Caring for your dog’s eyes
Routine dog eye care is usually quite simple and can be done everyday. The following are some easy ways to make sure your dog has perfect eyesight well into his old age.
Wipe away gunk and crusty buildup
You should keep your dog’s eyes free from mucous and crusty buildup by using a damp washcloth or tissue to wipe it away. Avoid dabbing or wiping the eye itself; you could scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly has mucous or discharge coming from his eyes, it may be a sign of an eye infection. You should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Keep hair around the eyes trimmed
Dogs with long facial hair or protruding eyes are susceptible to eye damage from the hair. Keep the hair around the eyes trimmed. Use blunt-ended scissors and be extremely careful not to point them at your dog’s eyes while trimming.
Use protective eye gel or ophthalmic ointment
Before you give your dog a bath or apply insecticides like flea powders, use an ophthalmic ointment to protect your dog’s eyes from soap burns or other harm.
Keep your dog’s head out of car windows
Your dog may get a kick out of riding in the car with his head out the window, but it can be detrimental to his eye health. Debris or an insect can easily injure your dog’s eyes or even cause him to lose his sight. The wind can also dry out his eyes and lead to irritation or an infection. For your dog’s safety, and your own, keep him restrained when he’s in a moving vehicle and keep his head out of open windows.
Schedule regular visits to your veterinarian
Your dog’s eye health should be checked by a veterinarian during regular exams. If his breed is predisposed to genetic eye disorders you should speak with your vet about any preventive measures you should take.
Certain breeds such as the Bichon Frise and Maltese are prone to tear staining, which can make dog eye care more difficult. There are numerous commercial products available to clear up the red-brown stains, but it’s important to find out what causes the condition in your dog before using them. If not, the staining can return worse than it was before the treatment. You can visit the Bhe-Jei Maltese website for more information on dog eye care and tear staining.
Dog eye health and old age
As your dog grows older, you may notice a change in his vision or the appearance of his eyes. Nuclear sclerosis is a natural hardening of the lens that develops as your dog ages. There’s also the risk of cataracts, particularly in certain breeds that are genetically predisposed to them. If you notice your dog’s eyes becoming cloudy or if he’s having vision problems, contact your veterinarian.
Taking a few minutes each day for dog eye care will help control bacterial buildup, fend off eye infections, and keep your dog’s eyesight in tip-top shape.