Table of Contents
- My 3 Favorite Dog Eye Infection Home Remedies
- Other Home Remedies That Will Help Dog Eye Infection
- Understanding Eye Infection in Dogs
- When To Seek for Vet Help
- FAQs about Dog Eye Infections Home Remedies
- Dog Eye Infection Home Remedies: Before You Go…
Eye infections are common in dogs, and they typically are not something to worry about.
However, it's still important to treat them quickly, or your dog could lose his sight.
Dog eye infection home remedies can be effective, but you should have your pooch evaluated by a vet before trying any DIY options.
Dr. Chantele Pinard, associate professor and dog eye infection specialist at Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, said, “Eye infections can present with many symptoms, especially related to type and duration of infection.”
This means it can also be due to different causes that an expert needs to diagnose before proceeding with treatment.
Once your vet determines which type of infection, only then can you discuss the possible home remedies to relieve your pup's eye discomfort.
But you would still have to work closely with the expert.
Dr. Pinard said, “Should the eye infection not resolve in twenty-hour hours, then veterinary care should be sought out. Unfortunately, the eye can be very unforgiving, and infections can easily get out of control fast, so prompt veterinary care is recommended.”
Personally, I have also had to deal with my dogs' eye infections in the past.
And through the years, I've come across three remedies that I find almost always effective in dealing with the infection (with permission from our vet, of course!)
Let me share with you my top 3 favorite dog eye infection home remedies in this article.
We'll also discuss a couple of other alternatives my vet and other pet owners recommend.
Let's get started!
My 3 Favorite Dog Eye Infection Home Remedies
1. Saline Solution
If your dog is having any issues with his eyes, you'll need to keep the area as clean as possible.
Trim long hair around the eyes. You'll also need to wash the area multiple times per day.
Make a saline solution using 1/4 cup warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Dip a gauze pad or clean cloth in the solution, and wipe the eye area starting from the snout (corner of the eye) outward toward the ear.
If your dog's eye infection is causing discharge, you'll need to clean the area every 30-60 minutes or as needed to prevent the discharge from hardening.
Never reuse the same wipe twice.
You can also use the saline solution as a flush, dripping a small amount into your dog’s eye using a sterile eye dropper or a new cotton ball.
But if you're a little intimidated in making your own DIY saline solution (trust me, I've been there before,) you can opt to buy readily available saline wash in pet stores or online.
I recommend using Vetericyn Plus Dog and Cat Eye Wash instead. A lot of pet owners and experts swear by this brand.
2. Chamomile Tea
One of the easiest home remedies for eye infections is chamomile tea. It's affordable on any budget and can be found in any grocery store.
Chamomile tea is believed to hold antibacterial properties and offers a soothing mixture for irritated, sore eyes.
Steep a chamomile teabag in hot water.
Once cooled, hold the bag over your dog's infected eye for at least 5 minutes.
You can also apply the teabag around the eye area or use cotton wool balls dipped in the tea as an alternative.
Use these applications daily, as needed.
However, if your vet prescribed antibiotics or antivirals to your dog, you should also clarify if continuing the rinse or tea application is okay.
Some medications may recommend not wiping the area to prevent dispersing the medication outside the eye area.
3. Cod Liver Oil
Applying 1 drop of cod liver oil to the eye each day can help to relieve the pain associated with an eye infection in your pet.
The oil has been shown to help reduce inflammation and lubricate the eye.
Cod Liver Oil is also high in Vitamin A, which has been shown to promote corneal healing.
Vitamin A has also been shown to help the surface of the eye be an effective barrier to bacteria.
You can find over-the-counter eye drops that contain Vitamin A, but you'll need to check with your veterinarian to make sure they are safe for your pet.
Other Home Remedies That Will Help Dog Eye Infection
There are other options you can use to prevent your dog's eye infection from getting worse.
Here are a few other recommendations from my co-pet owner friends and experts.
1. E-Collar or Protective Cone
Sure, E-collars are not exactly home remedies for a dog's eye infection.
However, they are still helpful!
What they'd do is prevent further damage to Fido's eye, caused by him rubbing his face against the ground or using his paw to scratch the area.
By having the plastic barrier, your dog can still attempt to scratch or rub but won’t contact the injured eye.
When sizing a cone for your dog, look for a cone that extends two inches beyond your dog’s nose.
And never leave your dog unattended while wearing the cone, as it can become stuck or entangled on objects.
You should also always take the cone off before bedtime.
2. Artificial Tears for Dogs
Although they seem similar to saline drops, artificial tears contain a safe lubricant that can help bring much-needed moisture to the eye.
If your dog also has dry and irritated eyes, this moisture can lower inflammation.
Artificial tears are natural remedies for pink eye; they don’t contain any antibiotics or medicinal compounds, so they won’t eliminate a bacterial infection while adding moisture.
You can find artificial tears as either an ointment or an eye drop. What's good is only small amounts of the products are needed, making a small tube or bottle long-lasting.
You can try Genteal Tears Gel Drops to help relieve your dog's dry eyes and infection.
3. Cold Compress and Ice
If you observe any swelling or inflammation in and around your dog's infected eye, you can use a cold compress to eliminate it.
It's also normally the easiest and most comfortable remedy you can get your hands on.
Just remember to always opt for soft cold compresses or washcloths over hard ice blocks.
It will be easier to apply and less likely to irritate the area. If needed, a soft, cold compress like this can be purchased both online and from pharmacies.
Simply apply the compress to your dog's closed eye several times a day, for several minutes at a time.
This should help lower any swelling and inflammation but will not treat any infection of the eye.
Understanding Eye Infection in Dogs
As we've mentioned above, eye infections are a common problem in dogs and can be caused by a variety of factors—bacteria, viruses, allergies, or foreign objects.
If your dog has an eye infection, the common symptoms you would likely notice include:
- rubbing or pawing at the eye
You may also see a discharge in the eye, ranging from puss, mucus, or clear color.
If the eye discharge is clear, that's more likely a viral issue. But if it's a puss, then bacterial infection might be the problem.
There's a high chance of eye infection if a discharge is occurring.
We have discussed the science-based approach to understanding eye infection in dogs in this article.
When To Seek for Vet Help
If your dog has a history of allergies that often cause redness, itchiness, or any infection of sorts in his eyes, then you might be fine doing these dog eye infection home remedies for a day or so.
But if it's a new occurrence, or you see something that's not normal, like a discharge, the first course of action is to see your veterinarian.
Ask your vet which remedies he would recommend for you to administer at home.
If after a certain period (which your vet would also advise you) you don't see any improvements, bring Fido back to the doctor.
While we're thankful that there are helpful products we can use at home to ease our dog's discomfort, nothing can replace a vet's help when it comes to treating our pets.
So, work closely with your veterinarian!
Treating Dog Eye Infection
If my favorite dog eye infection home remedies didn't work out the way we wanted, well, that's a bummer.
Let's accept that dogs are different; what works for my pets might not work for yours.
And that's okay. There are other treatments you can discuss with your vet that can be tailor-fit to your dog's condition.
Treatment for eye infections in dogs will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the infection.
Mild ones may be treated with topical ointments or eye drops, while more severe ones may require oral antibiotics or other medications.
If there is an irritant or foreign body, removal will be necessary—both from your dog's eyes and his environment.
For example, if your dog is reacting to a specific plant you have within your home, it's best to remove that plant to prevent reoccurrence.
Should a parasite, bacteria, or virus be causing your dog’s symptoms, the vet will prescribe an appropriate antiviral or antibiotic medication.
Pain reducers may also be given to Fido, depending on the issue or injury.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove foreign objects or repair damage to the eye.
Follow your veterinarian's instructions for treatment and monitor your dog's progress closely.
Remember: If left untreated, eye infections can lead to more serious problems, such as corneal ulcers or blindness. It's important to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your dog has an eye infection.
Preventing Dog Eye Infection
Preventing eye infections in dogs can be achieved by keeping their eyes clean and free of debris, avoiding exposure to irritants or allergens, and ensuring that their vaccinations are up to date.
Serious viral infections can spread without immunizations, making it a safeguard for your dog when in contact with other animals.
You can also keep any fur or hair around your dog’s eyes trimmed and out of the eye area.
This is particularly true if your dog has long hair.
Try to learn if the eye irritation is caused by hair or debris. You will sometimes see foreign bodies attached to your dog's fur around the eyes.
Regular veterinary checkups can also help to catch and treat eye infections early before they become more serious.
Should your dog regularly suffer from allergies or dry eyes, it’s important to maintain any scheduled medications or appointments.
Always give treatments as prescribed and for the duration required to clear the infection.
You should also always inspect your dog’s face to monitor any problems or issues.
By taking proactive steps to prevent and treat eye infections, you can help keep your dog's eyes healthy and happy.
FAQs about Dog Eye Infections Home Remedies
Can a dog's eye infection go away on its own?
It depends on the severity and cause of the eye infection.
Mild eye infections in dogs, such as those caused by allergies or minor irritants, may go away on their own with time and proper care.
However, more serious infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or foreign objects can worsen and lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
What human eye drops are safe for dogs?
Some human eye drops may be safe for dogs, like saline solution and artificial tears.
However, others can be harmful or even toxic.
That's why you should never give your dog human eye drops without first consulting your veterinarian.
Also, the dosage and frequency of use may be different for dogs than for humans.
Your vet can recommend the appropriate eye drops for Fido's specific condition and provide instructions for use.
They may also prescribe medicated eye drops or ointments or recommend over-the-counter eye drops that are specifically formulated for dogs.
It's important to follow your veterinarian's instructions carefully and to monitor your dog's progress closely.
Can you give a dog an eye bath even if he doesn't have an eye infection?
Yes, you can regularly give your dog an eye bath even if they don't have an infection.
Regular eye baths can help keep your dog's eyes clean and free of debris, which in turn can help prevent infections and irritations.
However, it's important to use a saline solution or eye wash recommended by your veterinarian, as some solutions can be harmful or irritating to your dog's eyes.
Remember to be gentle and avoid touching your dog's eyes with a cloth or cotton ball, which can cause further irritation or damage.
If your dog has a history of eye problems or if you notice any changes in their eye appearance or behavior, it's important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian.
Dog Eye Infection Home Remedies: Before You Go…
Because there are different types of eye infections that can happen to dogs, there are also different treatments for it.
But the dog eye infection home remedies we have mentioned above should be safe and generic enough to help ease your dog's pain and discomfort, regardless of the cause.
Just be sure to speak to your vet about it first before going down the DIY route!
Want to read more about dog eye care and problems? Check out our recommended articles below!
- Top 5 Best Eye Ointments for Dogs
- 9 List of Dog Eye Problems
- Dog Eye Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, Remedies