Choosing and Giving a Dog Eye Drops

Choosing eye drops for a dog, and knowing how to apply them, is an important part of maintaining your dog's overall health, and can fight and prevent cataracts. Administering your canine eye drops can be a quick process, but may require some help.

Choosing Eye Drops

Canine eye drops are administered for various reasons. They could be used for post-operative recovery, to fight cataracts or allergies or simply keep the dog's eyes well moistened. When choosing which eye drop to use, consider your dog's other medications (if any). Some drops cannot be used while your dog is taking steroid-based medication. Others may lose effectiveness if the dog has a disease such as diabetes.

Eye drop treatment is most common for dogs that have cataracts. One out of 9 pets suffer from cataracts. The most common dog breeds that have cataracts are the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Welsh Springer Spaniel and others. Many drops will treat several kinds of cataracts. If you are not sure what kind of cataract your dog has, a basic drop such as Pet Vision that treats several kinds of cataracts may be beneficial.

Giving the Eye Drops

Since dogs can be hesitant about getting foreign substances in their eyes, you might want to have someone help restrain your dog or muzzle him while you administer the drops. If you do not have a helper, keep your dog stable between your knees. Try not to be anxious as it will be harder to apply treatment while nervous.

  1. Start by cleaning the area surrounding the eye. Remove mucous or discharge by gently sweeping away with a moistened cotton ball. Apply some saline solution to the ball for best results. Support the dog's head with your free hand or have your helper hold his head up. If possible, keep a hand free to hold his eyelids open.
  2. Position the bottle closely above the eye but not on the surface. Using your free hand to hold open the eyelid, quickly squeeze drops on the eyeball. (Consult your bottle for how many drops to apply. Usual dosage is 1-2 drops.)
  3. Let the head drop down and your dog to blink, causing the moisture to spread over the surface.
  4. Reward your dog. Keeping the experience fun will make the next application more tolerable and give your dog something to look forward to.
  5. Some pet owners apply anti-bacterial ointment to the eye after administering eye drops. Ointment is a good way to fight surface bacteria and act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal agent. To apply, squeeze a rice kernel-sized amount to the edge of the eye while holding the tube parallel to the lower eyelid.

Maintaining good eye health will protect your dog from infection and help fight cataracts and irritating allergies. An eye drop that fights multiple cataracts is ideal if you do not know the source of your dog's eye irritation.