How to Soften Dog Eye Boogers [Quickly Wipe Them Away]

CareHow to Soften Dog Eye Boogers

The best way to soften dog eye boogers is to use a warm cloth and gently rest it on your dog’s eyes for a few seconds. Once the eye boogers have softened, you can use the other side of the cloth to wipe away the gunk.

You may have noticed that the sandman has paid your four-legged friend a visit last night. The crusty gunk that you sometimes wake up to (also known as eye boogers) is nothing out of the ordinary.

Dogs produce a lot more tears than we think, and the result of those tears is a buildup of gunk around the eyes. Since dogs can’t wipe away those eye boogers, that’s where you come in.

Below, we have some excellent tips and tricks that you can try on your furry friend the next time the sandman decides to pay them a visit.

How Do Dogs Get Eye Boogers?

Eye boogers are caused by drainage from their tear ducts. Sometimes it comes in many different forms, such as staying consistently watery to becoming thick and crusty.

Please note that if your dog’s drainage is watery and clear, this is usually considered normal and harmless. If you notice a green or yellow discharge coming from your dog’s eye, we highly recommend getting in contact with your personal vet.

Your dog may be experiencing discomfort in his eye due to allergies or a foreign object. If left untreated, your dog may try to paw at his eye to find comfort and end up scratching his eyes. This can lead to more damage, infections, and possibly blindness.

Why is My Dog Prone to Boogers or Tears?

If you have already consulted your vet and your vet says that it is harmless, you could have a breed that is more prone to tearing up.

For example, Pugs and boxers may experience excessive drainage and discharge from their tear ducts because of their short noses. Due to their face shape and lighter coats, some dogs with these attributes can be more prone to their tears or discharges staining their face.

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If this is the case, it is important to keep up with your dog’s eye health and hygiene.

How To Soften Eye Boogers On Your Dog

The first two methods mentioned below will do a great job at softening the gunk around your dog’s eyes so you can quickly and easily wipe it away. The remainder of the methods will help lessen the amount of gunk buildup so your dog’s eye boogers aren’t as severe.

A Warm Towel

A clean, warm towel can just do the trick in keeping your dog’s eyes clean and loosening any buildup.

The water should be lukewarm and damp. If it is light discharge, you can gently wipe around the outer part of the eye.

You will not want to stick any part of the wet towel within their cornea if you see anything there.

It is important to be extremely gentle if your dog has any major crust or discharge in their tear ducts.

Just like humans, their eyes are very sensitive. You will want to take a warm, damp towel and compress that over their eyes for a few minutes.

The warmth should loosen the boogers and you will want to wipe that away from their eye.

During this process, you would want to also use multiple clean small towels if you are doing multiple eye swipes or switch positions of the towel with every swipe. You do not want to transfer any gunk from the towel back into their eyes.

Doggy Wet Wipes/ Tear Wipes

If you are looking for a convenient solution to wiping away eye boogers, you can use dog wet wipes.

These wipes can be found at your local pet store or online. They are sensitive and safe to use around your dog’s eyes and face.

The only substitute that you can use for doggy wipes are unscented baby wipes. We do not recommend using scented wipes, makeup wipes, or antibacterial wipes around your dog’s eyes.

By keeping a small pack in your car or bag, these will be readily available if your dog experiences any eye irritation on the go, or if you need to wipe up eye boogers while you’re out on a walk.

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Use Clippers

Clippers are a great tool to maintain your dog’s overall hygiene. If you usually use clippers to maintain the hair on their paws and ears, why not their eyes?

If your dog is prone to harmless discharge, this would be a great way to prevent any blockage or stains.

Clippers will help soften the eye boogers because there won’t be as much surface area for the clumps to form. Less surface area means less gunk.

You can find dog clippers at your local pet store or online. It is best to find a pair of clippers suitable for your dog and the body part you are trimming.

If you are multiple scissors for multiple body parts on your furry friend’s body, that is great. If you have one or two, it is best practice to disinfect the scissors before cutting so close to your dog’s eyes.

Eye Comb

Eye combs are another excellent tool for softening eye boogers and maintaining your dog’s eye hygiene.

They can be found online or at a local pet store in the grooming aisle. This is a great tool because it provides you with a safe and non-toxic way to remove buildup and debris from your dog’s eyes.

It also can be used to prevent any tear staining. Since this will be used around the eyes, we also recommended sanitizing this tool with every use to prevent any further irritation or infections.

With regular use and upkeep, your four-legged friend will be eye booger free!

Doggy Eye Drops

Our go-to solution for any eye inconvenience is the infamous eye drop. Some people use eye drops daily, so why not on your furry friend!

There are eye drops that are specifically catered and made for your four-legged friend. You can find this product online or your local pet store in the first aid department.

Please note that you must use eye drops specifically for dogs. You should not use human eye drops on your dog.

If you notice that your dog’s eyes are irritated, eye drops can provide a quick solution. Just like using eye drops on yourself, you will have to tilt your dog’s head back and open their eyes.

Follow the instructions on the bottle of how many drops you should put in your dog’s eyes and how many times a day.

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Your dog may not enjoy the feeling at first, but it will be worth it once they realize the drops make them feel better.

A Quick Note on Conjunctivitis

We briefly talked about normal vs. abnormal eye discharge above, but since your dog’s health is a top priority, let’s talk a little more about conjunctivitis and why it can be so severe.

As stated, it’s completely normal for dogs to have a small amount of discharge from their eyes. But if the discharge is dark, frequent, and looks like it has blood in it, that could be a sign of conjunctivitis.

What is Conjunctivitis?

Just like humans, dogs have a conjunctiva tissue. When this tissue becomes inflamed, the eye(s) begin to produce excessive mucus and liquid.

The Top Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

  • Dark and frequent discharge from the eyes
  • Squinting
  • Abnormal blinking
  • Excessive coughing and sneezing
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Swollen eyes

Not all symptoms have to be present for your dog to have conjunctivitis.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

Several things can cause conjunctivitis. The most common for dogs include infections, allergic reactions, tumors, injury to the eye, and obstructed tear ducts.

What Are The Treatment Options?

Treatment depends on the cause. If your dog is having an allergic reaction to something, there’s a good chance it will go away in a short period of time. However, something as severe as a tumor will require prescription medication and possible surgery.

Regardless of the cause, the vet will likely provide you with eye drops to place in your dog’s eyes a few times per day to reduce the irritation and swelling as quickly as possible.

Eye Boogers Are A Simple Problem to Fix

Your dog’s eyes are very important. The good news is that cleaning the eyes is a quick and straightforward task. We hope that these tips and tricks will help you maintain your dog’s eye hygiene and keep them healthy. If you are unsure of your dog’s eye condition or treatment, we recommend reaching out to your vet for more information.

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Bryan Harkins
Bryan Harkins
Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.

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