Applying Eye Drops to Dogs

The proper administration of eye medications is essential for your pet's prompt recovery. Make sure you have carefully read the label and understand the prescription instructions. If you have any questions, contact your veterinarian for clarification.

"Wash your hands both before and after administering the medication to prevent contamination and/or the potential spread of infection."

Wash your hands both before and after administering the medication to prevent contamination and/or the potential spread of infection. Be sure to keep the applicator tip clean and do not allow it to contact the dog, the eye or any other surface. If this occurs, clean the tip by wiping it off with a clean cloth and ask your veterinarian for specific cleaning instructions.

If your dog's eye is painful, you may need to have someone assist you with restraint or you may need to place a muzzle on your dog. Usually, as the medication begins to control the problem, the pain lessens and assistance becomes less necessary.

Here are some helpful tips and step-by-step instructions for administering eye drops:administering_eye_drops-1

Gently clean away any debris around the dog's eyes with warm water and a washcloth prior to administering the eye drops.

Hold the bottle using your thumb and index finger. You may want to rest this hand on the top of the dog's head for stability.

With your other hand, use your thumb to pull down the lower eyelid. The lower eyelid acts as a pouch to receive the drops. Place your remaining fingers under the dog's jaw to support the head.

Hold the bottle close to the eye but make sure you DO NOT touch the eye's surface.

Squeeze the prescribed number of drops directly onto the eyeball, aiming for the center of the eye. Release the head.

Your dog will blink, spreading the medication over the surface of the eye.

It is common for dogs to blink or paw at the eye after administering the drops. If this persists or if the eye appears more inflamed or red after administration of the medication, consult with your veterinarian.

Make sure you give your dog plenty of praise throughout the procedure and offer a treat when you are finished. This will make the experience more positive and make it easier to give the medication the next time.

Related Tags

applying, infection, contamination, eyelid, eyes, applicator

Looking to learn more?

We also offer free, instant access to over 1,500 related articles on your pet's health including preventive medicine, common and not so common diseases, and even informative case studies. We encourage you to read any of these popular articles below or search our extensive pet health library.

Most Popular Articles

About our approach to exceptional pet health care

At VCA Animal Hospitals, our veterinarians take you and your pet's health seriously. With over 600 hospitals and 1,800 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, we strive to give your pet the very best in medical care. We understand your pet is an extension of you, and appreciate the opportunity to share in providing exceptional pet care and quality of life.

* Free initial health exam for new clients only. Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. Not good toward emergency and/or specialty veterinary services. Coupon good for up to two pets (dogs or cats only) per household. Redeemable only at a general practice VCA Animal Hospital. For pet owners who are aged 18 and older.

If you are a new client, you can get a free first exam* on your first visit.

Free First Exam

Get to know us by visiting one of our neighborhood hospitals.

Locate a Hospital