Tips for Cleaning your Dog's Eyes

Tips for Cleaning your Dog's Eyes

Last update: 03 July, 2018

You must clean your dog’s eyes to prevent disease. It’s also a good idea to look at the color of their eye secretions or eye “gunk” because it can tell you if there’s an infection or obstruction in the tear ducts.

Your dog is exposed to all kinds of contaminants that can harm their health. Foreign bodies and germs can get in their eyes can cause infections — or more serious diseases. But with these tips for cleaning your dog’s eyes, you can protect both his vision and his life.

What natural eye secretions can tell you

Our eyes continually secrete fluids that are designed to maintain their natural moisture, both day and night. The presence of tears and eye “gunk” shouldn’t alarm you, because it’s completely normal.

What you should be on the lookout for are sudden changes in the consistency and the color of your dog’s eye secretions. The color may range from white to green or yellow.

  • Secretions that are yellow or green in color, for example, may mean your dog has an infection. Greenish secretions may get stuck in the tear ducts, obstruct them and lead to infections.
  • Normally, they’re a whitish color and are usually expelled without problems from the tear duct.
eye hygiene in dogs: cleaning your dog's eyes.

The type of fur your dog has also plays a part in his eye health, too.

  • If you have a breed with a short snout, such as a pug, the secretions will probably end up accumulating in the folds of the skin of his snout, leading to eczema if not cleaned regularly.
  • A dog with a lot of fur especially around the eyes and forehead, like a Yorkshire Terrier, will need regular grooming to keep foreign objects and germs from getting into their eyes, which could lead to ailments such as conjunctivitis.
ocular cleaning in dogs

Tips for cleaning your dog’s eyes at home

There are a number of easy and safe ways to care for your dog’s eyes in the comfort of your own home. Among them are the following:

  • Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean your dog’s eyes. Moisten it with room-temperature water and remove any dirt or other contaminants from his fur. Try to make sure that the cloth isn’t completely soaked so the water won’t get into his eyes.
  • Avoid wipes and paper towels because, once moistened, they may fall apart and leave pieces inside your pet’s tear ducts.
  • There are special pre-moistened wipes designed specifically for dog’s eyes. They’re aimed specifically for them and not people, so be careful when buying them. Check the package to see whether they’re for people or pets.
  • Tears, both in dogs and cats, usually acquire a whitish color when they come in contact with air and bacteria. Try to clean tears as they dry to avoid an infection. If they discolor your dog’s fur, there are several products on the market that can help.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.