Is It Safe to Use Visine for Dogs?

Visine is a human eye drop solution that is used for dry, irritated and red eyes. However, this product is not FDA approved for use in pets. If you are tempted to use this product in your pet, you should know about the possible consequences. If you notice any symptoms and you suspect your dog may have an eye infection or allergies, it’s best if you get veterinary advice and avoid using Visine or other eye drops formulated for human use.

Visine for Eye Problems

Visine is product that is formulated for humans and can be used in patients with:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritated, red eyes caused by tiredness or allergies
  • Itchy eyes

The eye drop solution contains Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, which reduces the volume of blood vessels and reduces the redness or eyes.

Visine for Dogs

Visine is not FDA approved for veterinary use and when you notice that your dog has red, itchy or dry eyes, you should get a checkup and a clear diagnosis. You shouldn’t use Visine in your pet. The effects of this product haven’t been thoroughly studied in pets. The eye drops will constrict the blood vessels and reduce redness and dryness, but there may be side effects and the solution may even damage the pet’s eyes. To be on the safe side, you should avoid using it and get treatment that has approval for veterinary use.

Eye Problems in Dogs

Dry, itchy or red eyes in dogs may be caused by several possible conditions including:

  • Conjunctivitis, which is a common eye infection
  • Allergic reactions to chemicals, pollens, grasses or contact with a material your pet is allergic to
  • A foreign body stuck in the eye such as a small bug
  • A scratch on the cornea

The dog may display various other symptoms such as excessive tearing or secretion of a white/pinkish/yellow substance. If you notice these symptoms and these persist for several days, you should consult a vet, who may diagnose your pet or send you to an ophthalmologist, who is a specialist that can establish the condition causing your dog’s symptoms.

Treatment for Dogs with Dry or Red Eyes

The treatment for a dog with dry or red eyes can depend on the results of the consultation and the diagnosis given. If an infection is present, the dog will get an antibiotic treatment, which can be topical or oral or both. A dog with allergies will get antihistamines and eye drops. Should there be any foreign bodies in the dog’s eyes, these will have to be removed. In some cases, the dog will eliminate the foreign bodies if he produces a sufficient amount of tears.

To prevent dry, irritated eyes, you can wash your dog’s eyes on a regular basis (e.g. once per week) with a saline eye wash and an eye dropper. This solution cannot be used instead of a treatment for an infection, but may moisturize the eyes.