ASPCA Logo

Eye Care for Dogs

Man's best friend could use a good eyeballing once in awhile-believe us, your dog won't take it personally! In fact, giving him regular home eye exams will help keep you alert to any tearing, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. Check out the following ways to help keep your dog's vision sharp-and that twinkle in his eyes.

1. The Initial Gaze

Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. His pupils should be equal in size and there shouldn't be tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes.

2. A Closer Look

With your thumb, gently roll down your dog's lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.

3. What to Watch Out For

The following are signs that something may be wrong with one or both of your dog's eyes:

  • Discharge & crusty gunk
  • Tearing
  • Red or white eyelid linings
  • Tear-stained fur
  • Closed eye(s)
  • Cloudiness or change in eye color
  • Visible third eyelid
  • Unequal pupil sizes

4. A Clean Sweep

A gentle wipe with a damp cotton ball will help to keep your pooch's eyes gunk-free. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and be careful not to touch his eyeball-you don't want to scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please see your veterinarian. Your pet may have an infection.

5. Control the Eye-Fro

Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if their locks aren't tamed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog's eyes to keep his vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching.

Soaps and topical medications can be major irritants. Make sure to protect your dog's eyes before bathing him or applying ointments or flea-control formulas.