How to Treat Red Eyes In Dogs Even If You Are Not a Vet

Dogs, just like all other animals can get infections in the eye. These infections will manifest in different ways; through a release of discharge, itchy eyes, swollen eyes and red eyes. If these infections are not attended to soon enough, they can cause permanent damage and leave your dog blind. One of the common problems that dog owners have to grapple with is the issue of red eyes in dogs.

In this article, I will be looking at the steps you will need to take to diagnose the problem and also manage treatment. It is advisable that you approach a qualified veterinary doctor for the diagnosis. Attempting to do a diagnosis on your own could leave you with more problems than solutions.

A few symptoms could tell you that your dog is suffering from red eye. Some of the symptoms listed by Vetary, the pet health credit provider, of red eye in your dog will include the dog rubbing its eyes on the floor, squinting when looking at objects in light and keeping her eyes closed. When your dog has tears in her eyes, has eyelids that are swollen and puffy or exhibits a red spot on the white part of the eyes, she may be suffering from red eye.


Things You Will Need to Treat Red Eye In You Dog

  • Wash Cloth
  • Warm water
  • Saline solution
  • Prescribed antibiotic
  • Someone to help hold the dog
  • Dog Cone
  • Eyedropper

1. Consult a Veterinary Doctor about the Problem

The First thing you want to do after you start suspecting that your dog has red eye is to get an official diagnosis from the doctor. This will take away the guessing game as not all eye discharges are evidence that there is an infection. Other reasons that could lead to discharges from your dog’s eye may include allergies, foreign objects in the eye or another condition known as dry eye.

Other eye problems could be a result of an ulcer growing in the eye, or some other genetic complications. Without a clear diagnosis done by a veterinary doctor, you will never know for sure if the problem is emanating from red eye.

When you take the dog to the doctor’s rooms, she will do the basics such as taking the temperatures of the dog and her blood pressure. Then she will analyze the dog as it walks around the room watching to see whether there is an issue relating to an eye infection. The vet will use her equipment to find out if the problems are not caused by other issues not related to the red eye.

When a veterinary doctor has made the determination that your dog's eye problems are a result of red eye, you will need to start the treatment.

2. Wipe off the Discharge

The treatment should start with immersing a cloth in warm water. Use this cloth to remove all the discharge which accumulates on the fur around the dog’s eye. While doing this, ensure that the cloth does not get into contact with the eye itself as this poses a risk of damaging the eye by scratching the eyeball.

It is important to ensure that the cloth you are using is clean. Also, make sure that you have warmed the cloth using clean water. A dirty cloth or water could lead to more problems with infection.

3. Use Saline Solution

You can help reduce the irritation in the dog’s eye by using Saline solution. According to Ygoy Health Community, Saline eye drops are the most popular medication for the treatment of eye irritation sold over the counter. The medication can be useful in treating the dog even without a prescription. It helps reduce irritation.

When buying the eye drops, you need to know that they come in different varieties. The ones you want to use for your dog should be ones that do not contain any drugs.

To administer the Saline eye drops, use an eye dropper. Always ensure that you do this is an area which is clean and uses clean equipment as you do not want to aggravate the problem by getting more foreign bodies into the dog's eye. Administer this around 3 to 4 times per day.

4. Administer the Antibiotics

When the vet is sure that the dog is suffering from red eye, she will prescribe antibiotics. These antibiotics come as an ointment or as eye drops. These are usually administered to the dog’s infected eye 3 or 4 times a day.

If the veterinary doctor gives you oral medication, you will have to mix the medication with the dog’s food.

When the doctor gives you your dog’s treatment as an ointment or drops, you can use the following procedure to administer the medication.

  • Ask someone to help you hold the dog 
  • Ensure that you have all the things that you need 
  • Open the dog’s eyelid 
  • It is advisable that you approach the dog from the back so that you do not threaten it
  • As you administer the medication, ensure that you are not touching the animal’s eye with the dropper
  • Let go off the eyelids so that the dog can blink and spread the medication around
  • Repeat this process at intervals according to the prescription

5. Put a Cone on the Dog

While the dog is on medication, you will need to ensure that it does not scratch the eye or rub it. Watch your dog and if you notice her trying to scratch the eye by rubbing it on surfaces or other body parts you may have to consider using a cone. If you do not have a cone, you can use an Elizabethan collar.

If you’re going to drive around with the dog in the car while on treatment, always ensure that she does not have her head out of the car window. Keeping the head out of the car while driving can get debris into the eye and cause further irritation.

6. Keep Dog Away From Dust

When the dog is being treated, ensure that the environment in which she spends most of her time is not dusty. Ensure that members of your family and kids know that the dog is on treatment. They should understand the things that will help the dog to heal faster.


If you follow the steps as we have suggested above, your dog’s red eye should heal within a week. However, if you notice that the problem is not improving after 7 days, you may need to go back to the vet. She should examine the dog and suggest what else you need to do.

I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial and you also found the steps easy to follow. In my case, I always want to ensure that my dog is in the right state of health. Ignoring symptoms could lead to permanent damage.

If you have any suggestion on how to improve the steps we have suggested above, feel free to leave us a comment. You can share the article with your connections. You never known, this could save a friend or relative’s dog.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments