Did you know your dog has three eyelids? These additional lids can make it harder for your pup to get rid of eye irritants when they get stuck. As your ankle-biter spends a lot of time…at ankle level, all kinds of nasty debris can make its way into their eyes. It is no wonder eye drops for dogs have become so popular.
Unfortunately, a lot of pet owners shy away from drops because they’re a nightmare to administer, but that is not the case if you know the right steps to take. On the other hand, if you have no idea which brand to choose, it won’t help your pet’s sight either.
We have reviewed the ten best eye drops for dogs on the market. We will show you which brands are the most effective, easy to use, and all the other necessary info. Plus, we will share those tips we mentioned on how to use them without a complete mutt meltdown.
A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites
The 9 Best Eye Drops For Dogs
1. Vetericyn 1037 Plus Eye Wash – Best Overall
To get things moving in the right direction, we will start with our top pick. The Vetericyn is a safe and effective product that helps relieve irritation, itchy eyes, and redness. It also removes debris, soothes wounds, and will help reduce eye gunk. Plus, these eye drops will help eliminate and prevent yellow staining on your pup’s fur.
This antimicrobial solution can be used daily and consistently to help with allergies, infections such as pink eye, and any other eye problem your pet may suffer from. The gentle formula will not sting, and it can be safely used around the mouth, ears, nose, and of course, the eyes. Not to mention, this can be licked off without any side effects, although you should note it is not meant to be used internally.
The formula uses hypochlorous acid as its active ingredient at 0.009 percent, and it is safe for all dogs. With daily use, the drops help prevent future infections, plus they will not sting or irritate your pup’s eyes. The product comes in a 3-ounce bottle that has an easy-to-use plastic tip applicator. Overall, this product is the best eye drops for dogs available due to its multi-use, effectiveness, and gentleness.
2. Nutri-Vet Dog Eye Rinse – Best Value
Our next option is the best eye drops for dogs for the money. This is an ophthalmic solution that will help with eye irritations, itchiness, tear stains, and it will help get rid of any debris that may have gotten caught. The gentle formula will not sting or burn your pet’s eyes, either. The active ingredient of boric acid is great for keeping allergies at bay and adding moisture to dry eyes.
The 4-ounce bottle will last several weeks even with consistent use. The applicator tip on the bottle is easy to use and produces one drop at a time without difficulty. Although this option is great for allergies, dust, debris, and it will remove mucus and reduce stains, it is not recommended for eye injuries. Otherwise, this is a great option for all species of canine if you are on a budget.
Moving right along we come to our premium choice. This is a great option if your pup suffers from cataracts. The active ingredients of lanosterol and antioxidant NAC help dissolve glycoproteins, which is what causes cataracts. The dual-purpose formula not only helps reduce the condition, but it also helps prevent it from occurring.
Used two times per day, most pet owners will see an improvement within about six weeks. There is no phosphates or BPA in the 2.5-ounce bottle, and it is safe and gentle. Unlike other cataract drops, this brand will not burn or sting your pup’s eyes, plus it can be used on all ages and breeds.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is this formula is meant for mild to moderate cataracts. While it can help soothe more severe cases, it is not medicated nor is it a cure. If your pal suffers from anything more aggressive, you should consult a veterinarian. What’s more, these drops are meant for dogs with cataracts, so it will not be effective at removing debris or curbing allergies. Besides that though, this is the best eye drops for dogs with cataracts.
Check out: Dog Breeds With Green Eyes – How rare is it?
4. Burt’s Bees Dogs Natural Eye Wash
Most people think of lotion and lip gloss when it comes to Burt’s Bees, so you might be surprised they make all-natural pet products, as well. In this case, we have a saline solution eyewash that comes in a 4–ounce bottle with the option of either a single or dual pack. This formula is 99.9 percent natural and is cruelty-free.
Opting for this option will help you remove any irritants that have worked their way into your pup’s eyes. It mimics your dog’s natural tears to eliminate dust and allergens, plus soothe itchiness and redness. The 100-percent safe formula is free of fragrance, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and SLS.
One downside to this product is that it isn’t effective on infections such as pink eye. Also, it does not help with tear stains. Beyond that, this is a pH-balanced option that can be used on all dogs eight weeks and older, and it will not sting or burn.
5. Dr. Goodpet Vitamin C & Zinc Dog Eye Drops
Halfway through the list, we have an all-natural formula that uses vitamin C and zinc to help with mild irritants and cloudiness. This is a good option for allergies, duct clogs, debris, and other issues that are mild including excess mucus and dry eyes.
A couple of things you want to note is the glass dropper application is more difficult to use, and the 1-ounce bottle will have to be replaced often if you use this product regularly. Otherwise, this is a safe option that will not cause harm if licked, plus it can help with stains under the eyes.
Be advised, however, this is another option that is not recommended for eye infections, and there is no expiration date listed on the box or bottle. On the other hand, it is effective at reducing the ailments it treats, so you will typically go through the bottle before it would expire.
6. I Drop Vet Plus Eye Lubricant
In the number six spot is the I Drop eye lubricant. The 0.33-ounce bottle comes in either a single, two, three, or four-pack, and uses a viscoadaptive solution with 0.25-percent hyaluronan to add moisture to dry eyes. This option will help reduce redness, itchiness, and works as your dog blinks. If your pup suffers from a lack of moisture, this is a great option.
That being said, this product is not effective at reducing other ailments that are not connected to dry eyes. It is also recommended that you get approval from your vet before using this product. The reason behind this could be that after prolonged use, your pup could develop calcium deposits; although they will go away after you stop using the product.
To give this brand some credit, you do not have to administer this formula as often as it continues to work every time your pooch blinks. Plus, the bottle is easy to use and administer. On another note, you do need to follow the directions exactly, and you cannot skip any doses or it will not be effective. Overall, this is not a bad option is you are battling seasonal dry eyes as it won’t sting or burn.
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7. Gold Medal Pets 41104 Clean Eyes
These next eye drops treat redness, itchiness, and allergies as well as help eliminate debris that can get caught in your pup’s eyes. Also meant for sensitive eyes, this is a good option to be used after swimming in a chlorine pool, and there is no additional stinging or burning.
Unfortunately, the ophthalmic solution is not as effective as some of the other formulas. It is recommended for mild irritants only and works best as an eyewash. Not to mention, the active ingredient in this product is purified water. Although it does contain things like boric acid, they are not as concentrated.
The 4-ounce bottle is difficult to use, and it is not recommended for stains on the fur or soothing infections. You should also be aware that you will go through the bottle quickly due to the way the tip works, plus the less than stellar effectiveness.
8. OcluVet Eye Drops
In the second to last spot is another formula that is designed for pups with cataracts. This brand uses NAC antioxidants to repair and protect the eye. You should be aware, however, that this product does not work as it claims. It has little to no effect on even mild cataracts, nor does it help prevent them.
What’s more, this formula tends to irritate some pooch’s eyes, but not all. You should note that it can cause redness, and what we can assume is burning and stinging. Not only that, the bottle is difficult to use, and you have to be careful not to allow your pet to lick any of it up.
On a positive note, the 16ml bottle is enough for a four-month supply. Also, if it does not irritate your pup’s eyes, it can help with mild allergies and irritants in the eyes.
9. NHV Ey-EAS Natural Eye Drops
Up last is the NHV Ey natural eye drops. This formula claims to be antibiotic and anti-inflammatory and will help with everything from allergies to debris, swelling, and itching. It is also supposed to control eye discharge and help with fur stains.
Although this product is natural, some of the ingredients are not the best for treating eye irritants. This formula contains chamomile, goldenseal, rosemary, and eyebright. In fact, these eye drops can cause stinging, burning, irritation, and redness in the eyes. What’s worse, it is not effective at helping with any of the ailments mentioned.
Beyond that, the 1-ounce bottle does not last long, and the directions call for a full dropper several times a day. To make matters worse, the glass applicator is hard to use and very fragile, which will make any pet owner nervous. Finally, as this formula is natural there are no additives or preservatives, so you will have to keep it in the refrigerator.
Overall, if your pup suffers from eye irritation, they will find more relief with one of the other products on the list.
A Few Eye Drops for Dogs Facts You Should Know
When it comes to eye drops, there are a lot of terms that can be confusing for pet owners, which makes choosing the right brand and formula difficult. Luckily, there are only a few aspects that are truly important to know. First, the FDA regulates all pet “drugs”, so eye drops do fall within their scope of control. Typically, when looking at different formulations they are going to fall within a few “solutions”. Take a look at these solutions and what they mean:
- Ophthalmic Solution: Ophthalmic refers to disease or irritants of the eye. It will also indicate that the product is sterile with no foreign particles. More or less, it is safe to use in the eye. There are many types of ophthalmic solutions with some that contain antibiotics and others that do not.
- Antimicrobial Solution: This is a type of product that is used to fight, relieve, and prevent infections caused by bacteria in either humans or animals. The best way to think of it is as a less powerful form of an antibiotic.
- Viscoadaptive Hyaluronan Solution: This is a type of solution that mimics real moisture in the eyes. In basic terms, it is an artificial tear-like substance that fights dry eyes.
- Lanosterol Solution: Lanosterol is a compound that is derived from sheep’s wool. Researchers have found that it helps to break up the clumps that makeup cataracts. It can also help prevent them from getting worse over time.
For the most part, these are the solutions you are going to come across when looking at eye drops for your pup. On the other hand, you should know that some eye drops are natural and do not have any specific solution.
Be aware, however, that all eye drops should be ophthalmic. Although if they have other features it may not be listed as the main selling point. You can typically find the information either on the ingredients panel or on the product’s website.
Tips For Administering Eye Drops To Your Dog
There are many different ways you can administer eye drops, and chances are if you ask five different people you will get five different answers. With that being said, we have found some common sense tips that will make the struggle a little easier for both you and your pup.
First things first though, you should always make sure you wash your hands before and after application so you won’t spread or add infection. Also, be sure the tip of the applicator does not touch anything, including your dog’s eyes. If it does, clean it with hot water and follow the directions on the bottle.
Now for the tips:
- Try to be as confident and light as possible. If you are nervous and anxious, your pup will feel it and react accordingly.
- Give praise, treats, and talk with your dog throughout the process to let them know it is not a punishment.
- Start by rubbing their head and messaging their eyes to get them used to you being near and touching the area.
- Restraint often makes your pup struggle more, so going for a softer approach can work.
- That being said, try coming from behind and straddling your pup with your knees and elbows while tilting the head back. For smaller dogs, do the same but have them on a table.
- Try offering a treat in one hand while giving the eye drops in the other.
- Hold the bottle between your thumb and index finger. Rest that hand on top of your pup’s head and use the other fingers to support their chin. Gently lean the head back and squeeze out the drops.
- Try not to get frustrated. It may take a few tries to get the drops in the eye, especially if they are in pain. Stay calm, give positive reinforcement, and try again. Get help if needed.
It is always nerve-wracking when you have to put something so close to your pet’s eyes. If you do not feel comfortable, or just can’t seem to get it done, ask for assistance from a vet who can help you find the best way to administer the drops.
Also, if your pup has persistent eye irritation or the drops you are using make the situation worse, discontinue use immediately and reach out to your veterinarian for help. Otherwise, we hope these reviews have helped you find a solution to your furry-friends eye suffering.
If you need a quick fix, go with our number one choice The Vetericyn 1037 Plus Eye Wash is the best eye drops for dogs available. If you need a more affordable option, try the Nutri-Vet 1001048 Dog Eye Rinse which is the best alternative if you are on a budget.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites
- The 9 Best Eye Drops For Dogs
- 1. Vetericyn 1037 Plus Eye Wash – Best Overall
- 2. Nutri-Vet Dog Eye Rinse – Best Value
- 3. LumenPro Dog Eye Drops – Premium Choice
- 4. Burt’s Bees Dogs Natural Eye Wash
- 5. Dr. Goodpet Vitamin C & Zinc Dog Eye Drops
- 6. I Drop Vet Plus Eye Lubricant
- 7. Gold Medal Pets 41104 Clean Eyes
- 8. OcluVet Eye Drops
- 9. NHV Ey-EAS Natural Eye Drops
- Buyers Guide
- A Few Eye Drops for Dogs Facts You Should Know
- Tips For Administering Eye Drops To Your Dog
- Now for the tips: