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Can Dogs Get Pink Eye?

Pink eye is a common infection experienced by humans and other animals. Dogs often experience different eye problems that their owners have to watch out for. As a concerned owner, you may be wondering, can dogs get pink eye? 

Dogs can get pink eye. It is a common infection that can be experienced in either one or both of their eyes. 

Dogs that experience any of the following symptoms in their eyes may have pink eye.

  • Redness
  • Crustiness
  • Discharge
  • Watery eyes
  • Squinting
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Eyelids that stick together
  • Pawing at their eyes


What Causes Pink Eye In Dogs?

Pink eye can be caused by a range of different things including:

  • A virus
  • Bacteria
  • Airborne allergens
  • Irritation
  • Injury
  • Certain dog diseases
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS)
  • Dry eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, that is caused by a virus is only able to spread within the species it affects. Therefore, if your dog has viral conjunctivitis, you will most likely not contract it from them.

However, pink eye that is caused by bacteria is very easily spread and can be spread from your dog to you, or you to your dog. Be sure to carefully sterilize your home and wash your hands to ensure no one else contracts it. 

can dogs get pink eye?

How To Prevent Your Dog From Giving Pink Eye To The Rest of Your House

If someone in your home has contracted pink eye, including your dog, you should take certain precautions to ensure it is not spread to other family members and pets that live in your home. 

A few different ways to prevent the spread of pink eye are:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes
  • Sterilize shared spaces

Be adamant about keeping your house clean and not touching your face. This is the best way to keep everyone else in the house pink eye free. 

How To Treat Pink Eye

Only a vet can diagnose pink eye. They will be able to tell you what is causing the pink eye, and therefore how to treat it. 

Viral conjunctivitis is treated with steroid eye drops or artificial tears.

Pink eye caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. 

Conjunctivitis caused by allergies can be treated with an antihistamine or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

While pink eye caused by an injury often just needs a cone to prevent your dog from continuing to scratch at the eye. Sometimes the vet will need to manually remove debris from the eye first though.  

can dogs get pink eye

What Are Some Natural Remedies For Treating Pink Eye In Dogs?

Although you should always consult your vet first, some natural remedies to try include:

  • A cold compress
  • Saline eye drops
  • Artificial tears

A cold compress will help with the inflammation caused by pink eye. It can be applied for a couple of minutes multiple times a day to help relieve any irritation your dog may be feeling.

Saline eye drops can be purchased from a pharmacy or pet store. Make sure you do not use contact solution, as this is not the same thing and can damage your dog’s eyes. 

Artificial tears are great to help reduce the inflammation in your dog’s eyes by adding a lubricating layer to soothe them. 

Can You Prevent Your Dog From Getting Pink Eye?

There are ways to prevent your pet from contracting pink eye. A few different things you can do for your pet include:

  • Keeping their play and sleep areas sterilized
  • Keeping them updated on all of their shots
  • Feed them a vitamin-packed diet
  • Prevent them from eye-damaging experiences
    • Chasing cats
    • Sniffing thorn bushes
    • Sticking their head out the window of a moving car

Pink eye caused by a virus can be easily prevented by ensuring your dog is up to date on all their shots such as the distemper shot. 

Preventing your dog from getting injuries in their eyes is also an easy way to prevent pink eye. Don’t let them stick their head out the window when your driving because dirt and other debris can become stuck in their eye. 

Pink Eye Occurs Often In Dogs

Many dogs experience pink eye throughout their life. Luckily, it is easily diagnosable and treatable. As long as you consult your vet, pink eye is not likely to cause any serious damage to your pet.

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