Dogs can be affectionate, fun and loving. However, just like us, they can also suffer from health issues.
If you have a dog, then you’re no doubt used to treating him/her for fleas, ticks and worms. You probably also have them vaccinated annually to protect against diseases such as Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Kennel Cough.
While all of the above are certainly helpful for keeping your dog healthy – have you stopped to think about your dog’s eyes?
Dogs eyes are prone to various ailments and injuries. Luckily, however, if you follow the five recommendations below, you can help to reduce the chances of your dog experiencing eye issues.
1. Look into Your Dog’s Eyes
One of the best ways of spotting problems with your dog’s eyes, is to regularly gaze into them. And not just your usual loving gaze…
You need to be looking specifically into your dog’s eyes to see if they are: clear and bright, the pupils are of equal size, there is white around the eyeball, and no discharge from the eyes (or crust in the corner of the eyes).
Other things to look for include: cloudiness, a change in eye colour, and rubbing of the eyes.
Any of the above symptoms strongly suggest that you take your dog to your vet to be properly examined.
2. Keep Their Eyes Clean
Just like humans, dog’s eyes can naturally collect gunk and dirt around them. Unfortunately, dogs have the added problem of not being able to reach their eyes.
However, you can help your dog out by using a damp cotton ball to gently cleanse the corner of their eyes. (Please be sure to wipe outward and away from the eye, otherwise you could scratch the cornea.)
The second thing to do to help keep your dog’s eyes clean and healthy, is to use eye drops especially formulated for dogs. With anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, eye drops for dogs can quickly clear up common eye issues such as: conjunctivitis, irritation and stinging. You can choose to regularly use eye drops – or use them only when your dog experiences eye issues.
3. Protect Your Dog’s Eyes During Bathing Time
Picture the scene: You’ve come back from a long walk in the countryside. Your dog has enthusiastically romped through fields and forests – but there is a problem. They’re now coated from head to toe in mud!
It’s times like these, when giving your dog a bath or shower is essential. However, just be careful during this activity not to cause any irritation to your dog’s eyes. Many soaps and shampoos contain harmful chemicals that can lead to major irritation for your dog (if the product gets into your dog’s eyes.)
Ideally, only bathe or shower your dog using products designed specifically to be safe for dogs. Nevertheless, even with these products, it’s best to avoid them having any contact with your dog’s eyes.
4. Keep Their Hair Short Around Their Eyes
Depending on the breed of your dog, you may find they are prone to long hair on their face, which can lead to eye irritation and even injury.
Fortunately, you can easily help your dog out with this issue.
The trick is to regularly trim the hairs around your dog’s eyes by using scissors with rounded tips. (Please be careful when doing this!)
By keeping the hair around the eyes short, you’ll be protecting your dog from pokes and scratches from wayward hair.
5. Don’t Let Your Dog Stick Its Head out of Your Car Window
How many times have you seen cars driving past with a dog’s head poking out the side? Lots of times, no doubt.
Hopefully, you don’t allow your dog to do this, but in case you do, here are some important reasons to STOP asap.
Firstly, the wind generated by travelling at speed can lead to your dog having dry, irritated eyes. Not a good start.
The second reason is even more concerning. By allowing your dog to stick its head out of your car window, you will be putting its eyes at risk of damage from flying debris or insects.
While it’s certainly good practice to open a window in your car to allow fresh air to circulate, just be sure that the window is only opened far enough to prevent your dog from poking its head out.
Better to be safe than sorry.
Dogs are fantastic pets that can inject warmth and joy into our daily life. It’s no wonder that 24% of all UK households have at least one dog.
However, our love affair with our fluffy friends should definitely extend to caring for their eyes.
Be sure to implement the tips above to give your dog the best chance of having healthy eyes throughout its lifetime. And finally, if you’re ever in doubt about your dog’s eye health, please consult your vet for advice.
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