4 min read


Can Dogs Use Visine?



4 min read


Can Dogs Use Visine?


We know what you do when your eyes get itchy, red, irritated, and watery - reach for your Visine, of course! Your dog's eyes can undergo the same kind of issues, and while you might be tempted to grab the Visine and provide him with some relief, don't! 

Visine, while a great resource for humans with irritated yes, is not FDA certified for pets and could do your dog's eyes serious harm! Visine is for human use and approved for that use only, so it's imperative you don't grab it as soon as your dog has eye problems. 

Because the effects of this product haven't been thoroughly studied in pets, there's no way to determine the side effects or benefits of it. The idea of using Visine is to constrict the blood vessels in the eye and reduce redness and dryness, but it's possible that the side effects could damage your doggo's eyes! Stay on the safe side and talk with your vet first! 

If you want to know more about why Visine isn't the best choice for your pup, how to tell if your dog has irritated eyes, or what to do if he does, keep reading the rest of our guide! 


Signs Your Dog Might Need Help for His Irritated Eyes

If your dog has irritated eyes, you'll probably be able to spot it. But if you're not sure what to look for, and you're not positive what his eye irritations might mean, you might find his signs a little confusing. 

If you think your dog might be suffering from irritated eyes and might need to visit his dog-tor, keep a look out on their condition. Do your dog's eyes seem cloudier than usual? Doggo eye should be clear and glaze-free. In fact, the white surrounding his eye should be clear, white, and non-blood shot. If you notice any of these issues, it might be time to see the vet. 

Check the area around your dog's eyes, too. Do you notice that he's teary-eyed or watery-eyed more than usual? Do you notice his fur has tear stains? What about the corners? Are his eyes crusting or gathering gunk more than usual? Have you noticed any discharge or puss? If so, make sure you take your doggo to the vet as soon as possible, as he might have an infection, an allergic reaction, or a condition that needs to be treated quickly.

Body Language

Here are a few cues your dog may be giving you if he's got irritated eyes:

  • Whining
  • Scratching

Other Signs

Your pup might be giving you more signs to get you aware of his eye issues. Check your dog for the following signs to see if he might be suffering from eye issues:

  • Glazed-Over Eyes
  • Eye Cloudiness
  • Unequal Pupil Sizes
  • Visible Third Eyelid
  • Tear Stains
  • Sneezing
  • Teary, Watery Eyes
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • White Areas Around The Eyeball Clear
  • Crust In The Corners
  • Discharge

Historic Causes for Eye Irritation in Dogs


Typically, there are few different reasons your dog could be suffering from eye irritation or eye problems, and they all range on different degrees of seriousness. 

One possibility is relatively mild and could be temporary - seasonal allergies. It's possible that your dog is allergic to grass, pollen, or certain types of plants, which causes his eyes to swell, get red, or water. Another cause of eye irritation is conjunctivitis, or rather, an eye infection. Your dog can contract this from getting bacteria in his eye from various sources. 

Additionally, your pup could be allergic to certain chemicals, like his shampoo, food, or even cleaning products you use. Another possibility is an injury to your dog's eye is causing a problem, like a scratch on his cornea. He could even have something small stuck in his eye, like a bug, a piece of grass, or an eyelash!

The Science of Why Visine is Harmful


Visine is a powerful, useful resource for people who have eye issues and want instant relief, but it's definitely not something you should use for your dog. Instead, reach out to your vet to get a dog-specific eye drop that's been approved for canines. 

Visine works in ways that could potentially help your dog, but because it has not been tested on animals, we're unaware of the side effects that are possible. Visine works so well for people because it has the alpha-adrenergic drug in it (naphazoline or something similar) that constricts the blood vessels in the eye. This makes your eyes appear white because the blood vessels are no longer wide and obstructing your eye and providing relief. 

Because it's not tested on dogs and the FDA has not approved it for canines, we don't suggest using it on your dog's eyes.

How to Train your Dog to Deal with Eye Issues


There are a lot of things you can do to train your dog to be more comfortable when dealing with eye issues. If your dog has chronic eye problems, this will be incredibly important in helping distribute his medications. 

First, get your pup used to a nice, clean sweep of his eyes. Train him to associate a positive experience with eye cleaning by giving him treats for being good when you clean his eyes. Additionally, you might have to train him to take doctor-prescribed eye drops. This experience can be a little scary for your dog at first, but with the right amount of training, it can be a breeze, too. 

Try the resting chin method, first. Rest your dogs face on your leg by luring him with a treat. Once, he's close enough, click the drops into his eyes his gently and give him a treat. 

Another method you can use is the "from behind" method, where you sit behind your dog, lift his chin, comfort your pup, administer his medication, and then praise and encourage him!  Hopefully, with patience, gentleness, lots of pats and plenty of treats, your dog will be an eye-expert in no time! 

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Written by a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/14/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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