Home Dog Care How to Give a Dog Eye Drops

How to Give a Dog Eye Drops

Most dogs require eye drops at some point in their lives. For some, eye drops are used to treat a short term eye infection. For others, dog eye drops are used as a life long treatment for conditions like dry eyes or canine glaucoma. Understanding how to give a dog eye drops is essential for pet owners of such dogs.

Giving Dog Eye Drops

It's not uncommon for dogs to develop eye allergies or catch eye infections. The most common way to treat these and other eye problems is with eye drops. However, administering eye drops to our dogs makes most of us dog owners very nervous.

Unfortunately, it's definitely not going to be a pleasant process for the dog. Your pet probably isn't going to be happy about letting you near his eyes, and you'll be worried about whether or not you are doing everything correctly.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it: there's definitely room for error when trying to give your dog eye drops. You need to be very careful, gentle and know exactly what you're doing. You also need to keep the dog calm so that your pooch doesn't make the situation any worse.

Fortunately, the process is quick (once you learn the steps). Hopefully my video above and the article below can give you a good idea on how to give a dog eye drops properly, safely and quickly.

How to Give a Dog Eye Drops

How to Give a Dog Eye Drops - Full Guide

1. Prepare Beforehand (To Make It Faster)

There are different types of dog eye drops out there, but the process of applying them is exactly the same. The first step in learning how to give a dog eye drops in a safe way is to be prepared.

You don't need me to tell you that your dog isn't going to be very happy with you as you get closer to the procedure. But if you're prepared in advance it will make things easier and, more importantly, much faster.

Wash your hands. You'll be working very closely near your pet's eyeball, thus you need to be sure that your hands are clean. Wash them right before you administer the drops to reduce the risk of contaminating your dog's eye and causing more damage and problems.

2. (Optional) Get an Extra Set of Hands

This is not essential, but if your dog is a wiggler, then try to enlist the help of another family member to make it easier. This can sometimes be more crucial because the more the dog wiggles, the higher the chance they're injure themselves.

Having an extra set of hands from a family member of a friend to hold your dog or pat him and calm the dog down could prove to be very helpful. It may also help to keep your dog stable and more relaxed if there is another person there speaking soothingly to him.

Clean the dog's eyes

3. Clean the Area Before Applying Eye Drops

Before you begin applying dog eye drops into your pet's eyes, it's important that the area is clean. If it's not, and if there's some liquid that drops out or around the dog's eyes, it can drip back into your pet's eyes, causing further eye problems.

To clean the area, use a dog grooming wipe or just a tissue. Simply wipe around as close as possible to the dog's eyes. This will get rid of any debris that could accidentally get in the eye while you're holding it open.

4. Get Into Position

As I explain in my video above, it is best to give a dog eye drops while your pet is relaxed and lying down. You can stand over your dog (straddling their body) if you choose – this is more “secure” but the problem is that position might make dogs more nervous.

When your pet is relaxed and lying down, tip the dog onto his side and cradle your dog's head in your lap or hand. As you'll see in my video, it's easy to use your thumb and pointer finger to gently hold the dog's eye open and ready for pet eye drops.

This is where being prepared is very important:

Of course, it depends what kind of dog eye care products you're using. But if you're going with simple eye drops, and if you already have the liquid in the eye dropper, and it's sitting right next to you, it will only take a second to quickly apply a few drops into a dog's eye.

Give a Dog Eye Drops

5. Give the Dog Eye Drops

Once you administered the proper amount of dog eye drops into one eye, let go of that eye (but not the dog) and allow your pet to blink a few times on his own and relax for a few moments. Then repeat the same with the other eye (if needed), trying not to spend too much time waiting between application into both eyes.

After you've applied eye drops, do not let go of your dog's head just yet, but you can put down the dropper.

6. Massage the Eyes and Reward Your Pet

Now, the final step to learning how to give a dog eye drops 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 the dog for allowing you to give him these nasty eye drops and for being a good sport while doing so. It will also help your dog associate getting eye drops with a positive experience, so that the process is easier for you in the future.

7. Best Eye Drops for Dogs

Different eye conditions in dogs will require different eye drops, especially more serious clinical conditions such as infections. However, the most common eye problems that pet owners deal with are debris, abrasions, and similar, all of which can be dealt with eye drops for dogs that can be purchased over-the-counter online.

What every pet owner needs to have on hand at all times are dog eye rinses, eye lubes, antimicrobial eye washes and antihistamine eye drops. This will cover 95% of most common dog eye problems you'll have to deal with. Below are some of the best brands of each type of eye care product that can be bought over the counter.

READ NEXT: 9 Most Common Dog Eye Problems (How to Prevent and Treat Them)

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.

Want to share this?

Tips on How To Give A Dog Eye Drops

Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.