How to Clean Dog Eye Boogers Easily (Pro-Tips)

Dogs are man’s best friends, and they demand a lot of attention.

Though they can get gross sometimes, you don’t have any other option than to take care of your furry best friend.

Owning and raising a dog is the cutest thing ever, but it’s not an easy job, as you’d be expected to perform certain tasks that might not be convenient for you to do.

Dogs get nasty eye crust that can be so hard to come off, and you might be looking for how to clean dog eye boogers easily.

Just like teeth-brushing, cleaning your dog’s eyes could be quite a struggle, but you must do it to keep your friend’s eyes radiant and lovely.

In this article, we’ll show you how to carefully and successfully clean up your dog’s eye boogers to forestall them from becoming a filthy bother in the long run.

What You Should Know About Dog Eye Boogers (Dog Eye Discharge)

Close Up Dog Eye Discharge

Eye boogers is a fancy word for “eye discharge.” Just like humans, dogs wake up with a hard goopy crust on the side of their eyes.

This is a completely normal eye activity. Most times, this substance is only tears and debris that have accumulated and piled up in the corner of your dog’s eyes.

Eye discharge is more prominent in some dogs’ pedigree than in others, like the Brachycephalic dogs.

How Eye Boogers Are Formed

Eye boogers (sometimes referred to as “sleep in the eyes”) are normally formed during sleep.

The mucus the eyes produce (also known as “Rheum” ) accumulates and gets pooled up at night because the closed eyelids leave behind some sort of sludgy substance on the eyes.

When a dog blinks its eyes during the day, the rheum produced will be flushed out, but this is not often noticed as it is in small volumes.

Just like their human companions, in the course of their lifetime, dogs will experience having this eye discharge, and it doesn’t always have a critical medical condition associated with it.

But you have to be sure, right?

How to Identify a Not-so-normal Eye Discharge in Dogs

It is important to know the difference between an unhealthy eye discharge and discharge of an eye in good condition to keep your pooch safe and healthy.

Having an eye booger is absolutely normal, but what are the red flags to indicate an eye problem?

The color of the eye discharge can play an essential role in determining whether your dog’s eyes are in perfect health or not.

  • Watery or clear discharge: This can be caused by a foreign material present in the eye or as a result of an allergy or eye irritation.
  • Green and yellow discharge: These boogers show up when a dog has a serious eye infection.
  • Bloody discharge: This can be a sign to show that your dog’s eyes are under serious threat.
  • White-grey discharge: Having a white/gray discharge crusted on the corner of the eye is a result of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry eye), which, when left untreated, can make your dog lose its sight.

Types of Dog Eye Discharge

  • Normal Eye Discharge: Like humans, this is formed mostly in the morning or anytime your dog sleeps. The mucus is produced and dries up on the sides of your eyes. 
  • Excessive Eye Discharge: This is an unusually colored excess eye discharge that might have an underlying medical condition linked to it. If you notice this in your pooch, you need to see a veterinarian cross-examine your dog’s eyes.

What Causes Dog Eye Boogers?

  • Conjunctivitis: Also known as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is an inflammation/swelling of the tissue and lining around the eye which can be caused by an allergy, eye injury, defect at birth, or bacterial infection that can result in the excess build-up of boogers and will need urgent medical attention.
  •  Glaucoma: This is a condition that occurs when the pressure on the eye is increased, and this can cause excessive eye discharge. It requires an urgent trip to the Veterinary clinic as your dog’s eyesight is at risk.
  • Irritants: When your dog’s eyes are reacting to certain chemicals or irritants, it can lead to eye boogers forming excessively. That is why it is advised to keep all irritants away from your pet’s eyes.
  • Gene: Several dog breeds are prone to having their tear ducts blocked and end up with excess eye crusts.
  • Corneal ulcer: When your dog’s cornea is injured, it is at the risk of getting a corneal ulcer which can make the eyes red and form excess tears and boogers.
  • From birth: Some dogs were birthed with several physical malformations that can result in eye boogers.

How to Clean Dog Eye Boogers Easily at Home

Man Cleaning Dog Eyes with Wipes

It is impossible to get rid of these eye boogers, but you can reduce the amount of ocular discharge that your dog produces.

Below are some of the easy ways you can easily clean up your furry friends’ eye boogers in the comfort of your house:

  • Use a sterile saline or dog eyewash to clear stubborn eye discharge.
  • Use your properly washed hands to wipe off a small amount of dog eye boogers. You have to be careful while doing this because it is a sensitive area.
  • Use a soft, dry, or wet clean cloth/towel to clean your dog’s eye discharge.
  • Using ointments and dog eye drops for dogs with dry eyes will moisten the boogers and help clear them out without irritating your dog’s eyes or putting it in harm’s way.
  • Eye wipes formulated with dog-friendly ingredients can soften the boogers. This is the easiest way to get rid of eye discharge in dogs.
  • Using tear gel manufactured for dogs only can help wipe away the eye boogers without bringing much discomfort to your dog.

How To Prevent Dog Eye Problems

  • Bath your dog regularly, taking more cognition to the eye area. Once they’re clean, it’ll reduce the risk of them getting debris into their eyes while pawing at their face(s).
  • Avoid bringing irritants close to your dog’s eyes.
  • Properly groom your dog by trimming out excess hair around your dog’s eyes. If you neglect this, the excess hair can take in moisture, and this can lead to an increased risk of eye infection. 

Tell-tale Signs to Indicate Dog Eye Problem

Close Up Veterinarian Examining Dog with Infected Crusty Eyes
  • Squinting of eyes
  • Excessive pawing and rubbing of the eyes
  • Excessive tearing (Epiphora)
  • Cloudiness of the eyes
  • The easily noticeable third eyelid
  • Uneven pupils size
  • Bulging eyes


Cleaning your dog’s eyes is not the nicest of jobs, but it is of utmost importance to improve its eye health.

There’s a popular saying that goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Clean out your dog’s eye boogers regularly so its eyesight won’t be impaired.

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Reasons Why Your Dog’s Ears Smell, Treatment & Guide

References & Notes

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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