When our eyes get itchy, red, or irritated we reach for the Visine. That means it is okay for dogs to use it too, right? NO! It is not FDA-approved for dogs, and it might cause catastrophic damage to your dog’s eyes. If your dog is experiencing irritated or itchy eyes, consult your vet and they can recommend a pet friendly eye drop. Learn more below about why Visine is not safe for pups. 

Why is Visine Not Safe for Dogs?

Using Visine on a dog with vision problems is not recommended. The primary active ingredient in visine is called Tetrahydrozoline. Tetrahydrozoline is responsible for constricting blood vessels in the eye to alleviate irritation. Visine has not been extensively tested on animals and there are unknown dangers. Irritation may result from using Visine on a dog, and if swallowed, heart and neurologic effects may be seen. Visine is not safe to use on dogs. Never apply any medication to your dog without explicit veterinary instructions. Your veterinarian can prescribe the correct medication for your pet. 

Why Do Dogs Need Eye Drops 

There are many reasons why your dog may need eye drops. Some common reasons are listed below: 

  • Allergies – dogs can be allergic to pollen, mold, cleaning products, and much more 
  • Conjunctivitis – Area under the eyelid becomes inflamed 
  • Epiphora – an excess of tears from the eye 
  • Breed specific issues – many breeds are more likely to get glaucoma and other genetic eye issues 

Some general symptoms to watch out for are eye discoloration, discharge, infection, injury, or abnormal behavior. Based on your dog’s symptoms, your vet may recommend an eye drop. Your vet will provide instructions on how to administer the eye drops. Make sure to monitor your dog for any changes in their eyes or behavior. Immediately call your vet or Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 if you have any questions or concerns. Your vet can recommend a pet-friendly eye drop for your dog to find relief without receiving harsh consequences.