Red, Itchy Eyes in Dogs: Home Remedies

Dog getting an eye exam.

Owners can often detect eye issues when their dogs touch their eyes, wipe their noses on the ground, blink, or even close one or both eyes. They may also have red, crusty, or teary eyes. Many owners are unsure of how they may safely assist at home. Because certain products can cause significant, if not permanent, eye damage or combine with your dog's other prescriptions, it's crucial to understand how to treat eye problems at home while you wait to visit your veterinarian.

What is 'Pink Eye' in Dogs?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye in humans, can occur in dogs when the tissue that covers the surface of the eye, called the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed.

Conjunctivitis and/or a variety of other eye illnesses can produce red, itchy eyes. An infection (viral, bacterial, or parasitic), allergies, or foreign material irritating the eye's surface can all cause conjunctivitis. Because eyes are so fragile, even little abnormalities can quickly snowball into catastrophic difficulties, any dog displaying indications of an eye disease should be checked by a veterinarian.

Antibiotics, steroids, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, and a variety of other treatments may be prescribed by your veterinarian, depending on the diagnosis. While you wait for your appointment, there are a few safe and practical actions you can do at home to keep your dog comfortable.

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    Saline Eye Drops

    White eye drop bottle being squeezed upside down.

    Saline eye drops can be used to safely flush any irritants out of a dog's eye. These drops won't hurt and may provide some temporary relief to your dog's inflamed eye.

    Saline eye drops may be bought at a pharmacy, online, or at a pet store and gently squirted into your dog's eye. They aren't interchangeable with contact lens solutions. Human contact lens solution contains additives and should never be put in a dog's eye since it is potentially dangerous. To avoid scratching the sensitive eye tissues, keep the tip of the drug a little distance away from the surface of the eye.

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    While using an e-collar on a dog with eye illness does not treat the condition directly, it does assist to avoid future damage to the eye. Itchy or sore eyes are frequently rubbed with a paw or on the ground by dogs, which can scrape or irritate the eye worse. While you wait for treatment, an e-collar will keep you safe.

    E-collars are available at pet stores, online, and via your veterinarian, and should be large enough to prevent your dog from scratching his face or rubbing his eye on the floor or furniture. When worn around your dog's neck like a lampshade, an e-collar should extend two inches past its snout.

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    Cold Compress

    Inflammation can typically be relieved with a cold compress. A cool, damp washcloth is typically the quickest and most pleasant way to apply a compress to a dog's red, itching eye. Soft, cold compresses (not frozen, hard ice packs) are also available from pharmacies and online.

    To assist reduce swelling and inflammation, apply the compress to the closed eye for several minutes many times a day. Although a cold compress will not cure the underlying condition, it will make your dog feel better.

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    Artificial Tears

    Artificial tears, unlike basic saline eye drops, contain a lubricant that is safe for the eyes. Artificial tears may assist to supply additional moisture if your dog's eyes are dry and inflamed. These can be used several times each day, but they do not include drugs to treat the underlying issue.

    Artificial tears are widely utilized in dogs with dry eyes and come in the form of an eye drop or an ointment. Because they are not used to flush an eye but rather to stay in it, just a tiny amount is required, hence a small bottle or tube will last a long time.

Home remedies can be a great adjunct therapy for your dog's eye problems, but eye disease requires medicated treatment and must be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian.

You should contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice signs of an eye problem. This way, your dog can feel better as soon as possible and avoid worsening symptoms.

  • What causes eye infections in dogs?

    A number of things can cause eye infections in dogs: allergens/irritants, bacteria, fungus, or foreign matter (like dust or hair).

  • How long does it take an eye infection to go away in dogs?

    Some infections, like conjunctivitis, take several weeks to clear up. Others can take days to weeks.

  • How serious is an eye infection in dogs?

    Very. Left untreated eye infections can cause your dog to lose vision, or worse, its eye.

  • When should I take my dog to the vet for an eye infection?

    If home remedies don't work in a quick manner, if you see blood or pus or anything that looks abnormal, please reach out to your vet for treatment.