Black dog getting eye check by vet

How to give your pet eye drops

This can be tricky, especially if your dog or cat isn’t keen on having eye drops or ointments. Getting the help of another person will help to keep your pet still. 

Important: Always follow your vet's advice on how often you should give your pet treatment. This will vary depending on the cause of the eye infection.

Familiarise your pet with the bottle

  • Let them sniff the bottle
  • Reward them with a treat, so that they associate the bottle with something positive

Often, it’s the smell that worries them, so getting them used to that first is a good idea.

Claire Stallard - Behaviour and Training Development Manager at Blue Cross with white Staffordshire bull terrier
This advice has been approved by our Behaviour and Training Development Manager at Blue Cross

Using eye drops

  • If you are right-handed, use the finger and thumb of your left hand to hold the eyelid open
  • Hold the medication in your right hand and bring it towards the eye from the side
  • Put one drop into the eye, being careful not to touch the eye itself

Dogs and cats have strong eyelid muscles so you will need to be firm.

Using an ointment

  • Squeeze a little out of the nozzle to start with
  • Position over the eye
  • Squeeze again to lay a trail of ointment over the actual surface of the eye

Be careful not to touch the eye with the nozzle.

— Page last updated 06/04/2021

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