Dog & Cat Eye Care

Inspection   Trim hair   Discharge   Bathing   Cornea   Exam   Health checklist

Your pet needs your help to keep its eyes clean and healthy. Although your pet may attempt to remove eye buildup and address eye irritations by rubbing its eyes against carpet or furniture, or by rubbing with its paws, this can actually deposit dirt in the eye and cause further irritation.

Perform Regular Visual Inspection

Check your pet's eyes at least once a week. Healthy eyes should look clear and moist. Consult with your vet if you notice any discharge, redness, swelling or squinting, or if your pet is rubbing or scratching its eyes. Know the symptoms of eye infection.

Older dogs and some cats can develop an opaque, cloudy look on their eyes. This can be a normal sign of aging, but it may be caused by cataracts. Cataracts are changes in the fibers in the lens of the eye which are found behind the iris and the pupil. Although cataracts may eventually cause blindness, there are some holistic remedies for cataracts in dogs and cats.

Trim Hair

Keep hair away from your pet's eyes. If your pet's hair becomes too long it can scratch the cornea of the eye. This is particularly an issue with long-hair breeds. Use scissors to trim the hair around your pet's eyes, but take care to use blunt scissors so that you don't accidentally cut your dog's eyes if it suddenly moves away from you.

Remove Eye Discharge

Wipe your pet's eyes with a sterile eye wipe or eye wash whenever you notice mucus discharge or crust. This will help prevent eye infections and will also help your pet feel more comfortable.

If your dog is prone to significant "tear staining" (such as Maltese) you may need to visit your veterinarian to ensure that your pet's tear ducts are not clogged. Excess tearing creates a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast and could lead to eye infections.

Bathe Safely

Use only a safe, mild shampoo when bathing your pet and be careful to avoid getting any shampoo in your pet's eyes. Ensure that you thoroughly rinse your pet, as even the mildest shampoo can irritate the eyes if it is not completely washed off.

Guard Against Corneal Damage

Always keep your pet's head inside moving vehicles to protect your dog's eyes from corneal damage.

Schedule Routine Eye Exams

Ensure that your annual veterinary checkup includes a thorough eye exam to check for glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and other eye and vision conditions.