Can I use human eye drops on my dog?
Your dog may navigate the world using mostly their nose and ears, but their eyes are just as important to their overall health. There are several common conditions which can affect a dog's eyes, including allergies, eye infections, and conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye), and most of these conditions are treated with eye drops. The question is, what kind? Are human eye drops safe? Do you need to get something special from your vet?
There is nothing more important to us than the health of your Pooch (except the health of our own pups), so we've found all of the answers for you:
Are human eye drops safe?
This depends entirely on the type of eye drops. Eye drops for dryness caused by allergies are often a simple saline solution—a little bit of salt dissolved in water—while it is accepted practice that these would be safe to use, here at Pro Pooch we believe in better safe than sorry. Therefore, we would not recommend using anything which is not specifically formulated for your canine.
What about medicated human eye drops?
Medicated eye drops, can be extremely dangerous to your dog.
Many substances that are safe for humans can make dogs very sick, even at minimal doses.
This means it is still generally safest to get a specialised dog-safe solution like our Pro Pooch Eye Drops.
If you are considering using human eye drops, call or visit your vet to double check that the ingredients are safe for your pups—before you get anywhere near your dog's eyes.
When to use eye drops at home
You should be using dog eye drops for issues like mild dry eye or debris getting stuck in the eye area. If your dog regularly suffers from dry eyes you should treat them with eye drops 2-3 times a day.
If your dog gets a serious eye infection or injury the vet may require you to treat your dog with medical eye drops 3-4 times a day. You can learn how to apply eye drops at home with this video. You may have to muzzle your dog to do this safely, and if you have a big dog it's always a good idea to get a family member's help—just make sure your dog actually trusts the family member who is helping you out.
Discharge or crust in the corners of the eye should be wiped away with a clean cotton pad. Tear stains can be cleaned with a special tear stain solution (like this one from Pro Pooch) and all excess fur near the eyes should be trimmed regularly. Taking care of the area around the eyes helps prevent infections and other serious eye issues.
When to visit the vet
At Pro Pooch we believe in home care whenever possible, but you can't fix all of your dog's problems yourself. A good veterinarian is an essential part of your dog's life.
You should go to the vet immediately if you notice any of the following:
- This is the first time your dog has suffered from this type of irritation
- The lens behind the pupil is becoming a cloudy white; this is usually a sign of a cataract
- Inflammation is persistent despite multiple eye washes at home
- The eye is visibly injured
- There is a significant amount of redness in the eyes
- You see your dog pawing at/rubbing his eyes frequently
All of these signs usually indicate something more serious going on. In these cases the vet will often prescribe a medicated eye wash solution. Make sure you follow their instructions to the letter to give your dog the best chance of recovery. You should also ask them before starting any eye care routine or any other home medical treatment. Vets are often willing to show you how to do things correctly at home.
A regular eye care routine for your dog can help prevent many common eye conditions. This means regularly trimming the hair around their eyes, keeping mucus away from the corners of their eyes, and treating them with eye drops when they're suffering from dry eye. You can use basic human eye drops safely since they are usually a saline solution, but if you want to be 100% sure the product you're using is safe you should consider buying a specialised product for dogs like Pro Pooch Eye Drops.