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Dog Eye Goop: What’s Normal And What’s Not

Dog Eye Goop: What’s Normal And What’s Not

A veterinarian has reviewed and fact-checked this article.

People and dogs have a lot of the same vision problems, like dry eye, infections, and inflammation. Dog eyes work the same way and are susceptible to many of the same problems. One of them is eye goops. But what is a dog eye goop? Well, in most cases it’s just his dried tears and eye debris. But in some cases, crusty eyes in your dog can be a sign of something much more severe going on. 

Dog eye goop: What should you do?

In this tutorial, we’ll tell you more about dog eye goops, like what they are, why they happen, and how to clean and prevent them. Veterinarians should be the first person you talk to about your dog’s vision. Maybe there is something more serious going on that could even lead to the loss of an eye in your dog. That’s why you need to see a professional.

What is dog eye goop in the first place?

Yucky things like pollen and dust get stuck in the dog’s eyes because of dried tears (lack of tears) and other things. A dog needs teary eyes, which are made of lipids, water, and mucus, in order to stay healthy.

The surface of the cornea and conjunctiva are lubricated by tears all day, which is important for eye health and helps flush out any debris. Dr. Diana Pate, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist, says that the tears help keep the eyes healthy and flush out any debris.

Veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Terri Baldwin says that while water can easily flow down tear ducts (nasolacrimal ducts) into the nose, mucus and other debris are too thick to move down the ducts. As a result, dog eye boogers are formed on the inner corner of the eyes.

People who work with animals call this deposit ocular discharge or watery eye discharge, but the words used vary. One of the doctors at Northwest Animal Eye Specialists, a company in Seattle, Washington, says, “I call it crusting or discharge.”

Dog eye goop comes in different shapes and sizes

Normally, dog’s eye discharge is white to gray in color. It is made up of mucus and debris that is stuck in the eye. Baldwin: “It usually builds up the most in the morning because the mucus doesn’t get cleaned off as dogs sleep.”

The color or amount of a person’s urine could be a sign of a health problem. “Excessive amounts, where the eyes need to be wiped many times a day, or green discharge is not likely,” Brantman says. Some breeds are more affected by this health issue, i.e. cocker spaniels.

Here’s a closer look at the different types of eye discharge that could be a sign of a medical problem.

How does normal eye discharge look like?

It usually looks like a rust-colored tear that runs down the face. In the case of allergies or something that’s rubbing on the eye, “We see this,” Baldwin says. “We also see this when the eyelids roll in and rub against the cornea.” Also, if the eyelids don’t have the normal ducts for drainage or if the shape of the eyelids prevents natural drainage, this can happen.

Causes of eye discharge 

Allergies, a simple ulcer, a foreign object, or other physical irritation to the surface of the eye, such as aberrant hairs or a blockage of the nasolacrimal drainage, are some of the things Pate says can cause this.

Green and yellow eye goops

Most of the time, Baldwin says, the yellow or green stuff that comes out of your dog’s eyes is because it has an infection on its cornea. Mucoid secretion and similar can be signs of conjunctivitis or dry eye if there is too much of it. ” This can build up on the eyelids and dry out the skin, which will make the situation even more bad.

It’s called Keratitis Conjunctiva Sicca, or “chronic dry eye.” This is because the immune system of the dog is killing the tear glands. As a result, it can lead to blindness and eye pain Dogs with chronic dry eye may blink a lot, wipe their eyes, or close their eyes all the way.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that surrounds the eyeballs in dogs. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or other things in the environment that make the dog’s eyes hurt. You can tell if your dog has conjunctivitis by looking at his eyes, which are red, swollen, and itchy. Check with your veterinarian.

Always be extra careful. Pate says that if there is a new or different discharge, it should be checked out by a veterinarianas soon as possible, especially if there are other signs like redness, squinting, cloudiness, or vision problems.

5 Most Common Types Of Eye Discharge In Dogs

Let’s analyze together the five most common types of eye junk in dogs and break down what the most common dog eye goop is.


Tears are essential in maintaining the health of the eyes. They nourish the cornea – the clear layer at the front of the eye. Tears also help remove debris from the surface of the eyes, which is an important thing to do.

Tears drain from the ductus located at the inner corner of the eyes, and sometimes a little bit of crust or goop can accumulate in those areas, so you need to clean crusting. The little goop is most commonly clear, or in a reddish-brown color.

You will most commonly see this material in the morning and in most cases it’s perfectly normal. You can easily remove it with a damp cloth.

This type of eye discharge shouldn’t cause any irritation or discomfort in your dog’s eyes. His eyes shouldn’t be red or inflamed.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s morning goop, either in consistency, color or his behavior — the best decision would be to contact your vet.

Excessive Eye Watering

Excessive watery discharge or also known as epiphora is associated with many different conditions. These conditions can range from harmless to severe.

The most common reasons of watery dogs eye discharge:

  1. Allergies
  2. Irritants
  3. Foreign bodies
  4. Anatomical abnormalities
  5. Glaucoma
  6. Blocked tear ducts
  7. Eye trauma
  8. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca 

If your dog’s eyes are only mildly watering, in most cases there isn’t any reason to raise concerns. This is a very common problem and will usually just cause red eyes or minor discomfort. Monitor your dog for a day or two and see if you will notice any changes.

Maybe it’s just allergy season and your dog got a lot of pollen around his eyes. If you notice any other changes besides his eyes being watery, ask your vet for help.

Brown tear stains

Tear stains in red or brown color are fairly common in light-colored dogs. The discoloration occurs around the inner corners of their eyes. That happens because dog tears contain a pigment called “porphyrin”. This pigment turns a reddish-brown color after prolonged exposure to air.

If you want to minimize the tears coming from your dog’s eyes, try the following:

Wipe their inner corners a few times a day with a warm and damp cloth. You can also use eye cleaning solution that is made specifically for dogs. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide!

Another thing to keep in mind is to keep the fur around your dog’s eyelashes trimmed and short. That will make the dog’s eye discharge less noticeable.

It can take a few months for the stains to lighten. It’s not an overnight process and you need to give it some time.

Dog Eye Mucus

Dry eye in dogs develops when a dog’s immune system starts to attack the glands in a dog’s body that produce tears.

Fewer tears result with the body trying to compensate that. The body starts making more mucus in order to lubricate the eyes. However, mucus cannot replace the function of tears and therefore the eyes become red and painful. In some severe cases ulcers can start to form.

If left untreated dry eyes in dogs can even end up in blindness.

If you notice dog eye mucus in a greenish color starting to form around your dog’s eyes, make an appointment with the vet. They will know what to do next.

The treatment is usually artificial tears or some other medications, and dogs respond pretty well to it.

Dog Green Eye Discharge

Dog’s producing green or yellow discharge from their eyes often have an eye infection. That’s particularly often the case if swelling and redness are also visible.

Eye infections can develop for a number of different reasons. Sometimes there are even a symptom of some other underlying diseases.

If you notice any symptoms of an eye infection in your dog, contact your vet immediately.

If left untreated, they can end up in blindness. However, the treatment of eye infections is dog is often a simple and painless procedure.

Why Do Dogs Have Eye Boogers?

Baldwin says that a small amount of eye discharge in the morning is normal. It happens when it builds up during the day, or when it dries and seals over the eyelid. As soon as you can, get an eye doctor to check for dry eye, an infection, or allergies.

Pate says that some breeds have a low-grade discharge because of where their eyes are and the long hair that surrounds them.

“Dogs with very deep-set eyes in the orbit (like Labradors) often have a low-grade discharge every day,” she says. Even though their drainage system doesn’t always work well, the more “bug-eyed” dogs usually have some kind of long-term drainage. People who have bug-eyed dogs are Pugs and Boston Terriers.

A lot of tears can come out of the eye if there are things like dog allergies, foreign objects, or ulcers, says Pate.

“Sometimes it’s very watery, and at other times it’s very thick and mucous-like.” “The reason for the discrepancies is that some of the tears are made more than others.” “And that all depends on what’s going on first.”

Normal tears are coming out in this case, but they’re not going through the tear ducts correctly, says Pate. People who have a genetic problem with their drainage system or who have a blockage in their drainage system can cause this to happen.

How to Remove Dog Eye Goop

With a tissue, the owner cleans the dog’s eye and makes it look better.
You should see if the following steps for cleaning a dog’s eyes are correct if your doctor says that your dog’s eye discharge is okay.

“Always wash your hands before you touch your pet’s eyes,” says Dr. Zay Satchu, the chief veterinary officer and co-founder of BondVet in New York City.

Dog eye boogers should be cleaned with a clean tissue, cotton ball, or clean hands, says Satchu.

Satchu says that if your dog’s eye discharge has become hard, you should use sterile saline or eye wash with a clean cotton ball or tissue to soften and remove the buildup. Plain water isn’t dangerous, but if it gets into your eyes, it could hurt them, so you should use saline or eye wash instead.

Baldwin says that you can also use wipes for dogs to clean up the waste. The artificial tear gel also makes it easier to wipe away the dried discharge without making your pet feel bad.

Normal dog eye boogers can be seen after a long period of rest, like when the dog wakes up in the morning. “However, if you clean more than once or twice a day, you should have a look,” says Satchu.

Treatments Of Eye Discharge

The treatment for eye discharge that isn’t regular is mostly based on what’s causing it. It could be allergy or anti-inflammatory drops, antibiotics, dry eye drugs, or even surgery.

Take a look at some of the most common treatments that veterinarians use.

Treatment for dry eyes in dogs

Baldwin says that veterinarians use drugs that make the tear glands produce tears and then refill them until the medicine takes effect. “Unfortunately, artificial tears only last for five to 30 minutes, so it’s important to find out what’s making your eyes dry.”

Veterinarians usually recommend lubricating eye medications for dogs with mild dry eye or an infection, says Satchu. These medications can help protect the cornea.

Eye infections

It’s used to treat an infection if the discharge is caused by an infection, says Baldwin. There is a risk that the corneal layers will fall off if they aren’t treated quickly. This would require emergency surgery.


Baldwin says that your veterinarian may put on a topical antihistamine or steroids to help with the itching caused by allergies. “It’s very important to make sure there isn’t an infection before we use a topical steroid.”

It’s very important to get help for irregular ocular discharge as soon as possible. Satchu says: “The eyes are delicate and valuable.” It can be hard and expensive (if it’s even possible) to fix these problems for pets, so catching them early is very important.

How to clean your dog’s eyes?

Taking care of your dog’s eye health is the responsibility of every dog owner. Dogs can have different types of eye conditions that could even lead to serious side effects such as vision loss. One of them is Conjunctivitis (Dog Eye Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment). The most important step in preventing conjunctivitis in dogs is to regularly clear eye discharge of your dog and have no dog eye goop. But also that you don’t touch them with dirty hands. That’s when dog eye wipes come in handy. Do not risk a serious infection.

Some dog owners may think that it would also be fine to simply clean your dog’s eyes with a regular baby or makeup wipe. However, these wipes often contain alcohol or fragrances that could irritate your dog’s cornea. That’s why dog eye wipes exist, they are a gentle and effective way to clean out all goop without irritating the eyes.

If you are unsure where to buy the dog eye wipes, or which ones to get, we have a few recommendations. Most of them are available on Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. You can simply order them from your home, and if you have Amazon prime receive them the next day on your doorstep.

Here are some of our recommendations when it comes to dog eye wipes.

Arava Pet Eye Wipes – for Dogs Cats Puppies & Kittens

Arava’s Natural Pet Eye Wipes’ formula helps gently and effectively cleanse the eye area of all cat and dog breeds. The hypoallergenic ingredients are safe for everyday use on even the most sensitive pets and easily remove any dirt or discharge to keep eyes healthy and tear-free. The wipes are soft, non-irritating, and soothing to ensure that daily grooming is a pleasant experience for you and your pet.

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The premium Arava formula is a blend of natural active ingredients. They contain 26 Dead Sea minerals which are essential to cleansing and nourishing the skin. Active botanical ingredients including Lion’s Tooth, Eyebright, Chamomile, and Aloe Vera provide additional protective, nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties. The wipes are also fortified with Vitamins D, E, and B5 to support healthy eyes.

Arava pet eye wipes prevent new tear stains, infections and irritations caused by mucus around the eye. These wipes help keep the fur around your dog or cat’s eye area clean and dry.

Mochi’s Paws Premium Plant-Based Pet Wipes

Mochi’s Paws is a family-owned small business in Los Angeles, CA. They create and bring to market natural and sustainable pet products.

Mochi’s Paws Premium Plant-Based Pet Wipes are made from 100% Bamboo fibers. Bamboo is not a tree – it’s grass! Grass grows wild and fast, which means, it is renewable and much more gentle to the planet we live on than alternatives such as cotton or paper-based wipes. Also, bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic and is great for your fur baby’s sensitive skin.

Non toxic, natural, organic and environmentally friendly wipes

The product is made free from parabens, alcohol, chlorine, sulfates, and other harmful chemicals. The actual ingredients used are Vitamin E, Aloe Extract, Calendula Extract, and Chamomile Flower Extract. These natural ingredients not only provide an irritation-free experience, but they also provide much-needed deodorizing and moisturizing effects.

These wipes are large and sturdy, measuring at 8 x 9 inches (20 x 23 cm), and feel like any other non-bamboo wipes you’ve used in the past. Use them on your fur babies’ paws and body to give them the much-needed quick freshen-me-up they deserve.

Angel’s Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes

Angels’ Eyes Gentle Tear Stain wipes are recommended to help remove dried mucus secretions, discharge, and tear stains. Use daily to keep eye exterior clean and help reduce the risk of eye irritations and itching caused by foreign matter, our unique formulation requires no rinsing.

Amazon’s choice when it comes to wipes for eyes

Developed specifically for dogs and cats to help eliminate tear stains from the inside out. This product is designed to help keep dogs’ and cats’ coats looking their very best!

Use daily to keep eye exterior clean and help reduce the risk of eye irritations and itching caused by foreign matter your dog or cat can pick up. The unique formulation requires no rinsing.

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.