Why are My Dogs Eyes Red

Estimated read time 7 min read

It’s hard not to melt when your dog stares at you with those big, soulful puppy-dog eyes. However, it can be a concern if those eyes become reddened and bloodshot. The eyes of dogs are very similar to human eyes. However, dogs have a third eyelid that protects the eyes. Dogs also have more rods in the cornea. As a result, dogs can track light and movement better than humans but don’t see nearly as many colours.

Red eyes can occur in dogs for many reasons. Most of these are easily fixed and should not be a concern. However, if your dog is experiencing red eyes, it’s important to immediately seek medical attention.

What causes red eyes in dogs?

Red eyes can occur in many ways. For example, your dog could have an injury or a foreign object in his eye. He also may be allergic to certain eye conditions, such as dry eye, conjunctivitis, dry eye, and conjunctivitis. You can treat some red-eye issues in your home, while others will need to be taken care of at the veterinary clinic.

To determine the root cause of your dog’s eyes problems, your vet will perform an ophthalmologic examination and run several tests. Then, you can determine the cause of your dog’s red eyes and get him the right treatment.

Here are some symptoms and treatments for red eyes in dogs.


Allergies most commonly cause red eyes in dogs. As with humans, allergies can make your dog’s eyes itchy and uncomfortable. In addition, your dog’s eyes may become red and inflamed if he is allergic to certain irritants.


  • Itchiness
  • Discomfort
  • Watery discharge
  • Excessive tears
  • Red, swollen eyes


Red eyes caused by allergies can be treated easily by taking your dog to the vet to have it tested. You and your vet will be able to determine what your dog is allergic to. Your vet may prescribe medication to your dog, or you can remove the allergens from your home.

Fleas and dust mites are the most common causes. After your dog has been outside, wipe him down with safe cleaners. Keep his food bowls clean and keep your dog away from strong fragrances. An air purifier can be purchased to remove any airborne allergens from your dog’s airways if they are very sensitive.

Foreign Objects or Injury

You may notice that your dog’s eyes suddenly turn red if he gets a scratch in the eye. This is because any object that gets in your dog’s eyes can cause irritation and reddening. For example, you can give your dog a small object, such as a piece of sand, but you can also cause an injury to his eyes by sticking a stick in his eye.


  • Redness, swelling and discomfort may occur in your dog’s eyes, especially if it is only one eye.
  • Your dog is constantly pawing at your eye, and it’s difficult to keep his eyes open.
  • Excessive tears


To find the culprit, examine your dog’s eyes. To flush your dog’s eyes, use a dog eyewash. To prevent your dog from scratching or pawing at the eye, you may have to use an Elizabethan collar. To ensure that everything is in order, it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet for an eye exam.

Do not attempt to remove something embedded in the eye of your dog. Instead, get your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).

Conjunctivitis in dogs is quite common and typically occurs in one eye. The eye’s tissue becomes inflamed, and it becomes red.


  • Blinking or squinting
  • Redness and swelling
  • Clear or mixed mucusy watery discharge


Bring your dog to the veterinarian if your puppy has pinkeye. The vet will be able to determine the exact cause and recommend the best treatment. You may need to give your dog medication for inflammation or antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection.

Your pup may need surgery in rare cases. For example, your vet will have to clear the obstruction if your pup has a blocked tear duct.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can cause dry eyes in your dog. This is because he won’t produce enough tears for his eyes to stay lubricated. As a result, his eyes may become red and dry.


  • Eyes surrounded by thick, yellow or white mucus
  • Dark, cloudy eyes
  • Frequent eye infections
  • Excessive blinking


Many eyewashes can be used to keep your dog’s eyes clear and moist. Discuss with your vet the best options for your dog and whether a prescription is necessary.


Glaucoma can be a serious condition caused by pressure and fluid buildup in the eyes. Glaucoma can cause blindness if it isn’t treated promptly.


  • Rub the eye with your paws, or rub the eyes on the ground.
  • Different sized pupils
  • Tease
  • Excessive squinting
  • Redness and swelling
  • Vision loss
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Sensitivity to light


Your veterinarian will recommend medications to treat your dog’s glaucoma. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary for your dog’s glaucoma.

Corneal Ulcers

These ulcers usually occur after an injury, such as a scratch on your eye. The thin membrane that covers the eye causes irritation and damage.


  • Squinting
  • Redness
  • You can rub your eyes on the floor or paw at the eye by rubbing them together.
  • Eye drainage
  • Sensitivity to light


Your vet will recommend antibiotic eye drops for mild cases. Elizabethan collars should be worn to stop your dog from scratching his eyes. Your pup may need surgery or a corneal implant if the situation is more difficult. In addition, your pup may need to wear a soft contact lens on his cornea while it heals.


Uveitis occurs when your dog’s tissue becomes red and painful. This condition can lead to blindness if not treated quickly.


  • Redness and swelling
  • Excessive tears
  • A small, irregular pupil
  • Discharge
  • Eyes that are cloudy or dull
  • Eye colour can change or become uneven.


Your veterinarian will recommend a combination of drops and antibiotics for the eyes as well as oral medication. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove the eye in very rare cases.

Red eyes in dogs not caused by any of these conditions could indicate underlying health problems such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism or cancer. Red eyes in your dog can indicate that something is wrong. Therefore, it is important to get immediate medical attention. Always consult your vet if you are unsure.

Do certain dogs have more eye problems than others?

Red eyes can affect any dog, but certain breeds are more susceptible than others. For example, certain eye problems are more common in breeds with long hair, older dogs, or flat-faced breeds.

How to Keep Your Dog’s Eyes Healthy

There are many things you can do for your dog’s eyes to stay healthy.

  • Keep your dog’s hair trimmed around the eyes.
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to clean your dog’s eyes.
  • Eyewash is recommended for dogs with eye problems.
  • Do not allow your dog to hang out of the window while driving. This could make him vulnerable to foreign objects landing in his eyes.
  • Your vet should check your dog’s eyes regularly.

If your dog’s eyes are ever red, swelling or pawing at his face, it is important to get him examined by a vet immediately. Your dog’s red eyes may be due to a common problem that can be easily fixed. Check out our blog for more pet tips! There are tons of great resources and useful information to keep your dog happy and healthy.

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