Eye health tips for dogs and cats

It’s pet eye health week (20th - 26th September) so we’ve put together some tips on how to care for your dog and cat’s eye health and ensure they are healthy and happy.  

CHECK YOUR CAT/DOG’S EYES REGULARLY & KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR SYMPTOMS

Check your dog and cat’s eyes regularly for any signs of trauma,  illness, redness, discharge, or swelling. Cats can pick up a range of different infections, injuries while they’re out and about, especially if they come in contact with other feline friends.  If you are ever worried about your cat or dog’s eyes, please contact your veterinarian. 

 Healthy eyes should be:

  • Bright
  • Clear
  • Equal pupil size
  • Sclera is white

If you notice any of the following problems, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Cloudy eyes or a change in eye colour
  • Discharge
  • The third eyelid is visible - Cats have an extra eyelid at the inner corner of each eye and when it is visible it is usually the result of pain or infection. It looks like a whitish or translucent film that moves over the surface of the eyeball.
  •  Pawing at the eye, blinking, or squinting - this is a sign is discomfort and may be caused by infection or a foreign body in the eye 
  • Unequal pupils 
  • Tearing
  • Closed eyes

GENTLY CLEAN YOUR DOG/CATS EYES 

Dog’s eyes produce water and mucousy discharge which is completely normal but unlike us humans, dogs have fur around their eyes which can trap this discharge or other dirt and debris.

Cats do a pretty good job at keeping their eyes clean through regular grooming, but if your cat has frequent eye discharge, they may need some help too. 

Using a damp cotton ball gently wipe the eyes from the inner eye and outwards to remove any dirt or discharge. Make sure you use a clean cotton ball for each eye to avoid transferring bacteria and wash your hands beforehand. 

TRIM FUR AROUND THE EYES

Long hairs or eyelashes can cause irritation or scratches and they may need regular grooming to keep them short. Your groomer or vet can trim these for you if needed. Dogs or cats with chronic eye conditions should be groomed regularly to prevent excess build-up or their fur matting. 

KEEP ALL HEADS AND PAWS INSIDE THE VEHICLE PLEASE

Though it may look cute, dogs sticking their heads outside the window on the car ride are exposed to debris from the heavy winds and dry eyes. 

TREAT YOUR DOG TO FOODS THAT SUPPORT EYE HEALTH 

One of the best ways to support your dog’s eyes is by feeding a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients they need. Poppy’s Picnic meals are naturally balanced, complete and FEDIAF approved which means your dog is getting all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need in one tasty meal. Buy your hamper here

You can also try some of these superfoods that help support eye health as an occasional treat:

Blueberries - These little berries contain two very important antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, which are excellent for eye health. They also contain Vitamin C and K and are packed full of fiber which support the immune system and contributes to overall health. 

Broccoli - This also has the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamin A which supports eye health too. 

Pumpkin – Packed full of vitamins, such as Vitamin A which supports eye health. 

Carrots – These root vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that all help to support the eyes, muscle, and immune system. 

Sweet Potatoes – Another vegetable packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals. 

BE AWARE OF THE ISSUES YOUR BREED IS PRONE TO 

Some dogs may be more prone to eye problems or conditions than others so make sure you are aware of them so you know exactly what to look for and the symptoms. For example, some dogs are more likely to get dry eyes than others and smaller dog breeds are more prone to eye injuries due to their shorter noses and big eyeballs. 

Illnesses happen, just like they do with humans, and can pass with a few days of rest and veterinary care. Here's to happy cats and wagging tails x

For more pet care advice, visit PSDA's website here.

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