Giving eye drops to a dog can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and a little patience, it is possible to administer the medication successfully.
What is the best technique for successfully administering eye drops? And can you train your dog to be a willing participant?
Why Your Dog Might Need Eye Drops
According to TipsPetCare found out, many different canine health problems need to be treated with eye drops. These include eye infections, eye inflammation, corneal abrasions (the transparent surface of the eyeball), corneal ulcers, glaucoma, and dry keratitis (also known as dry eye).
Some of these conditions may require only eye drops until the condition improves. Others, like dry eyes, may need treatment throughout your dog’s life.
How to Give Your Dog Eye Drops?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to give your dog eye drops:
- Get your dog in a comfortable position: Make sure your dog is seated or standing in a comfortable position and have him or she stay. If necessary, you can use a leash to keep them still or have someone help hold your dog in position.
- Gently hold your dog’s head: Hold your dog’s head still by gently grasping the base of its skull with one hand and using your other hand to hold the eyelid open with your thumb and fingers.
- Administer the drops: Tilt your dog’s head back and gently squeeze the drops into the corner of its eye, close to the eyelid. Keep in mind that dogs blink frequently, and it may take several drops to get the medication into their eye.
- Reward your dog: Once the drops are given, give your dog a treat or praise to reward them for being cooperative.
- Repeat the process: If your dog needs to receive eye drops multiple times a day, make sure to follow the same process each time.
- Be patient: Remember that it may take some time for your dog to get used to receiving eye drops, so don’t get frustrated if they don’t cooperate right away.
- Watch for any side effects: Keep an eye on your dog after giving the eye drops. If your dog is showing symptoms of redness, itchiness or any discomfort, it is best to contact your veterinarian.
Tips for Giving Eye Drops to Small and Medium-Sized Dogs
Giving eye drops to small and medium-sized dogs can be a bit more challenging than giving them to larger dogs, due to their size and more delicate features. Here are some tips to help make the process as easy and stress-free as possible:
- Get your dog used to being handled around the face and eyes: Start by gently handling your dog’s face and eyes while giving them treats or praise. This will help them become more comfortable with the process of having eye drops applied.
- Use a positive reinforcement approach: Reward your dog with treats or praise after giving them the eye drops to help them associate the process with something positive.
- Use a distraction technique: Some dogs may be less cooperative if they are focused on the eye drops. Try to distract your dog by giving them a treat or toy to hold or to play with during the process.
- Ask for help: It can be difficult to hold your dog still and administer the drops at the same time. Ask someone to help hold your dog still, or use a leash to keep them in place.
- Use an appropriate-sized dropper: Small and medium-sized dogs have smaller eyes, so it’s important to use an appropriately-sized dropper to ensure the correct amount of medication is given without any wastage or over-dose.
- Keep it quiet and relaxed: Keep the environment calm and quiet, so your dog does not get too excited or anxious.
- Keep the dog’s hair trimmed around the eyes: Keep the hair trimmed around the eyes, it will help easy the applicability of eye drops and also prevent any hair from getting in the eyes.
Tips for eye drops for large dogs
With an older dog, picking them up on the table is a huge task. Instead, leave your dog on the ground, stand next to them, and follow the steps above. Or you can ask your dog to sit down, then walk behind them and put one foot on either side of their body so you can ride them like a horse.
Next, place your dispensing hand on the dog’s skull and the other hand under his chin to tilt his head back. Finally, follow the rest of the steps above for installation.
It’s important to keep in mind that dogs can sometimes become resistant to having eye drops applied, so its best to consult with a veterinarian and follow their instructions. If you feel that administering eye drops to your dog is too difficult or stressful for you, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to help with the process.