How To Clean Gunk Under Your Dog’s Eyes

Date Published: August 1, 2021
Author: Kylee Smith

While a dog’s eyes must be lubricated like a human’s eyes, excess liquid usually results from one of four main causes. Epiphora (watery eye), KCS (dry eye), eye injuries, and Conjunctivitis (pink eye) are the main causes of gunk under your dog's eyes.

Thankfully, it is easy to clean under your dog’s eyes when the proper cleaning methods are used. Once you get your dog's eyes cleaned, you can keep clean by following the preventative methods discussed below.

Supplies For Cleaning Under Your Dog’s Eyes

Messing with your dog’s face can make him or her nervous. This task is completed in a few simple steps, but you want to be patient with your pooch.

Four possible cleaning methods can be used to clean your dog's eyes. We have included detailed instructions on each method, along with the supplies needed. With time, you will discover the method that works best for your dog.

Cleaning Cloth

A damp cleaning cloth is an effective way to clean your dog's eyes and remove the gunk under its eyes.  

Amazon Basics Blue, White, and Yellow Microfiber Cleaning Cloth 12"x16" - Pack of 24
  • Ultra soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloths will not scratch paints, coats or other surfaces
  • Cleans with or without chemical cleaners, leaves lint and streak free results
  • Absorbs eight times its own weight
  • Pack comes with three different towel colors (blue, yellow, and white)
  • Rinse and reuse 100's of times

Pet Eye Comb

A pet eye comb can be used to remove gunk from under your dog’s eyes. Be sure that you buy a comb specifically designed for this purpose.

Smalldog Official Bye-Bye Eye Gunk! Comb - Removes Dog Eye Gunk - Debris - Goo - Easy - Painless - Use on Wet or Dry Fur
  • Our Bye-Bye Eye Gunk! Comb can help keep your dog’s eyes bright and shiny by reducing tear stains before they occur!

    Created by a real dog Mom, Smalldog Official creates products uniquely formulated to meet the needs of small dogs! 

  • EASY TO USE: Use the Bye-Bye Eye Gunk! comb on wet or dry fur. This plastic comb, with 62 sturdy individual tiny stainless steel rods, is just what you need to keep your pets eyes clear from goo, gunk, crust or buggers!

  • PREVENT STAINING: Under eye stains can be prevented by wiping away gunk and buildup before they stain your dog’s coat. Use daily to help prevent staining.

  • ANIMAL OWNERS: This easy to use comb removes dried-on icky eye gunk, buildup and goo around dog’s eyes painlessly and with no discomfort, fussing or pulling.

  • HEALTHY HABIT: By using this comb to keep your dog’s eye area clean, it may help prevent infection from eye gunk buildup.

Dog Tear Stain Remover

Dog tear stain remover wipes are designed to remove eye gunk; however, they can also be used intermittently to prevent buildup.

Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs and Cats - 100 Ct - Presoaked Textured
  • FEATURES: Presoaked and textured wipes used to remove dried mucus, secretions, and tear stains
  • USE: Apply daily to your dog or cat to keep eye exterior clean
  • BENEFITS: Reduces eye irritations and itching in your pet
  • SAFE TO USE: Can be give to puppies or kittens over 6 weeks
  • EASY TO USE: No rinsing needed

Pet Eye Wash

Pet eyewash is used to both clean and disinfect your dog’s eyes. Not only can it help to eliminate gunk buildup under your dog’s eyes, but it also works to flush out irritants and helps lubricate your dog’s eyes.

Cliny Universal Pet Eye Wash Cleaner for Dogs & Cats - Natural Gentle Eye Infection Treatment - Tear Stain & Dirt Crust and Discharge Remover - Prevents and Controls Irritation
  • ✅CLEANS SKIN AROUND EYES & CONTROLS INFECTION: Cliny provides gentle care for dogs and cats, prevents eyes, eliminates clogging, and relieves puffiness and irritation around eyelids.
  • ✅MADE with NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Cliny contains boric acid, which disinfects eyes and reduces inflammation of eyelids. It also contains taurine, which activates the process of eye restoration.
  • ✅HEALS AND SOFTENS THE SKIN: This cleaner contains silver ions, which have a bactericidal effect, and panthenol, which helps heal wounds and soften skin.
  • ✅SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR DOGS & CATS: A new formula developed by veterinarians allows us to gently clean dogs and cats’ eyes and take good care of them.
  • ✅JUST NEEDS TO BE APPLIED ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK: For thorough care and healthy eyes, provide treatment once or twice a week.

Dog Grooming Kit

Clippers in the dog grooming kit can be used to trim the longer hairs around your dog’s eyes.

Bonve Pet Dog Clippers, Dog&Cat Grooming Kit Noiseless Cordless Dog Grooming Clippers Professional Rechargeable Dog Trimmer Electric Hair Clippers for Thick Coats Dogs Cats Pets, Black-Dog Clippers
  • SAFE & SHARP PRECISION BLADES: Our dog&cat grooming clippers adopt Titanium acute-angle blade and ceramic moving blade which can provide excellent cutting performance, more smooth and efficient; Dog clippers with R-type design, safer for your puppy and you; Detachable blade is easy to change and clean.
  • LOW VIBRATION & NOISELESS DESIGN: The ultra-quiet technology keeps the dog&cat grooming clippers vibration below a very tolerable 50 decibels. So your pet would feel at ease and not afraid cut hair anymore. Bonve Pet grooming clippers offer a smoothing, and comfortable grooming experience for you!
  • 10 HOURS OPERATING & USB CHARGING: Dog grooming kit running time over 600miniutes after fully charge, perfect for long grooming sessions and will stay sharp for longer period. Dog trimmer with USB charging cable can conveniently connect to laptop, AC adapter, car charger and power bank to supply power whenever and wherever.
  • UNIVERSAL TYPE & FIT ALL DOGS: Dog clippers with 6 attachments guide combs(3mm/6mm/10mm/13mm/16mm/19mm). The thinning-out, skin-friendly, contour guiding combs make home grooming safer, easier and more comfortable. Cat grooming kit can meet all of your needs.
  • CORDLESS USING: Lightweight and cordless design, allowing you to freely move in any direction, easy to handle the hard-to-reach spots. With the dog clippers for thick coats, you would no longer be troubled with batteries or wires. But also available for cord.

Cleaning Gunk Under Your Dog’s Eyes

Cleaning the gunk under your dog’s eyes takes just a few minutes; however, it can make your dog feel so much better and prevent eye infections. Multiple methods can be employed to remove the gunk from your dog's eyes and keep it from building up in the future.

Step One: Trim Long Hairs with Clippers and Use Pet Eye Comb

Use your pet grooming kit to trim any long hairs around your dog’s eyes to help reduce the risk of eye irritation.

  • Pro Tip: Regular trims are especially important for smaller toy dogs and dogs with flat faces.

Pet eye combs are designed to remove gunk under your dog’s eyes.

  • Pro Tip: Use the trimmer and comb first as it provides you with an opportunity to avoid using chemicals. Pet eyewash and pet tear stain remover are non-toxic and effectively removes eye gunk from under your pet's eyes.

Step Two: Use Dog Tear Stain Remover

Wipe the area under your dog’s eyes gently and thoroughly using a dog tear stain remover wipe. These wipes are designed for routine grooming and can work wonders on stubborn stains.

  • Pro Tip: Purchase wipes that are designed to both remove existing stains and prevent future stains.

Alternatively, you can use a damp cloth to gently wipe your dog’s eyes, removing the gunk buildup. While the wipes are preferred, a damp cloth still does the trick.

Step Three: Use Pet Eye Wash

Use the pet eyewash to lubricate your dog’s eyes now that you have removed most of the gunk. Pet eyewash also helps to soothe your pet's eye if they have allergies. The eyewash whisks away allergens and soothes irritated dry eyes.

Final Thoughts

Once you have removed the gunk from your pet's eyes, you must work to keep your pet's eyes clean. The products listed above can help.

Gunk under your pet's eyes builds up for a variety of reasons, including allergies, irritation, and dry eyes. Wiping your dog's eyes daily can help prevent build-up and soothe your dog's eyes.

FAQ: Cleaning Gunk Under Dog’s Eyes

Gunk under the eyes shows up more prevalently on dogs with lighter fur. It is a common problem, however, for all dogs, and is caused by a variety of things.

While it is important to stay on top of cleaning your dog’s eyes, it is equally important to identify the root cause of the problem.

Should you take your dog to the vet if the eye gunk buildup gets too bad?

While eye gunk buildup is common and happens for a variety of reasons, the underlying causes can spell out more serious issues. If the gunk buildup is overwhelming or you notice other signs or symptoms of eye problems in your dog, then it is time to take your pet to the vet. Be watchful for excessive blinking, excessively dry or watery eyes, and a change in eye discharge color and consistency.

What else can you do to keep gunk from building up under your dog’s eyes?

The cleaning methods mentioned work wonders in preventing the buildup of gunk. It should be noted that daily face grooming is key to prevention. The tear stain remover wipes are great for daily use, as is the damp cloth method.

What other natural prevention methods can be used to prevent gunk buildup under your dog’s eyes?

Experts also suggest taking the opportunity to switch your dog’s drinking water from tap water to distilled water. You might also speak with your vet about whether you need to supplement or change your dog’s diet. Additionally, your vet may suggest an oral antioxidant for your dog.

Aren’t there home remedies or homemade solutions that can be used to clean my dog’s eyes?

A dog’s eyes are extremely sensitive; therefore, it is best to use products specifically designed to be used around a pet's eyes. Home remedies involving household products and other homemade solutions should be avoided as they could be potentially harmful.

Can cotton balls be used in place of a damp cleaning cloth?

Cotton balls are mentioned on certain sites for use regarding this cleaning task, however, they should be avoided as they can shed material, further irritating your dog’s eyes. Never use a cotton ball to clean under your dog’s eyes.


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