Eye care for dogs

Does your dog have "sleeping sand" on his eye, as we know it from humans? If you discover a slight encrustation on your pet's eyes after sleeping, you have probably removed the dried secretion from the corner of the eye very carefully with a cloth and a little water. You did everything right! But what should you do if your dog's eyes are red, if they water more or if there is mucus on the eye?

We'll give you tips on eye care for your dog and explain how you can prevent unpleasant eye infections!

Why is eye care important for dogs?

The dog's eye is a complex and sensitive organ that fulfils important functions so that your dog can see without problems: Eyelids and eyelashes protect the eye from pollen, dust and dirt, for example, while the tear fluid reliably keeps the eye moist. Such a dog's eye is exposed to several external stimuli every day: During a walk, foreign bodies (e.g. awns) can penetrate and cause serious injuries, draught promotes conjunctivitis and dry heating air can cause your four-legged friend to have watery eyes.

In addition, there are some dog breeds whose eye area requires special attention:

  • Long-haired dog breeds: In breeds such as Terriers, Schnauzers, Maltese or Havanese, the hair around the eyes must be trimmed regularly. This is not only important so that the animals can see sufficiently, but also to prevent diseases. If dirt and germs stick to the fur and get into the eye, irritations can lead to red eyes, inflammations or even purulent infections.
  • Breeds with many skin folds (e.g. Pug, French Bulldog or Shar-Pei) need regular cleaning of the skin folds around the eye to keep them dry and clean so that no inflammation can develop.

To prevent your pet's eyes from getting damaged or suffering from an eye disease, you should know how to best care for your four-legged friend's eyes - we have tips!

Cleaning the dog's eyes - this is how it's done!

Whether in the morning after sleeping or after a walk: Most dogs' eyes need to be cleaned regularly - this is where your four-legged friend needs help. This is how you proceed if you want to clean your dog's eyes:

What you need:

  • soft cloth
  • water
  • alternatively: eye cleanser or camomile tea

This is how you proceed:

  1. First wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Then dip the cloth in a little water, camomile tea or eye cleanser.
  3. Gently pull your pet's lower lid down a little and sweep the tissue from the inner corner of the eye along the edge of the lid outwards. Be careful not to touch the eye itself!
  4. To avoid transferring germs, then take a fresh cloth and do the same for the upper lid.

Our tip: If you want to use an eye cleanser, pay attention to the composition of the ingredients. Ideally, the cleanser should not contain any additives such as preservatives that could irritate the eye or cause allergies. And it's best not to use a puffy cotton pad, as this could loosen fibres! Cotton swabs also pose a certain risk of injury; thin cotton cloths or special eye cleansing wipes are the best choice here.

Cutting the dog's eyes free - this is how it's done!

Is your darling's hair hanging like fringes in front of his eyes again? Then it's time for a trim!

That's what you need:

  • fine comb
  • scissors with rounded edges
  • cotton pad or cloth with
  • a little water

This is how you proceed:

  1. To cut them free, wash your hands first.
  2. Then comb the coat carefully at the eyes so that coarse dirt is removed.
  3. Then let your dog put his head in your hand or hold his muzzle gently.
  4. As soon as your darling is still, you can very carefully reach the inner corner of the eye with the scissors and cut off the disturbing hairs that might grow above the nose or poke into the eye.
  5. If necessary, you can do the same with bushy eyebrows or fur above the eyes.

Finally, you can wipe out any fine, cut hairs that have stuck in the fur with a damp cotton pad or cloth.

Our tip: For long-haired dog breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, an alternative to clipping is to use a hair band to tie back the coat.

Common eye problems in dogs

Despite all your efforts, it is not always possible to avoid eye complaints. We will tell you some typical problems and give you recommendations on what to do.

Lisa from the We love HUNTER team:

"Our Lilly is very special when it comes to eye care: it is often the case with white Havanese that they have eye problems or redness under their eyes. We tried all sorts of things to get the tear stains under control. But then we found out that she is allergic to certain ingredients in her food. The change of food has made it much better! We can therefore only advise to have excessive lacrimation clarified by a vet at an early stage.

Tear stains / tear stone in dogs

Some purebred dogs, such as the Maltese or the Bichon Frisé, develop a rust-red discolouration of the coat below the eyes, which is particularly noticeable in white coats. This discolouration is called tear stain or tear stone. It looks as if the dog's eyes are watering brown. The cause of this can be of various kinds: blocked tear ducts, a reaction between the tear fluid and yeast bacteria or even a disorder in the intestines. The best thing to do is to contact your vet: he can find out why the tear stains occur and develop suggestions on how to counteract them.

Eye inflammation in dogs

You may notice an inflamed eye by the following symptoms:

  • your dog rubs his eye with his paw
  • he blinks a lot or squeezes his eyes together
  • irritated and reddened mucous membranes around the eye
  • watery or sticky eyes
  • eye discharge, transparent to yellow

In these cases, a visit to the vet is advisable. There it can be determined whether an eye disease such as conjunctivitis is present and which remedies or medicines can help.

Dog eyes watering or mucus on the eyes

If your pet's eyes are watering or there is a mucous discharge, this can be due to a number of reasons:

  • an allergy, e.g. pollen allergy
  • conjunctivitis
  • corneal inflammation
  • blocked tear ducts that cause the secretion to drain constantly

Mucous, purulent or bloody discharge is always a sign of illness - you should always consult your vet!

Dog eye protection: 3 simple tips

We have 3 tips for the eye health of your four-legged friend that are easy to implement:

  1. Regular eye care: It's better to clean the eyes once more than to have to treat a disease with medication later on. Get your puppy used to the cleaning procedure at an early age, so you will have less trouble later on with cutting the eyes free or having to administer eye drops in case of an illness.
  2. Avoid draughts: Whether you are on the road with the air conditioning in the car or at home when the dog's bed is too draughty - avoid draughts on the eye to prevent diseases such as conjunctivitis. If it cannot be avoided, there are special dog glasses that can protect the dog's eyes not only from draughts, but also from dirt and excessive UV radiation.
  3. Healthy dog food: Nutrition can also have a decisive influence on the eye health of your furry friend. Make sure your dog is getting all the important nutrients.

Conclusion: With a little practice, taking care of your four-legged friend's eyes will quickly become a habit and will definitely have a positive effect on the health of your pet! However, if your dog behaves differently than usual and it seems that something is bothering his eye or if you notice one of the above-mentioned signs of a disease, then it is better to visit your vet - that way you are on the safe side!
Has your four-legged friend ever had an eye disease? Or do you have any tips for eye care? Tell us about it - we are curious!

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