Eye Spy: A Guide to Canine Eye Care

Longhair dachshund wearing glasses

Our eyes are our windows to the world, but for dogs, being able to clearly view the world around them has been about more than just an intake of information – our dog’s eyes are essential tools for survival and communication.

For this reason, it’s important for us to get up close and personal with our own furry friend’s eyes once in a while; regular home eye exams help you to notice problems like redness, discharge, and cloudiness, alerting you to a potential health issue.

Let’s look at some ways to keep your pup’s bright eyes healthy and his sight sharp.

At First Glance

At a time when your dog is calm and relaxed, bring your dog to a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. Both eyes should be clear, pupils should be the same size, and your dog should be able to keep both eyes open comfortably.

Excessive blinking, crustiness, discharge, or redness of the sclera (white of the eye) might indicate a problem.

Take a Closer Look

With clean hands, use your thumb or finger to gently roll down your pup’s lower eyelid and look at the conjunctiva (the inner lining of the eyelid). It should be a healthy pink, not red or white.

With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white, and eyelashes shouldn’t be rubbing against the surface of the eye.

Black Dogs with glasses

Inspect for Issues

All pup-parents should be aware of the following signs that could mean their canine companion has a peeper problem:

Green or yellow discharge

Crusting around the eye

Excessive Tearing or tear-stained hair

Red, inflamed inner eyelid

Constant blinking or holding eye closed

Cloudiness or change in color

Bulging appearance

Visible third eyelid

Different pupil sizes

Clean-up Crew

If your dog’s eyes need a cleaning, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water only. Using a fresh cotton ball for each eye, start at the corner of the eye and wipe outward to gently remove any crusting or discharge, being careful not to touch the surface of the eye.

IF discharge is a constant problem, it’s a good idea to bring your furry family member in for a veterinary check-up.