Are Human Eye Drops Safe for Dogs?

Dogs can experience eye problems for much the same reasons as humans. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising that their human owners will sometimes wonder whether eye drops that have been formulated for humans can be used for dogs as well. Unfortunately, there is no simple and straightforward answer to this question because while humans and dogs might have some similarities between them, those similarities serve to illustrate the vast differences between them. In other words, there are some eye drops formulated for humans such as artificial tears and sterile eye wash that can be used on dogs. In contrast, there are other eye drops that are either useless or outright harmful, with there being no simple way for non-professionals to distinguish between the two.

Why Should You Not Use Human Eye Drops on Dogs?

As a result, when a dog owner notices that something seems to be wrong with their dog’s eyes, they should head to a veterinarian sooner rather than later. In part, this is because a veterinarian can provide them with useful information about how to help their beloved pets. However, it should also be noted that a veterinarian will be critical in informing them about the actual nature of the problem with their dog’s eyes.

In short, it is difficult for non-professionals to even tell exactly what it is wrong with their own eyes when they experience eye problems. Certainly, they can note their symptoms before searching online for something that matches them, but there are a couple of problems with this. First, there is no guarantee that someone with a particular eye problem is going to suffer the full set of symptoms, thus increasing the chances of either a failure or even worse, a mistaken identification. Second, eye problems tend to share a lot of symptoms, meaning that it is very, very easy to mistake one thing for another.

Something that can lead to horrendous consequences when a person fails to get help for something that looks minor but is actually much more serious than it seems to them. As a result, non-professionals should seek out a professional instead of attempting to figure out what is wrong with their eyes on their own, particularly since the consequences of a mistake can be serious. For instance, imagine the consequences if someone mistakes glaucoma for conjunctivitis.

With dog, this process becomes even more difficult because there is an entire dimension of information that is removed from the process. After all, a human has a rough idea of how they feel when they have some kind of eye problem, which can provide useful information for the process of figuring out what is going on. In contrast, a dog can certainly feel, but they are not going to be able to communicate what they are feeling to their human owners save in very, very broad strokes. As a result, someone attempting to figure out what is wrong with their dog’s eyes is going to be working with even less information than when they are doing the same thing for themselves, meaning that there is an even greater chance of either a failure, a mistaken identification, or some other serious problem.

The Right Questions

Summed up, the question of whether eye drops that have been formulated for humans can be used for dogs is perhaps the wrong question to ask. Yes, there are actually some examples of eye drops that have been formulated for humans that can prove useful for dogs experiencing various eye problems. However, knowing which of them is going to prove useful for which dog eye problems is something that requires considerable expertise and experience, meaning that it is not really something that dog owners should be attempting on their own. Instead, if their dog seems to be suffering from something serious when it comes to their eyes, they should take their dog to their veterinarian sooner rather than later. This way, they can get expert help with figuring out what is wrong with their beloved pet as well as whatever it is that they can do to help their dog. Otherwise, they are taking unnecessary risks that can actually end up hurting rather than helping their dog.


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