A guide to cleaning dogs’ eyes
A step-by-step guide on how to clean your dog’s eyes safely. We advise on what to do and what not to do, and recommend which products you might find useful.
Keeping your dog’s eyes clean, healthy and gunk-free is important if you want to avoid infection and more serious issues. We have some great tips on how to avoid tear stains and what to do if your dog has an eye irritation.
How to clean your dog’s eyes
- Visit your vet for a check-up - If your dog has excessive eye discharge, or this is a new problem, they could have an eye irritation. We recommend getting a professional check-up by your vet to ensure that there isn’t an underlying health condition or a foreign object that needs immediate attention.
- Trim your dog’s facial hair if needed - If you are able to do this at home yourself, it’s a good first step to cleaning your dog’s eyes. It’ll also help to keep them clean for longer. Trimmed facial hair helps to avoid tear stains and reduces the risk of dirt and debris getting into your dog’s eyes and causing a bigger problem.
- Flush the eyes - Use a safe eye cleanser like saline solution to flush the eye if necessary. You might need the help of another person to hold and calm your dog as most won’t like this step.
- Wipe and clean the eyes - Next use a clean cotton ball or pad to wipe any dirt or cut hairs away from the eyes. Wipe in one direction around the eye.
TIP: Alternatively, for an easy daily routine, not to mention a less stressful one for you and your dog, you can use gentle cleansing dog eye wipes. They are much more convenient, easy and quick to use, and your dog will probably tolerate them better. A great way of removing crusted dirt first is to simply comb it out with a dog eye comb. Find out our recommendations for the best products below.
How not to clean your dog’s eyes
When cleaning your dog’s eyes it is important to be very calm and gentle so the experience is not traumatising. Here are a few tips on what to avoid when cleaning your dog’s eyes at home:
- Avoid sudden movements that might startle your dog and cause injury.
- Be especially careful when using sharp objects, like scissors or combs, around your dog’s eyes. Don’t use them if your dog is unpredictable or if you’re not confident.
- Get someone to help you to keep your dog calm and reasonably restrained. But only do this if your dog is comfortable.
- Never use soap or shampoo around your dog’s eyes.
- Never clean your dog’s actual eye surface, only focus on the area around it.
- Never use hot water.
Eye Cleaning Combs - This is the perfect little comb to help you keep your dog’s face clean and tangle-free, and their eyes gunk-free. It’s small enough to get into awkward spots to detangle and remove dried crusted dirt from around your dog’s eyes. The ergonomic handle is comfortable and also comes in a choice of two colours.
Pet Eye & Wrinkle Wipes - Gentle Sensitive Cleansing Wipes for Dogs - The naturally derived and delicate formulation of our wipes are perfect for wiping away dirt and debris, and keeping the folds around your dog’s face clean and fresh. With natural active ingredients you can use them daily to prevent tear stains and inflammation.