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Should I clean my pet’s eyes?

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Just like us, our four-legged friends produce normal eye discharge that can flow and form that unsightly crusting in the corner of the eyes. Sound familiar? Yes, the kind you tend to have in the morning when you wake up!

We may not like the eye crust, but our furry friends don’t either, so here are our tips for safely getting rid of that discharge in the corner of their eyes!


Is it an infection?

Before trying to remove anything, check the appearance of your pet’s eyes. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should see your vet:

  • Redness around the eyes
  • Swelling
  • Excessive discharge
  • Yellowish or greenish discharge
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Excessive blinking

These symptoms can indicate a number of conditions: conjunctivitis is the most common but it can also mean a corneal ulcer or a diabetic cataract. The list of eye diseases is a long one, so it’s essential to get your veterinarian’s opinion instead of medicating your pet yourself!


How do I clean my pet’s eyes?

If your pet has none of these symptoms and you just want to clean the debris or discharge in the inner corner of your pet’s eye, just follow these simple steps:

  1. The very first step—and it is crucial—is to wash your hands.
  2. The best item for cleaning your pet’s eyes is a sterile gauze pad or a smooth paper towel. You want something that is as soft as possible.
  3. Moisten the compress with an eye-cleansing solution that is specially developed for use in this delicate area of the eye. Your vet will have it!
  4. Your pet should be in a comfortable position, preferably sitting.
  5. Place your hand high on your pet’s forehead to prevent movement during the cleaning process.
  6. Gently swab around the eye with the compress. You may find it easier to remove the debris by wrapping the compress around your index finger or thumb. Be gentle and avoid touching the eye.
  7. When the cleaning is finished, some petting and a treat is in order. Your pet will associate eye cleaning with treats for next time!

And that’s it! Easy, right?



Here are a few tips to avoid stressing your beloved pet!

  • Never use a cotton ball to clean your pet’s eyes. The cotton fibers can get in the eye!
  • If your pet has long hair around its eyes and you think it might get in its eyes, you can trim the hair yourself with special scissors, cutting in the direction of growth. If you don’t feel confident, have a groomer do it or your veterinarian staff!
  • When travelling with a dog in the car in warm weather, do not open the window to let him/her stick their head out. Think of all the debris that could get into your pet’s eyes while it’s enjoying the breeze!


Wondering if your pet’s eyes are healthy? See your veterinarian: he or she is the only one who can give your pet the proper care!

Tips & Tricks

Dois-je nettoyer les yeux de mon animal?