Seeing your dog’s eyes turn red all of a sudden may ring alarm bells in your head. Note, however, that there are a variety of possible reasons for red eyes in dogs. While it can be as simple as having a mild allergy, it could also be a symptom of a more severe condition, such as glaucoma.

Yes, there are many possible reasons for redness in a dog’s eyes. For this reason, it is essential to bring your dog to the vet if you notice any redness, swelling, discharge, pain, or any other signs of discomfort in your dog’s eyes. That way, your vet may be able to diagnose the issue, provide treatment if necessary, and avoid complications.


  1. What Causes a Dog Red Eyes
  2. Talk to a Veterinarian if Your Dog Eyes Are Bloodshot
  3. Home Treatment for Red Eyes in Dogs
  4. How To Keep Your Dog Eyes Healthy
  5. FAQ

What Causes a Dog Red Eyes


If your dog’s eyes are red, it could be due to allergens such as dust, pollen, and fiber, among others. Similarly, it may be due to a skin allergy like atopic dermatitis.


Also termed "pink eye" or "red eye", conjunctivitis is a condition that results from inflamed conjunctiva (a thin transparent membrane that covers the eye’s outer surface), which may be due to an infection, irritants, or allergies.

Foreign Material

If a foreign material or particle enters your dog’s eyelid or the surface of their eyes, this may irritate it, leading to redness. Some examples may include grass seeds, sand, smoke, and wind, among others.

Corneal Ulcers

If your dog’s eye has a scratch in its cornea, this may lead to redness, among other symptoms. Corneal ulcers may also be prone to infection if not treated early.

Dry Eye

This occurs when there is a lack of tear production, resulting in dry, inflamed, painful, and red eyes.


This happens when there is inflammation in the inside structures of the eye due to an infection, injury, or cancer.


Dogs with glaucoma have increased pressure inside the affected eye. Usually, the eye is red, cloudy, inflamed, and abnormally large.


Either benign or malignant, a tumor inside your dog’s eye may cause irritation or inflammation.

Other possible reasons why a dog’s eyes are red include corneal ulcers, blepharitis, exposure keratitis, eyelid disorders, eyelash disorders, entropion, hyphema, and the like.

Looking out for your dog involves observing if they are showing any signs that aren’t normal. To oversee your dog at any time of the day, a good pet camera such as the Petcube Cam will come in handy. With its innovative features, you may be able to detect early on if something’s amiss, such as irritation, inflammation, or redness in their eye(s).

Talk to a Veterinarian if Your Dog Eyes Are Bloodshot

As soon as you notice bloodshot eyes in your dog, which may or may not be accompanied by other symptoms, contact your vet for advice. Note that if they are showing any signs of pain, it is important to schedule an emergency appointment to have your dog checked immediately.

This is because delaying treatment may lead to more severe eye problems and even blindness. In emergency cases, such as serious eye injuries in your dog, it would be best to have a pet emergency fund that you can rely on.

Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet

Petcube’s Pet Emergency Fund, for example, allows you to focus on giving comfort to your pet during treatment rather than having to worry about the veterinary bills that come along with it at the same time. With terms that are pet- and pet-owner-friendly, you get to focus on what matters most.

Home Treatment for Red Eyes in Dogs

Depending on your vet’s diagnosis, the following treatments may be prescribed:

Topical Ointments and Eye Drops

You may need to apply topical ointments or eye drops to your dog’s eye(s) until it heals or until prescribed by your veterinarian.

Oral Medications

In cases where your dog’s eye(s) became infected or experienced trauma, your vet may prescribe oral antibiotics. They may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications if needed. If an underlying disease is causing the redness, the corresponding oral medications to treat it may be prescribed.

With the home treatments mentioned above, it is essential to apply the ointment or drops correctly for better chances of healing. Your dog may also need to wear an e-collar to prevent them from pawing or rubbing their eyes. Moreover, weekly eye examinations over some time may be needed to check on the progress of treatment.

There are cases, however, that need more than home treatments. In such cases, surgery may be recommended. For example, if your dog is diagnosed with a cherry eye, they may prescribe medication at first to try to manually resolve the issue.

But if the gland appears again, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue. In cases of entropion, surgery may be suggested so that the eyelid doesn’t rub on the eye’s cornea.

Read more: Runny Eyes in Dogs: How to Clean Dog Eye Boogers

How To Keep Your Dog Eyes Healthy


When you suspect your dog of having something in their eye, using over-the-counter eye drops may help flush out any foreign material in their eye, according to Cynthia Cook, DVM, DACVO, of Veterinary Vision San Francisco. After going to the beach or on a hike with lots of plants, it’s recommended to flush your dog’s eye with the eye drops, she said.

Foreign bodies that may get into your dog’s eyes may result in corneal ulcers that may become infected, so it is important to consult with your vet if you ever suspect anything wrong with your dog’s eye(s).

Having an eye disease may cause your dog pain and discomfort. However, there is a high rate of success when eye issues are diagnosed and treated early. Because of this, regular monitoring, routine vet examinations, and prompt action on any changes in your dog’s eyes are essential to keeping your dog’s eyes healthy.


What does it mean if my puppy has red eyes?

There are various reasons why your puppy can get red eyes. Some possible reasons include a foreign object inside the eye, allergies, injury, dry eye, conjunctivitis, and glaucoma. Some cases can be managed at home, while others need to be addressed by a veterinarian. If you notice any issues with your dog’s eye(s), do consult with your vet for a proper diagnosis.

If my dog’s eye is red, is it an emergency?

It depends on the situation. Some cases of red eyes in dogs are just minor, while others are more serious, so consulting with your vet is key. Note that if your dog is in pain, it is important to bring them to the vet immediately.

What if there’s blood in my dog’s eye?

Blood in the anterior chamber of a dog’s eyes is called hyphema. Treatment involves addressing the inflammation and treating the underlying cause of the bleeding.

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