The Eyes Have it.

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Take Care Of Your Pet’s Precious Eyes.

This is a subject that doesn’t come up often, but it surely should. Pets’ eyes are delicate and very susceptible to injury and blindness. By simply ignoring your pet’s eye health and simple preventive maintenance, you’re setting him up for damage and ultimate blindness when it can be easily avoided. Especially if your pet has “bug eyes” – like a Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, Cocker Spaniel, Persian, Himalayan, etc.

What Are The Dangers?

There are a few: allergies, sharp objects, pollen, dust, pollution, sun, rough play, ingrown eyelashes, and more.


Allergies can cause conjunctivitis which is a red inflammatory response in the eyes. Conjunctivitis is very painful – it feels like rocks in the eyes. Just blinking is excruciating.

Sharp Objects.

This one is kind of obvious, especially if you live in the Southwest like I do (Arizona), where cactus is prevalent and the risks are really high. Dogs and cats are naturally curious and will run up to anything to sniff it and check it out. Their innocent little minds won’t understand that sharp, unforgiving prongs are waiting for them on each interesting plant that they want to smell. So it’s on you to protect them from those hazards. When out walking your pet, always be alert and aware of how much lead you give him and what the surrounding landscape is made up of. Same thing in any area of the country. Every neighborhood in every state has its hazards – rose bushes, barberry bushes, pigmy date palms, and on and on. As long as you pay attention, tho, your pet will be safe.

Pollen, Dust, Debris, Pollution.

With so much of their eyeballs exposed, “bug-eyed” pets are at greater risk of damage to the surface of the eye. It’s also tougher for them to produce enough tears to wash away debris. Double jeopardy. In my many years of pet rescue, I discovered an ideal daily habit to help keep my pets’ eyes clean and lubricated to protect the delicate surface from damage. Once a day, I fill a cotton ball with cool or barely warm water, and drizzle it into the pet’s eyes.

Keep drizzling and flushing. NEVER touch the cotton ball to the surface of the pet’s eyes. Just drizzle and let it flow. As his eyes fill with water, it will cause the pet to start sneezing. This is good – it helps clear away pollen, not only from the pet’s eyes, but his nose as well. Once the pollen and debris has been flushed away, your pet will instantly begin to feel better, and the surface of his eye is now free of damaging debris. And it took you only seconds to do. What an easy preventative – no excuses.   🙂

Rough Play.

Another obvious one. Wrestling with your pet is fun for both of you, but always be mindful of his eyes when rough-housing. It’s easy to pop an eyeball right out of its socket. Talk about painful! And if that should happen, it’s not always fixable, either. Don’t let playtime become dangerous for your pet.

Teach your children as well to be alert and very careful to be gentle and respectful with your pet so as to protect his eyes during play. If the unspeakable should happen, tho, get your pet to the veterinarian as fast as you can in hopes that the eye can be saved. Don’t wait for a minute – just go.

Drops Versus Ointment?

I stopped using eye ointments years ago, even tho they were prescribed by my veterinarian. My reason is this: ointments are gooey and tacky – they can trap pollen, dust, and debris and actually keep it right there on the eye. These are the elements that scratch the surface of your pet’s eyes. Scratches become corneal ulcers, and corneal ulcers either leave scars or become infected, too often ending in blindness. So I use drops exclusively, whether medicated or non-medicated. First, once a day, I do the wash with cotton balls and water, then follow with non-medicated lubricating drops. Here are two excellent choices for non-medicated, non-prescription lubricating drops for your pets:


Whenever there is a diagnosed medical issue going on with my pets’ eyes, I do the wash first and follow it with whatever instructions and medication the veterinarian has provided. If he prescribes an ointment, I always ask for a liquid alternative instead. If not, I follow his instructions as given – he is the expert.

The “Wash.”

If there are no health issues, I still do the cotton ball and water wash EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s not a big deal, either – takes only a second or two for each eye, that’s it. Not only for the pet’s vision protection, but also for his comfort. It has been one of the most reliable daily regimens I use for my pets, with the greatest results. The first time you do the wash, watch how your pet lets out a big sigh of relief afterward and his whole body relaxes. He feels instantly better all over.

Sure, he’ll probably object when you first begin the wash because it’s new and feels weird. But once he realizes how good it feels and what relief it gives his sore little eyes, he’ll most likely stop arguing with you. Remember – NEVER touch the cotton ball to your pet’s eyes. Just drizzle. And be certain the water is cool or barely warm. Never hot – check the temperature. NOTE: the “wash” isn’t just for bug-eyed pets. ALL pets benefit from it – cat or dog, bug-eyed or not – and feel immensely better after a wash.

Keep Your Veterinarian In The Loop.

Lastly, include your pet’s eyes in all veterinary exams as a matter of routine, even if you think everything’s okay. Your veterinarian can find things on close exam that you may not notice on your own. There also are specialized eye doctors for pets who can help you take excellent care of your pet’s eyes. Always follow their instructions and DO NOT EVER use any medications on your pet’s eyes that have not been prescribed by the veterinarian. If you should give your pet the wrong medication, you can damage his eyes even more … even irreparably. Don’t make that mistake.

So, in wrap-up, you can see how easy for you and how quick it is to protect your pet’s eyes each day. Start when they’re as young as possible, and your pet will enjoy healthier vision as he gets older, thanks to your loving care.

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God Bless and Happy Pet Parenting!

With love and good wishes,
jeannie.   ?

About jeannie:  I’ve been pro-actively involved in pet rescue all of my life. I founded Milagro Senior Pet Refuge© (Phoenix) in 1998, and BareFootPets (TM) in 2008.  Animal welfare has always been and will always be my heart’s work. If my only legacy is that I save a handful of precious souls that would not survive otherwise, I’m good with that.