RexSpecs Review

rexspecs-5A few months ago, I was out in a blowing ice storm with my dog and I'm not sure why it didn't strike me till that day, I looked down to see him squinting up his face trying to see with all the blowing ice and snow. I thought it would be nice to have something he could put on his eyes in extreme weather. As you might not know, here in eastern Canada we only get two kinds of weather, beautiful and nightmarish!

I set out to find something that he could use riding on buggies in the mud and harsh snow storms and such things like being out on a trip all day in the sun and snow. Dogs can get damaged eyes just the same as people do. I know first-hand as I once had snow blindness and it sucks.

rexspecs-2Not only is eye protection a must for bad weather, but many dogs just like people get eye problems or work in places where they could get eye damage such as military dogs, police and even hunting dogs chasing prey in the woods. It only takes one wrong turn for a dog to catch his eye on something.

Some dogs get eye ailments where the sun can accelerate the problem or they need to keep the eyes protected because of infection. There are so many problems that dogs have in common with people it's a wonder why more people don't use eye protection, after all some of these problems can be prevented with proper eye care.

rexspecs-3There are a number of options on the market, some I've seen with military dogs that look similar to swimming goggles, and there were also some really ridiculous options I've seen like full face-shields, similar to what you would see on a welder only made of clear plastic.

None of these were what I wanted, the swim goggle types didn't really have a good range of view and looked and felt more like horse blinders, and face shield ones were crazy looking to be honest.

rexspecs-4Then I found Rex Specs after watching a video about a dog name Piper that was nearly identical to mine. To be honest the first thing I said was those are perfect! So, I knew I had to contact the company to give these a try. I will concede it takes a little getting used to for both you and the dog. it's not common to see a dog with goggles on, but I have to admit they do look cool!

Your dog might not like them at first but here are some training tips and a little trick I use when training dogs. It's kind of like brain washing, but its more commonly known as "Pavlovian Conditioning" named after a psychologist from the 1890s named Ivan Pavlov. What you do is simple, you place the goggles on the dog for small periods and give him or her treats or use going out, food or toys as excitement for him. When he puts them on, you repeat this over and over, till the dog starts to associate the goggles being put on to something he or she loves.

rexspecs-6Once this happens your dog can't wait to put them on because they now know the goggles mean the good stuff is coming! I've found this to be a good basis for many of my training techniques and I've found it works very well, often my dog can get a trick in less than an hour of training, and by the next day's session or day after he has it down perfectly! I just thought I would point this out as it might help a lot with getting your dog used to the goggles.

Now that our dog is used to the goggles let's talk about the goggles themselves. The construction is made similar to ski goggles but much lighter as they need to be and the molding is more contoured around the nose area. This makes for a remarkably good fit as the goggles don't ride up too high on the bridge of the dog's nose. It makes for a much better field of view, and the Rex Specs are better in this area than all other eye protection products I've looked at.

Around the perimeter of the goggles you have high flow venting that is covered in both fine foam and mesh to keep out dust and other pieces of debris, while still having a lot of air flow. I have to admit the goggles I own don't even have this much air flow, so I'm a little envious.

rexspecsAside from the nose area, the head strap is probably the most engineered part of the goggles and nothing like what you would see on human goggles. You have a crisscross strap system called the "Dynamic strap system" that holds under the dog's mouth with elastic strapping that allows the dog to open and close its mouth unobstructed while keeping the goggles perfectly in place.

Then you have the main strap that has a quick release clasp on it that wraps around the back of the dog's head. Best thing of all is every strap can be adjusted to fit your dog perfectly and Rex Specs also makes two sizes, Small and Large. Small is more for little dogs in the 10-30lbs range and the Large is for the 30- 100lbs range, so you can get a perfect fit!

With the version we tested out, the Rex Specs came with three lenses: Clear, Smoke and a sweet reflective lens called Blue Revo. I recommend getting at least two lenses as most models come with 2, you want a clear for those days where it's clouded over or you just want protection from the elements and a reflective one for those sunny harsh days. All the lenses are interchangeable and protect from UVA and UVB rays with a rating of YV400. The Rex Specs lenses have little notches that line up with the housing all the way around that makes them a cinch to change out. All you have to do is pull on the top and bottom at the same time and the lens pretty much pops out, then you line up your slots and click the next one in, this takes no time to master!

The lenses also have a slight bubble to them that helps to prevent stuff from sticking to the goggles while allowing the wind to flow over them in a more aerodynamic way. This reduces drag while running and increases airflow over the goggles pushing things like water and mud off the lenses.

Something I wanted to mention is that these are not a fashion accessory (although they do look cool), they're designed to protect your dog's eyes and prolong their quality of life. They're really a must-have if you're doing everything with your dog, from backpacking on those sunny winter days to riding in the car or buggies on the trails. In fact, people use them on motorcycles sidecars for their dogs. After all, what dog doesn't like the wind in their hair and that tongue hanging out like a wind sock!

Bottom line, would I buy them and are they worth the money, I would have to say yes. The Rex Specs are far above anything I've seen on the market and their construction and quality is very similar to the Military goggles I use so I know their construction is made to last. Most importantly your dog will wear them, the design is very well thought out and nothing has been overlooked when it comes to fit.


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