Ultimate Guide: Eye Drops For Dogs

What are dog eye drops for?

There are two types of dog eye drops available: medicated dog eye drops and unmedicated eye drops.

Medicated dog eye drops are prescribed by your vet to deal with eye infections or other serious eye complications. 

Unmedicated eye drops like our Pro Pooch Eye Drops For Dogs are designed to be used as an eye rinse to alleviate conjunctivitis, stinging, squinting, itching, irritation and allergies and the removal of debris from the eye. 

dog being administered eye drops

 How can I check my dog's eyes?

If you're concerned that your dog may be suffering from an eye issue, you can check their eyes using the following steps:

  1. Wash your hands

Your hands are going to get extremely close to your dog's eyes during this process, and you don't want to risk adding bacteria or debris to their eyes. Use an antibacterial soap and wash your hands thoroughly, even cleaning under the nails.

  1. Bring your dog to a well lit area

Many of the signs will be small and impossible to notice in poor light.

  1. Look directly into their eyes

Get your dog to sit and rest your hand directly under their chin so they can't move their head much. Check both eyes thoroughly, looking for any signs of debris or disease. Your dog's pupils should be the same size and there should not be any cloudiness or discolouration. The third eyelid(a whitish membrane that makes it look like your dog's eye is rolling into the back of their head) should not be visible.

  1. Check the lining of their eyes

Holding your dog's head still with one hand, use the thumb and forefinger of your other hand to pull back their eyelids. The lining should be pink, not red or white. There also shouldn't be any cuts or debris within the eyelid lining.

Be sure to check both top and bottom eyelids for each eye.

  1. Check their reflexes

You can use what is called a "menace test" to check if your dog's vision is impaired. Hold your open palm about 46CM away from their face, then move it quickly so it comes to about 8CM away from their face. If they don’t react at all or they react slowly, their vision may be impaired.

  1. Give them a treat!

As with any good behaviour, you should reward your dog for behaving well during an eye check. It's not as stressful as administering eye medication or an eye rinse, but it's still not something your furry friend looks forward to.

Ideally you should check your dog's eyes once every 4-6 months, or once every 2-3 months for older dogs. You should also check your dog's eyes right away if you notice any strange behaviour or discharge.

What eye drops are safe for dogs?

Never use medicated eye drops that haven't been prescribed to your dog, especially not medicated eye drops for humans. Dogs are highly sensitive to chemicals and exposure to the wrong medicine can make their existing issues worse, cause blindness, or even be fatal.

See our article on whether you can use human eye drops for your dog.

Why should you use dog eye drops?

It is quite typical for us to avoid buying something until we absolutely need it, but it's almost always better to buy things in advance when possible. This is particularly true with dog care products, which we often only buy when our dogs have an emergency situation. Yet these products are also essential to preventative care—and wouldn't you rather your dog always be healthy?

Pro Pooch Eye Drops can be used to treat Conjunctivitis caused by foreign bodies, stinging, squinting, itching, irritation and allergies and the removal of debris from the eye. 

How do you administer eye drops? 

  1. Wash your hands

There is no such thing as too clean, especially when it comes to your dog's eyes. Make sure you use anti-bacterial soap and clean every part of your hands thoroughly. You don't want to risk getting ANYTHING in your dog's eyes.

  1. Prepare the area

You'll want to have the medicine ready in the area where you plan to administer it before you bring the dog over. Most people find it easiest to administer dog eye drops in an area that limits their dog's ability to back up or run away, such as against a wall or on a table. If you use a surface that is raised off the floor make sure they won't be able to hurt themselves in an attempt to escape.

  1. Hold your dog securely

If you're doing this alone, you definitely want to bring your dog to an area of the house where their hindquarters are backed up against either a wall or a piece of solid furniture. If you have someone helping out, they can hold your dog's hindquarters between their legs or even just stand behind the dog.

  1. Gently clean around the eyes

The eyes should be clean before you apply any eye drops. Tilt their head to the side and use a damp cotton pad or cotton ball to wipe away any residue or discharge from the eyes and surrounding areas. Make sure you throw these cotton pads out immediately so bacteria doesn't end up back in the eyes.

  1. Position your dog's head

Use your non-dominant hand to cradle your dog's head, keeping your grip firm but gentle. The bottle of eye drops should be in your other hand.

  1. Apply the eye drops

Drop 5-6 drops into eye

The top of the bottle should never touch your dog's eye. You want to keep the bottle tip around 1-2CM away from the eyeball at all times. 

  1. Let your dog blink

Let your dog blink out the remaining liquid along with any debris which may be inside the eye lid.

  1. Repeat on the other side

Move your dog's head so you can access the other side of the face and start the process again.

  1. Give your dog a treat

Administering eye drops isn't fun when we have to do it to ourselves and it's even less fun for your dog. If they're well behaved, be sure to reward them with a treat (or three, we're not judging).

  1. Close and secure eye drops

Dog eye drop bottles should always be secured immediately after use and kept out of areas where dogs or children might accidentally get into them. 

Still nervous? Watch one of these instructional videos:

Preventing future eye problems

You can help prevent future eye problems in your dog by creating a consistent grooming routine. This includes regularly trimming any excess hair around the eyes, cleaning up tear stains right away, and performing eye rinses with a product like our Pro Pooch Dog Eye Drops once a month.

You also want to keep your dog out of situations that may cause eye trauma, such as fights with other animals, exposure to irritants, and hanging their heads out the car window.

Last but not least, you can get a pair of sun goggles for dogs to protect their eyes from UV rays and outside debris.

Why choose Pro Pooch?

At Pro Pooch we believe it’s important to pay just as much attention to what goes into our dogs’ bodies as we give to what goes into our own bodies. All of our products are designed with your dog’s health and happiness in mind.

Our commitment to your dog’s health is matched only by our commitment to quality. We work with expert manufacturers to make sure every product is the best it can be, every single time. We also offer a Happy Pooch Guarantee—if our products don’t work for you and your dog, you have a full 60 days to request a refund, no questions asked.

Conclusion

Unmedicated dog eye drops should be kept in your dog first aid kit, you never know when they will be required.

If you suspect an infection, always take your dog to the vet when you notice issues with their eyes. 

Have more questions? Email lucy@propooch.com or call 44(0)121 562 1734 to speak with us.