Dog Has Red Eyes

Looking back into the loving eyes of your dog is probably one of the best parts of being a dog parent. Unless, of course, what stares back at you is a pair of red and obviously irritated eyes.

Redness of the eyes in dogs is usually as a result of local irritation but could also be due to other more serious conditions of the eye. The most important thing that you could do for your dog in these cases is to get a vet involved as soon as possible.

In the sections below, we shall cover all the important things you should know about dealing with red eyes in dogs from the possible causes to how to prevent it.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Red Eye?

When it comes to treating your dog’s red eye or eyes as a dog owner, it is really best to leave it to the professionals and just take the pooch to the vet. However, this does not mean that there is nothing that you can do to help your furry bestie.

Here are some of the most important do’s and don’ts if you want to help your dog when they have red eyes.

Do Take The Dog To A Vet

We cannot stress this enough. Red eyes in dogs can be a sign of serious eye problems and you should therefore consult a vet as soon as possible. It is really the best thing you could do for your dog in this state.

Do Rinse Out Any Foreign Bodies

For dogs whose red eye is caused by irritation by foreign bodies, you could perform some first aid by rinsing out the debris. Clean running water may be all you will need to irrigate the eye and soothe the dog.

If the irritable condition still persists, you could use a special rinsing liquid like Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid For Dogs. This contains boric acid which, in addition to easing the irritation, kills germs in foreign bodies that could cause infections.

Do Make Time For Some Spring Cleaning

Environmental irritants like dust are often implicated as a cause of red eyes in dogs. You could therefore help your dog by doing some spring cleaning. Focus a lot on spaces your dog spends most of their time in, as these are places where it gets most of its exposure to irritants from.

Don’t Use Human Eye Drops

Under no circumstances should you ever use eye drops meant for humans on your dogs. This includes popular brands like Visine.

While they are effective at treating red eyes in humans, the concentrations of the active ingredients can end up causing more harm than good to your dog’s eyes.

So play it safe and consult your vet on the best eye drops for dogs.

Don’t Prescribe Eye Drops For Your Dog

While eye drops for dogs are safe for the pooch, not all eye drops are made equal or for the same purpose. So don’t prescribe any eye drops for your dog without your vet’s guidance.

You may end up getting eye drops for dog allergies while your pooch has something serious like an eye infection. This is why it is so important to get a professional opinion.

Don’t Pull Out Any Stuck Objects In Cases Of Eye Injuries

Another absolute no-no when dealing with your dog’s red eye is pulling out any stuck objects. You will most likely end up doing more harm than good by damaging eye structures or contaminating the wound further.

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Why Is The White Of My Dog’s Eye Red?

The whites of a dog’s eye may turn red if the eye is irritated either from environmental particles or as a result of internal disease processes.

These different causes often have distinct features that set them apart and could help you narrow down the possible causes.

Here are some of the most common reasons why the whites of your dog’s eyes may be turning red.

Allergies And Environmental Irritants

These cause an immediate reaction by immune components on the surface of the dog’s eye resulting in signs and symptoms like watering, itchiness, and the redness that you will see. Some of the most common of these irritants are smoke, dust, and pollen.


Glaucoma is a serious condition of the eye that causes increased intraocular pressure in the dog’s eye. This could cause irritation from within which triggers similar reactions as environmental irritants including redness and watering.

You may also notice signs of worsening vision in the dog. These include increased confusion, hesitancy to walk or run, and the dog bumping into obviously visible objects.

Foreign Bodies In The Eye

Another reason why your dog’s eye may be red and itchy is that they may have a foreign object either on the surface of the eye, under the eyelids, or penetrating the eyeball. This caused irritation and will usually affect only one eye in most cases.

Eye Infections

The dog’s red eye could also be caused by eye infections. In addition to the redness of the white parts, the infections could cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues including the eyelids. This may give the dog red eyes that seem half closed.

Infections are also associated with discharge that may look a lot like pus or be clear and watery.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is sometimes referred to as Keratoconjunctivitis siccaThe condition is caused by loss of the tear film that protects the surface of the eye. This results in exposure to and irritation by things like flowing air that would normally not cause irritation.

The loss of the film also exposes the dog’s eye to environmental particles like smoke and dust that cause the irritation and redness.

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Is It Normal For Dogs’ Eyes To Be Red?

It is definitely not normal for your dog’s eyes to be red.

The main cause of this symptom is local irritation. This could be something as simple as environmental irritants like dust or something as serious as injury by a foreign object. The foreign body injuries in the dog’s eye is usually considered a serious emergency.

The local irritation causing the redness of the dog’s eye could also be due to invasion and infection by germs. These eye infections in dogs can last anywhere between a few days to a few months depending on the severity of the infections and the interventions done.

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Pete Decker