to react. However, some dogs will get scared when they can’t see.
I think it’s ultimately a matter of trial and error with various degrees of vision obstruction until you find the one that works best for your 4-legged buddy.
To accommodate different dog breeds and sizes, the DELIFUR calming blindfold is available in 4 versions: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. You choose the size after measuring around the pup’s neck and mouth.
It’s equipped with a slider to help adjust the fit, as well as a buckle closure to prevent it from falling off as the dog gets active.
- Total black-out effect
- Easy to clean
- Sizing is generally accurate
- Your dog may get more anxious when they’re unable to see
What Are Dog Blinders?
Various tools have come out over the last years under the category of “calming aids for pets”. These training tools are generally in the form of accessories that you put on a dog to help soothe their nerves.
In practice, such tools are used as behaviour management aids to correct or control the way a dog reacts to certain stimuli in specific circumstances.
Calming aids for dogs are available in multiple types in terms of the mechanism used to cause relaxation.
For example, some soothing tools are placed over the dog’s ears to block out triggering noises that induce stress. Other tools are meant to wrap around the dog’s head like a hoodie to provide a comforting sensation via physical compression.
A dog blinder is one type of calming behaviour aid for canine pets. They work by obstructing the dog’s vision to prevent them from seeing triggering stimuli.
Dog blinders are also referred to as calming caps, anxiety masks, anxiety muzzles, anxiety blindfolds, and soothing eye covers.
Most dog blinder models are designed to cause partial visual obstruction. This means they make your dog see less clearly, so they won’t pick up excess stimulation but can still make out figures/shapes.
That said, other dog blinder models deliver complete visual obstruction for more easily triggered and highly irritable pups. These prevent the dog from seeing as long as they’re wearing the mask.
How Are Dog Blinders Useful for Walking?
Dog blinders can be beneficial when walking your pup in the following situations:
- Your dog is particularly sensitive to light and experiences discomfort during daytime walks. This can cause your pet to resist going out or throw fits when outside.
- Your dog gets scared easily when they spot new people, dogs, animals, and so on. This feeling of fear can cause the pup to act out during walks.
- Your dog has a hard time adjusting to new environments. This can lead to anxiety and stress.
- Your dog gets aggressive quickly, which makes them irritable around other dogs.
By reducing visual stimulation, a dog blinder can help your pup feel more safe, more comfortable, and -ultimately- calm.
How to Choose the Right Blinder for Your Dog
When choosing a blinder for your dog, you should first make sure that your pet’s triggers are indeed visual stimuli. Otherwise, you’ll only cause them more stress by compromising their sight.
After determining the source of your dog’s anxiety, you need to go through the following aspects:
The dog blinder has to be made of a dog-safe material to avoid toxic reactions.
Once you establish its safety health-wise, make sure the fabric is soft enough to avoid irritating the pup’s skin.
Look for a breathable and lightweight material to help keep your dog cool during walks, especially in warm climates. It should also be elastic enough to prevent discomfort while moving.
A fabric that resists water and doesn’t stick to dog hair can you when it comes to cleanliness.
The success of a dog blinder as a calming technique depends heavily on you choosing the right size for your pup.
A too-small mask will be constricting and uncomfortable. It may even harm the dog.
On the other hand, a too-big cap will defeat the purpose as it fails to properly interrupt the dog’s vision.
To help you find the appropriate size, dog blinders have size charts based on measurements such as mouth circumference, eye-to-collar distance, and neck girth.
Fit and Closure
The fit and closure mechanisms on a dog blinder have a lot to do with its level of comfort and security while wearing it.
Look for adjustable straps that you can slide or pull to loosen or tighten the fit.
For the closure, buckles are more likely to stay intact but they can be tricky to deal with. Alternatively, velcro is easier to use but more prone to coming undone.
There you have it, the top 5 dog blinders for walking and a buying guide to help choose the right one for your pup.
Keep in mind that what works for one dog doesn’t necessarily work for the other.
So if one of the models doesn’t prove effective within a similar duration or even at all, you should be open to trying it for a longer time or switching to a different brand.