How To Keep Healthy Eyes in Canines

Whether your dog is watching your TV (a trait found in 50% of dogs by one study) or helping you track down quail while hunting, there are few things that a dog values more than its vision. All dogs use a greater peripheral vision than humans and can see movement from a wider field than we can. However, most studies indicate that a dog's eyes are not as sharp as humans. If the typical human eye scores 20/20 on the Snellen eye chart, the typical canine eye would score 20/75. Anything below the 3rd line of the Snellen chart would be a blur to a dog, according to the Veterinary Medicinal Center of Long Island. Because a dog's vision can be blurry at times, they use their noses as backup to identify objects. Yet, even though their noses are dogs' keenest sense, it's still important for pet owners to look after their pets' eyes.

Keeping The Eyes Healthy

"You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut," said Dr. Seuss. A dog that winces its eyes or is happier with their eyes shut than open may be trying to tell you something. It's imperative for a healthy dog to have proper vision and it is a pet owner's responsibility to make sure they are looked after. By giving your dog's eyes a good "eyeballing" once in awhile, you are more likely to spot an illness before it becomes serious. Here's how to check out your pooch:

  1. Give your dog a treat and get them comfortable in a well-lit area. Look into its eyes, they should be clear and the area around the eyeball should be white and the pupils should be equal in size. Use your thumb to roll down your dog's lower eyelid to inspect the lining. It should be pink, not white or red.
  2. Tearing, discharge, closed eyes, cloudiness, unequal pupil sizes and a visible third eyelid are all signs that there could be a problem.
  3. If your dog is prone to eye-gunk, use a damp cloth to wipe the corner of their eye. If you notice a runny eye, notify your veterinarian because it could be a sign of an infection.
  4. Keep the hair out of your dog's face. Regular trips to the groomers or just snipping their bangs can prevent scratching of their eyes. Plus, it gives them a better view.

How To Prevent Injury

Since dogs can be a bit mischievous, it's a good idea to offer their eyes some protection. It's not uncommon for dogs to get infections or scratches because their eyes weren't protected, so keeping them guarded is always a good idea.

  • Doggles Originalz: These innovative dog goggles come with anti-fog, shatterproof lenses that give dogs unmatched protection, no matter what their environment. UV lenses protect their eyesight from blinding rays while keeping dust and debris out of sight. Also, Doggles feature adjustable head and chin straps that are cushioned with Styrofoam. It should be noted that military uses these goggles on their dogs, too

Fast Facts About Dog's Eyes

Just like humans, the most popular eye color is brown in dogs, but there is still a great amount of variation between breeds. Some dogs have recessed eyes (like Chow Chows) while others have big, projected eyes, which are seen on Pugs. Whichever style or breed you have, take some time to notice your pooch's eyes. You might notice that they aren't terribly different to your own.

  • A dog's eye that is blue with a white or lighter blue is known as a China Eye.
  • Dogs with a prominent, visible third eyelid (nictitating membrane) are said to have Hawk Eyes. Hawk Eyes are seen in such breeds as the St. Bernard and Burmese Mountain Dogs. This allows them to blink while keeping their vision.
  • Some dogs have triangular eyes with a cornered, tent shaped appearance and are seen in Afghan Hounds.
  • If the typical human eye scores 20/20, the typical dog sees 20/75
  • It was once believed that dogs only saw in black and white, however recent studies show that they see the world in mostly blue, grays and yellows.

  • As you can see, dog's eyes come in all shapes and sizes and it's important to keep them healthy. By keeping your pooch's eyesight in proper working order, you ensure that they have a great quality of life and will keep their tags wagging. So, the next time you aren't doing anything, take a bit of time to give your dog a good eyeballing. They probably won't mind one bit.

    If you're looking for some Doggles for your dog, be sure to look to the pet experts at by calling 800-957-5753. The animal lovers are more than happy to answer any questions about any of the pet products that we carry in our catalogue

    By Sean Bowes
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