How often you will need to clean your pet’s eyes will largely depend on their breed.
Some breeds are more likely to be affected by eye discharge, whereas this will only happen to other breeds if they become ill or contract an eye infection.
Should I clean my dog’s eyes?
As mentioned, many dog breeds will not need to have their eyes cleaned regularly, this will only need to be done if they have developed an eye infection. However, some dog breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Pekingese are more prone to experiencing discharge from the eyes due to their short muzzle and brachycephalic face. These dogs may require regular eye checks and daily cleaning.
Dogs with light coloured coats, such as Poodles, cocker spaniels and Shih-Tzus can get “tear stains” in which water from the eyes tints the fur brown or red. These breeds often lack the ability to properly drain liquid from the tear ducts causing an excess amount of tears. If routine cleaning doesn’t remove the stains, there are products available to help. Always read directions first and check with your vet if you’re not sure which eye care products would work best for your dog.
Should I clean my cat’s eyes?
Cats love to groom themselves and are great at keeping themselves clean. Their eyes will only need to be cleaned if they have developed an eye infection or allergy. However, some cat breeds, including Persians are more prone to eye problems. This is often because there is only a short gap between the tear ducts and the nose, which encourages liquid to spill out onto the fur as a “tear stain”. These breeds will require regular eye cleaning to remove any discharge and prevent infection.
If you notice that your cat is suddenly experiencing irritated eyes, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. There are a number of factors that could be to blame and it’s important to pinpoint the true cause. Eye problems can potentially lead to serious complications such as blindness so it’s always better to be cautious.
Cleaning Your Pet’s Eyes
If you do need to give your pet’s eyes a quick clean, here are some tips to help:
- Use a soft damp cloth or sponge and make sure the water is at room-temperature. Avoid paper towels, napkins and cotton buds as they can increase irritation.
- If your pet is sensitive, try a soft cotton ball soaked in warm water.
- Approach your pet slowly and gently wipe around the eyes to remove any dirt or mucus. Never wipe the eye itself.
- Avoid shampoos, soaps, eye washes and drops unless they have specifically been prescribed by your vet.