Cleaning Your Dog’s Eyes and Face: Steps and Products to Use

Waggy tail, cuddly head, fuzzy ears are the best features of a dog— her entire body is her best feature, from her ear tips to her tail tips. But her greatest feature is her pair of eyes. After all, puppy-dog eyes are what most owners cave to when their dogs want something.

But these eyes — and their faces — can attract a lot of dirt. Your dog may also enjoy sticking its nose to something nasty like garbage or dead animals. Regular cleaning of the eyes and face of your dog is of paramount importance.

Health indications of eyes

Let’s talk about eyes first. Tear stains are the most visible signs of dirt, especially if your dog has light color hair. But mucus and crusts are also worrisome. These eye “boogers” or “gunk” could indicate some illness in your dog’s eyes.

If the eye discharge smells bad, or if the crusts cluster a lot in your dog’s eyes, or tears seem to be streaming nonstop from your dog’s eyes, bring her to the vet. She could be suffering from one of the following conditions:

1. Note that some breeds tend to have eye discharges. Mostly these are flat-faced dogs with protruding eyes and shallow eye sockets such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Pekingese. Sometimes their eyelids don’t work properly and tear drainage is a problem with them.

Breeds like Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, or Saint Bernards have droopy eyes so their eyelids tend to slip from the original positions and, thus, their eyes are prone to watery discharges.

2. Be alert if the eyes of your pet are too watery or too teary. She might have epiphora. Epiphora, as stated in this article, is excessive eye-watering. When your dog’s tear ducts don’t worry properly then excess tears will run down her face instead of through the ducts. Several diseases or circumstances lead to this condition. Corneal ulcers, eyela, maybe some of the more serious reasons

3. Your dog can suffer from conjunctivitis. If you see mucus that is yellow or green, you will have an idea that this is the cause of your dog’s eye disease. Conjunctivitis itself may be a sign of an even worse condition, such as allergies or eye injury or issues with the tear duct.

4. Your dog could have dry eyes. If the discharge is very sticky, then the cause could be this syndrome. This condition could come from an injury to the tear ducts, distemper, or an infection.

If you notice your dog showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, bring her to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet can find the true cause of the condition and advise you on the best treatment for your dog.

Clean eyes with solutions

If your dog’s condition is due to dirt or something that can be treated with an eye solution, your vet will tell you what the best medicine can be. It’s better to treat her eyes before you tackle her face.

Some of the products that could be recommended to you would be:

  • Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash for Dogs – It’s also a safe way to wash the dirt away from your dog’s eyes. The product has an advantage that it does not have antibiotics or steroids. It is pH-equilibrated so it won’t leave a burning sensation when you put some drops on your dog’s eyes.

There are instructions on the solutions on how you can apply them to your dog’s eyes. Generally, you can give them as eye drops.

But if your dog does not like this procedure or does not stay still enough for a drop to enter her eye then use the swab method.

1. Wet a cotton ball or cotton pad with the eye solution. Don’t soak the cotton too much.

2. Dab the infected eye with the cotton starting from the inner part moving outward.

3. Use a different cotton pad for each eye so that the bacteria or virus from one eye will not infect or make the other eye’s condition worse.

You can also use Miracle Care Eye Clear Sterile Eye Wash Pads. This is a bestselling product on Amazon. These eyewash pads are pre-soaked with Miracle Care’s eye drop formula, which is a sterile and pet-safe solution.

Cleaning your dog’s face

Now that her eyes are clean, let’s look closer at how to clean the area which holds the eyes: your dog’s face.

In the skin folds, bacteria and viruses may breed, leading to infection. If you have a dog like a Pug or a Shar Pei with wrinkled skin, washing her face regularly very essential. The best way is to bathe and clean the eyes of your pet on a regular basis. A clean face is a sign of good health.

Bathing your dog’s face

Put cotton balls in the ears of your dog when you bathe your dog so that water does not penetrate the ear canals. Water in the ear canals may result in infection. The face is considered an area of high sensitivity. When you clean it, be very gentle. You have two options for bathing this spot.

1. The best way is to use a wet soft washcloth or sponge that’s been soaked in dog shampoo or soap.

Try not to use soap and shampoo that is for human use, even if you’re only going to use a small bit. The human ingredients can be harmful to your dog.

Try AllPetNaturals South Bark’s- Blueberry Facial for Cats and Dogs-a 3-in-1 facial cleanser, body shampoo and color brightener to really pamper your dog. It includes natural ingredients such as extract of coconut oil, aloe, jojoba, and blueberry. It’s safe for use even on puppies.

Use the washcloth to gently dry the dog’s face and neck. Clean the washcloth and rub your dog back to clean off the remnants of the dog shampoo or any residual dust on the face and head.

2. An alternative is the pour method.

Guide the dog to point down her nose and pour water over the top of the head slowly. Gently wash the face of your dog carefully not to get shampoo in your dog’s eyes. Shampoo in the eyes could burn and be painful make sure you rinse.

Casual grooming of your dog’s face

When you need to spot-clean or perform casual grooming of your dog’s face, follow these steps:

1. Make your tools ready. These include a bowl at room temperature of warm water. Do not use too hot or too cold water. When your dog comes into contact with the water, your dog may freak out. Other tools are washcloth or cotton balls and shampoo of dogs.

Do not use paper towels or napkins. These can easily break up or shred. If it is frisky, your dog might be chewing pieces of paper or napkin. Worse, bits of these materials might lodge in the eyes of your dog.

You can also use wet dog towels. Do not use baby wipes because it may not be safe for your pet to use these pre-moistened tissue solutions.

Try Arava Pet Eye Wipes. This product’s tissue is soft The formula is made from ingredients that are natural Such wipes will not even irritate your dog’s face’s sensitive skin around the eyes

2. Even if you will not pour water on your dog’s head, try to still put cotton balls in her ears.

3. Brush the fur on the head of your dog Concentrate on the hair around her mouth as it is possible for dried food to lodge there. Also, be vigilant of knots and tangles. Don’t brush too hard or you may pull your dog’s hair too roughly.

Mindful Pets Tear Stain Remover Combs are designed to help you remove crusts, tear stains, and mucus from your dog’s eyes. So, if you use this tool, you will be grooming the hair and taking away the dirt at the same time.

4. Now you’re ready to clean the face.

Dip into the water the washcloth or cotton ball. Use no shampoo yet. You’re not going to need dog shampoo or soap just yet if you’re trying to spot-clean and not bathe your dog.

5. Start on the eye area. Pay attention to any leftover crusts near the eyes.

If a crust or dirt is very stubborn then you can try adding a tiny drop of dog shampoo or soap to your cleaning tool.

You could use Bodhi Dog New Natural Tear Eye Stain Remover, which has natural ingredients and gentle formula.

The washcloth or cotton won’t be too contaminated with bacteria if you start with the eye area. This will reduce the likelihood of spreading infection in the eyes.

6. Rinse the washcloth, squeeze, and wipe the remaining part of your dog’s face. Be sure to wipe the folds under its skin. To soften the dirt, use gentle but firm strokes. Your dog might not like it if you’re too strong and might fight you.

Again, the mouth area could have dried food among the hair so pay special attention to it. This is important if your dog has a long beard.

7. Rinse the washcloth or use a different wet wipe to rinse off the residue.

8. Dry the face with a different washcloth.

Bonus method

If you don’t have access to water, you can try using a waterless pet cleaning formula.

TropiClean Waterless Facial Cleanser for Pets is a non-rinsing service that is ideal if you’re in the park and your dog has chosen to plunge her face into a mud pit. All you need to do is wash the dog’s hair with the cleanser and then rinse it out. It has all-natural ingredients for your pet to be healthy.

Tips for prevention

Yes, it’s hard to keep your dog from nosing garbage, mud, and other dirty things. But you can minimize dirt from accumulating all over her face or in her eyes. Here are some ways:

  • Leave the head of your dog’s fur short to make it easier to brush. Short hair may also help prevent proliferation of bacteria or viruses. Through this article, you will learn how to trim the hair of your dog.
  • When you’re in the car, don’t allow your dog to pop her head out of the window. The wind will blow dirt and debris into her face and eyes.
  • Don’t get the crust out of her eyes with your bare fingers. Human fingers, especially when not sterilized, are carriers of bacteria and viruses.


This can not be emphasized enough: when you clean the face of your dog, be very gentle, especially close to her ears. The first step is getting her to the vet if she has excessive watery, dirty, or crusty eyes. Next, regularly bathe and groom her so that her eyes and face remain clean, bright and stunning to look at.

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