cleaning dogs eyes

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

To safely remove a hair from your dog’s eye, start by washing your hands to prevent introducing contaminants. Gently use a warm, damp cloth to wipe around the eye, helping move the hair to the eye’s corner. If needed, a rinse with pet-safe saline solution or artificial tears can help flush out the hair. Regular grooming and trimming the hair around the eyes prevent such issues. Always observe your pet for signs of discomfort and consult a vet if needed.

Every pet owner knows that dogs can be playful, adventurous creatures. Whether your breed is a Lhasa or a Labrador, at some point, you might notice your dog has a hair or an eyelash stuck in his eye.

While dogs are a lot more tolerant of things like hair in their eye compared to us humans, it can still be a bother. Ensuring your dog’s eye health is important, so knowing how to gently address this issue can make for a better experience for both you and your pet.

But here’s a disclaimer: if you ever feel unsure or if the hair in your dog’s eye seems too tricky to remove, always consult a vet. Your dog’s well-being is paramount!

Preparation: Cleanliness is Key

Before diving into the process of helping your dog, it’s vital to ensure cleanliness. Think about it: you wouldn’t want someone poking at your eyeball without washing their hands first, right? The same goes for your pet.

Always wash your hands with clean water and soap before you get close to your dog’s eyeball. Doing so ensures you don’t introduce any allergens or contaminants that could lead to irritation or an allergy. After all, preventing discomfort is just as crucial as addressing it.

Always Be Gentle

The eye is a delicate part of any creature, and dogs are no exception. If you ever notice your dog pawing at his eye or rubbing his face against surfaces, it’s a clear sign of discomfort.

While it’s essential to address the hair causing the irritation, it’s equally vital to be careful. Rough handling, like rubbing or applying excessive force, could lead to painful and potentially serious issues such as corneal lacerations and ulcers.

When working around your dog’s eye, always use soft, gentle motions. The key is to soothe and not add to their discomfort.

The Warm Washcloth Method

We’ve all had something like hair or dust bother our eyes. It’s uncomfortable for us, and the same goes for dogs. When your dog has a hair in his eye, using a damp cloth can be a game-changer.

Gently moisten the tip of a cloth with warm water. Approach your dog calmly, ensuring he’s at ease. Then, with gentle motions, use the damp cloth to softly wipe around the dog’s eye area.

This method often helps move the stray hair to either corner of the eye, making it easier to address. However, always be gentle and careful to avoid causing any scratch or additional irritation.

The Moist Cotton Swab Technique

Sometimes, hairs stubbornly linger near a dog’s eyeball, demanding a more precise touch. In such cases, a moist cotton swab can be a pet owner’s best ally. Start by ensuring the cotton swab is soft and clean. Dip its tip into clean water or a saline solution, ensuring it’s damp but not overly wet.

Before making any move, ensure your dog is at ease. You might find it helpful to have someone gently hold the dog during this process.

Approach the dog’s eye with the moist swab tip, aiming to gently capture the stray hair and guide it to either corner of the eye. Precision and patience are crucial here, as some hairs, especially the thin ones, may prove challenging to remove.

If, after the hair is out, your dog shows signs of discomfort, a quick rinse with saline solution or artificial tears can help soothe any lingering irritation.

Eye Wash: Flushing with Saline Solution

If the warm washcloth method doesn’t do the trick, there’s another option you can try: rinsing the eye. You may see the hair but can’t see a safe way to remove it. In this case, using a simple saline solution or artificial tears – both of which you can usually find at a local pharmacy – can be a big help.

To do this, gently flush the eye with saline solution. This will help flush the hair to either corner of the eye or even out of the eye entirely. Not only does this method help remove the hair, but it also offers relief from any irritation your dog might be feeling.

But remember, always use products that are safe for pets. If you’re unsure, ask a veterinarian for recommendations.

Monitor for Signs of Irritation and Consult Your Vet if Needed

Every dog is different, and while some might be tolerant of a hair in their eye, others might show clear signs of discomfort. It’s crucial to keep a watchful eye on your pet after you’ve tried to help.

Signs like squinting, excessive tearing, or if your dog is pawing at his eye can indicate that there’s still some irritation or a visible object in the eye. If these signs persist or if you notice swelling or redness, it’s time to consult your vet.

examining dogs eye

Prevention Through Regular Grooming

While we’ve discussed how to address a hair in your dog’s eye, prevention is an effective strategy. Regular grooming can make a world of difference.

By trimming the hair around his eye, you reduce the chances of hair getting in the way. But please don’t take scissors and start snipping away. Ensure you’re using tools designed for pet grooming, like blunt-nosed scissors.

If you’re unsure about trimming the hair around your dog’s eyes yourself, consider seeking a professional groomer’s assistance. They have the expertise and tools to ensure your pet looks great and is safe from stray hairs.

Understanding Your Dogs’ Tolerance

Dogs, by nature, are incredibly resilient creatures. They’re often tolerant of things like hair or dust in their eyes, more so than humans. Their natural tearing process can be a savior, often helping to wash out or move stray hairs to the corner of the eye.

While it might be tempting to jump in and help every time you spot a hair in your dog’s eye, sometimes the best course of action is to leave it alone and let nature take its course. However, always balance this with observing for any signs of discomfort or irritation.

Final Thoughts for Helping When Your Dog Has a Hair in His Eye

Your dog’s well-being is of utmost importance. From a stray hair to more significant concerns, it’s always best to approach any issue with care and knowledge. While there are measures you can take at home to ensure your pet’s comfort, never hesitate to consult a vet if you’re unsure or if the problem persists.

After all, a little precaution can go a long way in ensuring your dog has a happy, healthy life. Remember, your furry friend relies on you to look out for them!

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and if you found this article enlightening, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends on social media!

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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How to Get a Hair Out of Your Dog\'s Eye

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  1. Will certainly try one of these methods if my dog gets something in her eye. I think she would stand for the washcloth method.

  2. Great tips and advice for getting a hair out of a pups eyes. As a pet parent I always appreciate these posts – you never know when you’ll need this dog info!