Eye infections are a common health condition seen in dogs, and they're usually not something to worry about when treated quickly.
Your dog may require eye ointment to treat an infection or a chronic condition. For this reason, every pet parent should know how to apply eye ointment to a dog.
However, administering eye ointment to your dog can make an owner very nervous.
You may be worried about scratching your dog's eye or causing him pain. The truth is, applying the ointment will probably make him uncomfortable.
But, when done correctly, it won't cause him any pain.
I'm not going to lie to you: there's room for error. It would help if you were very careful, gentle, and educated yourself on what you're doing.
It would help keep your dog calm, so he doesn't make the situation any more difficult.
Thankfully, learning how to apply eye ointment to a dog is a quick and easy process. I would encourage every pet owner to learn this vital skill.
If your dog is diagnosed with an eye issue, you will already know how to handle it.
How To Apply Eye Ointment To A Dog
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that you should NEVER apply any medication to your dog's eye(s) without checking with your veterinarian first.
Over-the-counter treatments are available, but you need to be sure that you're choosing a product that will treat the condition properly.
If left untreated, or if you treat the issue with the wrong medication, serious eye problems (including blindness) could occur.
1. Get Prepared
There are different dog eye ointment medications, but applying them is precisely the same.
First things first, you need to get prepared. Your dog isn't going to be happy about you putting medication into his eye, but if you get prepared in advance, it will make things easier and faster.
Wash your hands. Gather the necessary supplies, including:
- grooming wipes or a clean cloth with water
- rubber gloves (optional, but recommended)
- eye ointment
- clean paper towel or dry cloth
2. (Optional) Ask for Assistance
It's not essential, but it will make it easier to have someone help you. This is especially important if your dog is a wiggler.
Be sure that the person helping you is someone that your dog knows and is very comfortable with, like another family member or a close friend.
3. Clean the Eye Area
Before you begin applying ointment to your pet's eyes, it's essential to clean the area.
If it's not, there may be contamination in the ointment that might worsen the condition.
Also, a common symptom of eye issues in dogs is discharged, which needs to be cleaned away as often as possible.
Use a dog grooming wipe or a clean cloth with water to clean the area. Wipe around as close as possible to the dog's eyes.
This will eliminate any debris that could accidentally get in the eye while you're holding it open.
4. Get Into Position
As I explained in my video above, it is best to apply eye ointment while your pet is relaxed and lying down.
You can stand over your dog, but it may make your puppy more nervous.
When your dog is relaxed and lying down, tip him onto his side and cradle his head in your lap.
As you'll see in my video, it's easy to use your thumb and pointer finger to hold Fido's eye open gently.
5. Apply the Ointment
Once you have administered the proper amount of ointment into the eye, let go of that eyelid (but not the dog) and allow your pup to blink a few times on his own and relax.
Then repeat the same with the other eye (if needed).
6. Massage the Eye(s) and Reward Your Pet
The final step in learning how to apply eye ointment to a dog is to keep your pet firmly in your hands and gently massage the eye(s).
This will allow the medication to spread evenly.
When you're finished, be sure to give your pet a treat. You want to reward him for allowing you to apply the medication.
It will also help your dog associate getting eye medication with a positive experience to make the process easier for you in the future.