Dog Parents Surprised By The 'Can a Dog Get Pink Eye?' Question

Posted by Dr. Roth on

sick dog with big pink eyes laying on the floor

Many pet parents might be surprised to learn that dogs can contract pink eye — and it's very common. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an infection of the eyeball and surrounding lids. 

How Can a Dog Get Pink Eye?

Much like humans, dogs catch pink eye from a virus or bacteria. In fact, dogs can contract pink eye from their pet parents, and vice versa. It’s important that all pet parents in the household take precautions to prevent spreading it from human to dog, or dog to human. 

Preventive steps include sterilization, hand washing, and avoiding touching the face. Airborne allergens, irritation, and injury can also lead to canine conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of Canine Pink Eye

The symptoms of canine pink eye mimic human symptoms. Pet parents who suspect pink eye should watch out for:

  • Pink, red, or bloodshot eyes
  • Crusty eyes or visible tears
  • Eyelids that are puffy or stuck together
  • Excessive squinting
  • Pawing or scratching at eyes

Pink Eye Treatments

Eye health is an important part of a dog’s overall well-being. Pet parents who think their dog may have developed pink eye should always consult with a vet as soon as possible. If the pet is pawing or rubbing at the eyes, placing a cone to prevent secondary trauma to the eye is recommended until they can be seen by their veterinarian.

Common treatment plans for pink eye include:


If a vet determines that the dog has a bacterial pink eye infection, they’ll likely prescribe some form of antibiotics such as:

  • Eye drops
  • Ointment
  • Oral medication


For viral cases of pink eye, a vet might prescribe a steroid eye drop and artificial tears. This combination should quickly clear the discharge from the dog’s eyes. 


In many dogs, pink eye may be the result of severe allergies. In this case, a vet would prescribe an antihistamine pill or anti-inflammatory drug to soothe the dog’s irritated eyes. 

In-Office Treatment

For dogs who suffer from pink eye as a result of injury or irritation from debris, the vet may suggest in-office treatment. Injuries to the eye can be serious and lead to loss of vision. It’s important that pet parents consult with a vet when they suspect an eye injury. 

How To Prevent Pink Eye

Pink eye is a bothersome condition for humans and dogs alike. Fortunately, there are steps pet parents can take to prevent pink eye in their pets:

  • Keep the dog’s play and sleep areas as clean and sterile as possible.
  • Feed the dog nutritious foods and supplements to help prevent infection. 
  • Keep the home free of dust and pollen by vacuuming and dusting regularly.
  • Maintain a regular dog grooming routine to minimize irritation around the dog’s eyes. 

Pet parents should keep a close watch on their dogs to make sure they aren’t scratching, rubbing, or pawing at their eyes in a way that can cause irritation. 

Chat With a Vet

When it comes to pink eye, pet parents should never attempt home remedies. Instead, they can seek dog medical advice from a trained online vet. 

Whether you’re looking for tips for administering dog eye drops or general dog health advice, becoming a Fuzzy member is the perfect way to get your questions answered. As a Fuzzy member, you’ll enjoy 24/7 access to online Live Vet Chat, where the Fuzzy Vet Team offers personalized dog advice. 

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