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Dog Eye Drops

Dog Eye Drops

If your dog is demonstrating eye irritation or allergies, you may be wondering if dogs can use human eye drops as treatment. Today, our Cordova vets explain what owners should know about dog eye drops, and why you shouldn't use human eye drops on your pet.

The same things that can cause humans itchiness, redness, or swelling of the eyes can also affect our dogs. So if you notice your pup pawing at their eyes or discharging from their tear ducts, you might ask, "Can you use human eye drops on dogs?" Any dog owner would want to provide their pooch with fast relief with whatever they can. Unfortunately, you would be mistaken to think that the same eye drops you use are suitable for dogs. 

You should not use human eye drops on dogs. If your dog is experiencing eye irritation, contact your vet and take them in to get an eye examination and possibly eye drops that are safe for dogs.

Common Eye Conditions in Dogs

Here are a few eye conditions you might need to get your dog eye drops from the veterinarian for:

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Dry eye, also known as serous conjunctivitis, is the most commonly seen type of pink eye seen in dogs. It shares several symptoms with eye infections, including puffy, sticky, or wet-looking eyes, squinting, pawing at the affected eye, and yellow or greenish discharge.

Eye Infections

Many things can cause your pet to develop an eye infection, including irritation due to long hair, conditions affecting the eyelid, allergies, internal conditions (e.g. immune issues), or scratches or injury to the cornea. 


Although not frequently seen in dogs, eye infections or conditions due to allergies can be a factor in your pet's discomfort.  Allergies affecting dogs' eyes increase in the summer, and symptoms include inflammation, reddened eyes, and watery discharge. Allergic reactions can be due to environmental allergens (e.g. scented carpet cleaner), parasites (e.g. fleas), or, much less frequently, food allergies.

Why Shouldn't I Use Human Eye Drops for My Dog?

It is not recommended to use over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops for humans on dogs without approval from a veterinarian. Dogs will not respond to most human eye drops well.

Popular eyedrops for itchiness and redness often contain an ingredient called Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, which narrows blood vessels in the eye. This ingredient is not recommended for animals as it may cause them harm, especially if ingested. Only your veterinarian can examine and accurately diagnose your dog, so the first step is to contact them and book an appointment for your pet.

Eye drops for dogs are available if you take your dog to the vet. If your veterinarian determines that your dog has irritation or infection of the eye, they should be able to prescribe either soothing eye drops or antibiotic eye drops for dogs. 

Treating Eye Conditions in Dogs

Treatment for your dog's eye infection will depend upon the underlying cause but could involve a combination of topical and oral medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, a single topical medication, or and in some cases surgery.

If a bacterial infection is found to be causing your dog's eye infection, antibiotics, and eye drops will typically be prescribed. Blocked tear ducts typically require surgery followed by eye drops and antibiotics.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog showing signs of eye concern? Contact our Cordova vets to book an appointment for your pup.

From Happy Pet Owners

  • “Forever thankful to kind, sweet, gentle, wonderful Dr. Tina Brown. Our 3 year old girl has been sick for months, but after one month she is back to feeling her happy, playful self again. It feels wonderful to have such an excellent support system in place when I need help.”
    Dale C.

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