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Why Do Dogs Get Eye Boogers? Causes & Treatment [ANSWERED]

Why Do Dogs Get Eye Boogers? Causes & Treatment [ANSWERED]

Caring for a pet requires the same attention, time, dedication, and commitment as caring for a human. As a dog owner, carefully monitoring your dog every day is vital to helping it stay healthy. Your dog is likely to develop various health issues if you are negligent about the dog’s health and wellbeing.

Some of the causes of eye boogers in dogs are allergies, conjunctivitis, wind, dry eyes, epiphora, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, eyelash and irritants, and the dog breed. Treating eye boogers is determined by the cause; the basic treatment involves removing the irritant and soothing the area.

If you have ever seen or noticed some form of discharge around your dogs’ face, which sometimes could be thick and irritating, the dog has eye boogers.

sweet dog sleepy brown

Why Do Dogs Get Eye Boogers?

Like all creatures, dogs will experience different infections, including skin, ear, nose, and eye infections. This is why it is important as a pet owner to ensure you have adequate time with your pet; your dog needs a proper and nutritional diet, adequate exercise and playtime, as well as regular checkups.

Dogs’ eyes work the same way humans work. The similar parts of all humans function the same way. Eye boogers are known as eye discharge in humans, and as a dog owner, you need to know what causes it. Below are some causes of eye boogers in dogs.


Conjunctivitis is a type of inflammation in which mucus, or yellow-green pus, covers a dog’s eyelids. Its symptoms are excessive blinking of the eyes and swelling around the eyes with some discharges. The causes of conjunctivitis include congenital disabilities, distemper, uncontrolled allergies, and viral infections.

For treatment, the condition’s root cause must be first identified. For instance, if it is due to an allergy, antihistamines could be recommended. Other treatment options are antibiotics, removal of irritants, saline wash, medications, and surgery. Only veterinarians can treat conjunctivitis.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes occur in dogs due to the inability of a dog to produce eye-cleansing tears. Dry eyes are also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Ordinarily, a dog is supposed to produce tears adequately. However, conditions like injuries, distemper, hypothyroidism, and immune disorders, could damage a dog’s tear-producing glands.

If your dog displays symptoms such as inflammation, mucus, irritation, redness, coupled with some excessive squint, then it is likely suffering from dry eyes. If your dog has dry eyes, ensure it gets treated in a timely manner, as it could lead to other complications. Antibiotics, surgery, immunosuppressive drugs, and artificial tears are common treatments.


Epiphora is the opposite of dry eyes; it is referred to as excessive tearing. When a dog has watery and excessive tears, it could result in infected skin and smelly and stained fur. Epiphora is associated with different conditions such as allergies, tumors, corneal ulcers, and abnormal eyelashes.

The treatment is usually dependent on the cause. So, if you notice your dog having any form of excessive tears, you should consider taking it to a vet for a proper checkup first. Antibiotics, steroids, allergy medication, and even surgery could be prescribed for treatment options.

Corneal Ulcers

When a dog develops a corneal ulcer, a wound or painful sore is usually visible on its corneal eye surface. The ulcer could result from a trauma to the cornea, lack of tears, injuries in the eye, eye diseases, or a foreign object present in the dog’s eye. A corneal ulcer is different from conjunctivitis; in the former, the eyes are watery and red.

Excessive squinting and discharge, pains, and red eyes are symptoms of corneal ulcers in dogs. Also, you might begin to notice the dog becoming sensitive to light. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to take the dog to a vet for proper treatment. The treatment of corneal ulcers involves anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and surgery.

suspicious chihuahua blue background

Dogs Breed

Some dog breeds are more prone to developing various eye conditions than others. For instance, brachycephalic breeds or flat-faced breeds, including Pekingese, Boxers, and Pugs, are likely to have more eye leakages due to protruding eyes and shallow eye sockets they have.

So, if you own any of these dog breeds, you do not need to get worried when you see a clear eye discharge. To help these dogs, make sure they maintain good hygiene. Also, whenever the discharge appears, you can always clean it with a clean cloth to avoid accumulating more.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Always Have Eye Boogers?

It is normal for dogs to have eye discharges at different times. If the discharge appears to be very excessive in the form of thick mucus, it indicates that the dog has eye boogers. During the day, when dogs blink their eyes, the rheum is usually being flushed out.

It is normal for the sight organs to produce mucus in small quantities; this is not noticeable. So, the mucus often accumulates more around the tear duct at night when the blinking of eyes stops. This simple process occurs in both humans and animals, humans can clean the mucus in their eyes, but dogs cannot.

The truth is, seeing that boogers in your dog’s eye say a lot about the dog’s health. It is normal when you notice it; you could get curious and worried about what that causes and what it means. But, with knowledge of the causes, how to treat it, and how to prevent it, you are good to go.

How Do I Stop Eye Boogers In My Dog?

First, you need to know that there are different types of eye boogers before you can know how to stop them. Eye boogers can be green and yellow, clear and watery, and excessive. To stop eye boogers, you should first clean the dog’s tear stains with some warm water; you can also use tear stain removers.

You should use a recommended eye drop to flush out debris irritants, lubricate the eye, and alleviate allergic reactions. You can also use an eye comb to remove eye boogers that cling to the dog’s eyelashes. Also, if your breed is hairy, you should ensure you trim the hair around the dog’s eyes.

Why Does A Dog Produce More Eye Boogers?

If your dog has been producing more eye boogers than it used to, then it could be an indication of a medical condition. We already explained some causes of eye boogers in dogs, so any of these reasons could cause your dog eye boogers.

Also, you should know that some dog breeds produce more eye boogers than others. So, what you can do if you own such dog breeds is always clean their eyes, so it does not accumulate.

Should I Clean My Dog’s Eye Boogers?

Yes, you should clean your dog’s eye boogers. When eye boogers are left on their face for a long time, it often accumulates and could obstruct their vision and also lead to some irritation. So, it is best advised to clean your dog’s eye bogger to help them stay comfortable and relieved.

However, when cleaning, ensure your hands are clean, and you gently clean with a cotton ball or tissue. For hard or thick discharge, you can also use a sterile saline solution. Once you are done, properly dispose of the tissue, then ensure you wash your hands.

Keep reading: Why Does My Dog Eat Everything in Sight? Is It Bad?

Final Thoughts

Although eye boogers can occur in any dog, you still have a job to do everything possible to prevent it. To treat eye boogers in dogs, you need to identify the cause because there are different treatments for each probable cause. And in extreme cases, you need to take the dog to a vet for proper treatment.

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