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Runny Eyes In Dogs

July 28, 2021 | 3 min read

Updated July 28, 2021

By Sarah Milton

Published: July 28, 2021
Updated: December 13, 2021

Summary: Dog has runny eyes? If you’re concerned about your pup and their watery peepers, this is the blog for you! Learn all about runny eyes in dogs. We’ll find out what the runny eyes in dogs causes are, whether they can be helped via home remedies, and what the recommended treatment for dog runny eyes is…


A dog’s eyes, like a human’s, are relatively good at self-cleaning due to the naturally occurring tears that help flush debris and bacteria out, and the eyelashes that protect foreign bodies from getting in. However, when our precious pooch’s eyes become frequently watery, this can be a cause for concern…

Runny Eyes In Dogs

If you spot a small collection of crust in your dog’s eyes, trust that this is normal. However, if your pup has a consistently runny, weepy, watery eye(s) or it is emitting sticky discharge, chances are that something’s up!

Some causes of runny eyes in dogs include:

  • An eye infection (like conjunctivitis)
  • An issue with the eyelashes or eyelids
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Injury/trauma inflicted on the eye
  • Dry eyes (lack of naturally occurring tears that keep the eye moist and clean)
  • Exposure to the wind
  • Something is stuck in the eye
  • An issue with the nasolacrimal ducts that are used by the body to drain moisture-maintaining tears
  • They have lumps in or around their eye
  • Exposure Keratitis (when the surface of the eye isn’t completely covered by the eyelid)
  • They’re a flat-faced breed so are predisposed to runny eyes (e.g. Pugs, Pekingnese, Boston Terriers)
  • An underlying condition like Canine Distemper
a small brown dog with amber eyes stares just off centre

Symptoms Of A Dog Eye Problem

Common signs that accompany runny eyes in dogs and suggest infection include:

  • Puffy eyelid(s)
  • Redness of the eye(s)
  • Pawing at the eye(s)
  • Squinting/Blinking (or winking, if just one eye is affected) 
  • Discharge that is either clear, cloudy, yellow, or green

More than one symptom usually occurs in the case of an eye infection. 

Treatment For Runny Eyes In Dogs

Treatment for runny eyes in dogs is possible. However, it’s imperative as a pet parent that you discover what the root cause of the issue is, rule out or get the appropriate treatment for infection. Your dog’s eyes and sight are far too precious to dilly dally around hoping for it to clear up by itself. So, if you notice anything wrong with their eye(s), get them assessed by a vet as soon as possible. 

Your vet can diagnose them and advise you on what to do. Eye infections are usually incredibly identifiable and treatable; they just rely on the speedy action of us pet parents and veterinarians!

a creamy, brown pug sits on grass with a lifted chin and looks down their nose

Is There A Dog Runny Eyes Home Remedy?

There isn’t a home remedy for dog runny eyes, but there are things you can do to ease their discomfort which your vet may also recommend once they’re confidently diagnosed. A non-medicated, sterile saline rinse, for example, may provide them some temporary relief from any pain but remember, this will not cure the problem. A rinse of this kind will help flush the eye out a little. You could also use a dog-specific gentle eye cleaning wash. 

Do not use human eye drops or medications on your dog - this can be dangerous or make the problem worse! The best bet is to follow your vet’s professional, experienced advice. 


Author Aycock-Williams, Ari DVM, DACLAM "Dog Eye Infections: What to Do, When to Worry, and Helpful Products" Rover, Jun 29. 2021

"Weepy Eyes In Dogs" PDSA UK, Jun. 2020

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Sarah Milton

Authored By

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!




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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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