Eye problems in dogs are one of the most common issues that affect all breeds, age and size. Dogs are curious creatures and like to put their faces everywhere, including dirt and garbage. That can cause many health problems, including eye infections. Below we'll go over most common eye issues and review the best eye ointments for dogs.

Common Eye Problems in Dogs That Require Ointments

Dog’s eyes are almost identical to human’s eyes, in both design and function. This is why dogs can develop many of the same eye diseases as humans.

While some eye problems are caused by external factors, others can be caused by genetic predispositions, like various corneal issues that brachycephalic dogs often suffer from. In any case, below are the most common eye problems in dogs.

Dry EyeDry eye is a condition in which tear glands don’t produce enough tears to keep the eyes wet. It is commonly caused by autoimmune disorders but it can also be caused by other health problems, like trauma, middle ear infection or eye infections.

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)Pink eye is a condition in which the mucous membranes of the dog’s eyelids become inflamed and cause pain and discomfort. Your dog’s eyes may also become swollen and red.

Corneal Ulcers – These are surface erosions in the dog’s eyes and they are not as serious as they sound. They commonly appear after an injury to the eye but they can also be caused by bad tear production and other condition.

Glaucoma – This is a condition that affects the balance of fluid in the dog’s eyes and increases his eye pressure. Glaucoma can be genetic but it can also be caused by injury or infection. Untreated glaucoma can lead to blindness.

Most of the eye problems in dogs will either lead to eye infection or be caused by it, so it’s important to react on time and prevent an even bigger problem. Some dog eye ointments can help with that, including these top five favorites below.

How to Recognize Eye Problems in Dogs?

Symptoms of eye problems in dogs can vary depending on the underlying cause but some of the most common symptoms include swelling, eye redness or other changes in color and discharge from the eyes that can vary in consistency and color.

In addition to this, your dog may show light sensitivity and reluctance to open his eyes. The eyelids can have crust or even be stuck together in severe cases. Pupil size may change and you may also notice cloudiness in your dog’s eyes.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet to determine the cause and receive instructions on the appropriate treatment.

How to Apply a Dog Eye Ointment

How to Apply a Dog Eye Ointment?

It is very important to apply ointment correctly to avoid any potential complications. Start by cleaning the area around your dog’s eye and removing any discharge with a warm washcloth.

Don’t use the washcloth on the eye itself since you could hurt your pooch accidentally if you scratch his eyeball. Instead, flush his eye with a saline solution to reduce irritation.

When it is time to apply the ointment, it is best to have someone hold the dog steady while you approach him from behind. Gently pull down your dog’s lower eyelid with your thumb or use your thumb and forefinger to open his both eyelids. Put the ointment on the inside of your dog’s lower lid and avoid touching the surface of the eye when you do it.

Once you apply the ointment, let your dog blink so he can spread it around.

The Best Eye Ointments for Dogs

While it is recommended to consult your vet on what the best eye ointment for your dog would be, there are a few high-quality products available that have a proven track record. We have reviewed a few that are safe to use and effective but always consult your vet before you start using any eye ointment for dogs.

1 OptixCare Dog Eye Lube Plus
by OptixCare

This product is perfect for dogs who suffer from dry eye since the main purpose of this ointment is to keep your dog’s eyes moisturized. The ointment has a special formula that provides long-lasting lubrication.

This lube contains carbomer and hyaluron, acting as artificial tears in the process to keep the protected and moisturized. You can use this ointment as often as needed and you can take it with you if you go away with your furry friend.

Keep in mind that this lube is meant only for animal use and keep it away from children. I really like this lube and I use it on my dog regularly. However, it may come in an unsealed package and while it never happened to me, some users complained that the tube was half-empty when they received it.

OptixCare Pet Eye Lube Plus + Hyaluron 20g for Dog...
7,716 Reviews
OptixCare Pet Eye Lube Plus + Hyaluron 20g for Dog...
  • Eye wetting agent
  • Provides long lasting comfort...
  • Supports long lasting corneal...

» PROS: Effectively Keeps Eyes Moisturized, Dual-Hydrating Formula, Easy to Use Tube

« CONS: May Come in an Unsealed Package, Reports of Receiving Used Tubes


2 Zoetis Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment
by Zoetis Animal Health

This ophthalmic ointment with Terramycin can help your pooch fight bacterial eye infections. This is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that can help with inflamed cornea, conjunctivitis, pink eye, corneal ulcers and other infections of the eyes.

While this cream is generally safe, there are some possible side effects like swelling of the face and itching. Also, your dog may feel some stinging after application but that shouldn’t cause any serious pain to him.

Keep in mind that this ointment requires prescription if you live in California.

Zoetis Animal Health Terramycin Antibiotic...
12,197 Reviews
Zoetis Animal Health Terramycin Antibiotic...
  • For Cats, Dogs, and Horses
  • Terramycin is typically...
  • ointment to help fight eye...

» PROS: Effective against Various Bacterial Infections, Rare Side Effects

« CONS: Some Stinging May Occur, Requires Prescription in California


3 Vetericyn Plus All Animal Ophthalmic Gel
by Vetericyn

This all-animal eye gel offers safe and effective eye irritation relief but it can also be used for wounds since it is non-toxic, antibiotic-free. Of course, this ointment has been approved by the FDA for use on all animals, regardless of age or size.

To see the effects of this gel, apply it to the dog’s eyes once or twice a day, as long as it is needed. Thanks to the special formula, this gel doesn’t sting or burn the eyes. This ointment is often used to prevent any eye issues by keeping the eyes moist and by preventing discharge caused by allergies and other problems.

While this product has many positive reviews, I didn’t have such a great experience since it did burn my dog’s eyes a bit. Apparently, this is something other dog owners experienced as well with this ophthalmic gel.

Vetericyn Plus Ophthalmic Eye Gel for Horses | Eye...
5,691 Reviews
Vetericyn Plus Ophthalmic Eye Gel for Horses | Eye...
  • MADE IN USA: From a company...

» PROS: Used for Various Eye Problems, Can Be Used Preventively, Special Pain-Free Formula

« CONS: Some Burning May Occur


4 MicrocynAH Ophthalmic Eye Ointment for Dogs
by MicrocynAH

Like the previous entry on my list, this gel is non-toxic and made without any alcohol, antibiotics, steroids and other harmful chemicals. It is recommended by vets and safe for use on dogs, cats and all other animals, young and old.

MicrocynAH Ophthalmic Gel
904 Reviews
MicrocynAH Ophthalmic Gel
  • ONLY animal healthcare...
  • Safe for use on animals of all...
  • Non-toxic, non-irritating and...
  • Contains no alcohol, steroids,...
  • Veterinarian recommended and...

This gel should not irritate your dog’s eyes or cause any burning whatsoever. It can be used a couple of times daily as needed and it can be used preventively as well since it can moisturize your dog’s eyes and protect them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much luck with this product when I tried to use it for my dog’s eye infection but there are many dog owners who shared their positive results and reviews, so it is worth giving it a try.

» PROS: Used for Various Eye Problems, Can Be Used Preventively, Special Pain-Free Formula

« CONS: There Are Better Products Available for Eye Infections


5 OptixCare Eye Health Ointment for Dogs
by OptixCare

This is another product by OptixCare, and it is very similar to my first choice on the list, the ointment I found best for various eye problems. Like that other ointment, this one can also keep your dog’s eyes moisturized and healthy, especially if you have a short-nosed breed.

The ointment can help with oxidative stress and slow down the progression of age-related eye diseases, delaying their onset significantly. The formula uses the power of four different antioxidants to ensure eye health.

However, like the OptixCare eye lube, this product may also arrive in unsealed packaging, and you may find the tube not properly filled.

» PROS: Effectively Keeps Eyes Moisturized, Can Be Used Preventively, Easy to Use Tube

« CONS: May Come in an Unsealed Package, Tube You Receive May Be Half-Empty


Since eye problems in dogs are pretty common, especially those occurring with age, there are many products that aim to help with these issues and prevent or treat various eye problems. The best eye ointment for dogs products reviewed above can be bought and used without prescription but you should still consult your vet before using them.

READ NEXT: Eye Infections in Dogs – Prevention and Treatment (Based on Studies)

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Dom Naish is a Phoenix-based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught him every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.