Eye problems in dogs

How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog

Generally speaking, applying drops or creams to the eye is a somewhat complicated and delicate task - especially if done to a doge. However, this will depend on the personality of your pet and whether it is accustomed to be touched without any problems. If you have to apply eye medication to your dog, keep reading.

If you must administer drops this will likely be to fight an infection, dry eyes or possibly to treat ulcers: these are all very important health issues that you should not ignore. Here at OneHowTo we give you some instructions to make the process as quick and effective as possible; we'll show you in detail how to apply eye drops on a dog.

You may also be interested in: What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye

Steps to follow:


If you must care of your dog's eyes with medication, we seriously recommend you follow these steps so that you are able to apply the drops without difficulties.

To begin with, you must wash your hands thoroughly before touching any part of your pet's face. This is something you should always keep in mind as you will be treating an area that is very sensitive to dust and all kinds of bacteria: washing your hands with antibacterial soap is a necessary precaution.

Once you have clean hands, it is convenient to have the medicine prepared and at hand. Take the drops or cream, open the containers and leave them ready to use. It is likely that your dog will not want you putting anything on it, it will try to resist and should you not have everything ready it will be impossible to work quickly.

How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog - Step 1

The best strategy to apply drops on your dog's eyes is to have someone help you. If your pet is very relaxed, easy going or is simply use to being handled it may be that you can do this without any help. But if you know that your dog will resist, and may even get a little aggressive, you better get help from someone you trust so that they can secure the dog as you apply the medication.

The best way to hold it is to get behind the dog or secure it between the knees. Then, with your hands free, you can stabilize the head of your pet and focus on applying the drug. In the case of small dogs it is much better to place the animal on a table.


In the event that your dog resists a lot and is quite strong then you will have to evaluate the possibility of finding a technique to restrain it. For example, you could try applying the drops while it is lying down.

Get your dog to lie on the floor, and if you notice that it starts to get violent, put on a muzzle, limiting its ability to open its mouth. However, this is not your best option, since it will be a very traumatic event for your dog.

These types of techniques will make your pet become tense and so you will not be preparing it for future applications. You have to try to make the experience as quick and pleasant as possible, so it will be easier to repeat this in future occasions.

How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog - Step 3

Before applying the drops on your dog you must gently clean its eyes, as the whole ocular surface has to be very clean. Raise its jaw to see all its face and if you see any discharge around the eye run a gauze, cotton or damp cloth over it to remove it. Immediately throw away any object that you use to clean the eyes so there is no risk of recurrent infections.

Now is the time to position your pet's head to administer the medication; hold its head with your non-dominant hand and with take the container with the other.

How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog - Step 4

Then, pull down the lower eyelid with the thumb of the hand that is holding the dog's head up gently until a bag is formed. That gap, called the conjunctival sac, is the perfect place to apply the medicine.

Place the hand holding the drops on your dog's forehead because if it moves, your hand will too. Apply the drops and be very careful not to touch your pet's eye with the bottle. You can apply the drops in the bag or on the eyeball, as you prefer.

Once you apply the drops in the sac they will spread through the eye without any of the medicine coming out. Do not let your dog shake its head for the next few seconds so that the medication penetrates well.


Once you have done that, remember the procedure. Surely the eye treatment will require several applications, so try to be patient and in time you will have great skill in applying drops.

It is also very important that you follow your veterinarian's instructions as to the frequency of administration. It is possible that they may also recommend that you put drops in both eyes as there is a high risk that the bacteria infecting one eye infects the other. Be very careful with these medicines as they expire quickly.

Finally, remember to always think about your pet's welfare. Make this time as pleasant as possible and, in the end, always give a good prize in the form of pampering and treats. If the experience is positive, with passing time you will be able to treat your pet for anything and without any difficulties.

How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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How to Apply Eye Drops on a Dog