How To Clean Dog Eye Boogers Safely

Dogs get eye boogers too, which can stain their facial fur. Also known as dog eye gunk, it can be a mixture of a dog’s eye discharge and dirt that is attached to your pet’s face. In this post, I will teach you how to clean dog eye boogers of your pet using paper towels and a tear stain remover. You simply have to dab the towel to your dog’s face to eliminate the gunk, while avoiding hitting the eyes.

What causes dog eye boogers?

Like humans, dogs can have a variety of discharges, each of which says a lot about their health. If the eye booger has a crusty or goop-like consistency, it’s likely a mix of tears, dust, dead cells, and mucus. For the most part, this type of eye booger among dogs isn’t dangerous. This kind of booger is the most common among dogs and is very easy to remove.

How To Clean Dog Eye Boogers Safely

how to clean dog eye boogers

However, if your dog’s eye boogers have a white-gray mucus consistency, it might be suffering from keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This condition destroys the tear gland, resulting in fewer tears. Over time, KCS will be painful and invasive, so you need to bring your dog to the vet right away.

If your dog forms more eye boogers than usual, you should entertain the possibility of an allergy. Exposure to allergens like dust, pollen, grass, and other particles can trigger runny and itch eyes. This will lead to the formation of more boogers that could make it hard for your dog to open its eyes.

Another common occurrence is pink eye or conjunctivitis. There are many over-the-counter treatments for dog pink eye, but I still suggest consulting the vet first. 

Aside from these, there could be other conditions that may cause excessive eye boogers on your dog. Anyway, your dog’s case is probably just dirt and muck.

How to clean dog eye boogers?

For this part, you will need the following:

Pet hair trimmer


Tear stain remover

Paper towels/washcloth


  • Step 1. Calm your dog first

Before you try touching your dog’s face, you should calm it first. The eyes are a very sensitive body part, and you can easily poke it if your dog struggles.

calm your dog first

I suggest giving your dog some playtime to drain its extra energy. If you think that the eye booger will take time to be fully removed, you can ask the vet for a potential sedative. This will calm your dog and give you enough time to clean the eye boogers without hurting your pooch.

Treats will also work wonders here. If your dog tries to shove you away, say no and wait for it to calm down. Once your doggo has simmered down, give it a treat. Over time, your dog will realize that behaving well is a rewarded behavior.

  • Step 2. Give it a trim

Before you start cleaning, it’s best to give your dog’s facial hair a trim. This is very important for canines with long fur, where the eye booger might spread when you wipe it out. Use a dog hair clipper with the right comb guard. Go slow and gentle to prevent accidents. If you are using a clipper, be careful. A clipper can cause burn injury. Also, I don’t recommend using scissors since there’s a high chance that you’ll poke your pet’s eyes. If you have doubts, bring the dog to a professional groomer instead. 

  • Step 3. Start cleaning

For this step, apply a small amount of tear stain remover on a paper towel or washcloth. Next, wipe it gently around your dog’s eyes where the booger is located. Change the paper towel from time to time to prevent spreading the booger all over your dog’s face. Your dog should be relaxed for this process to prevent hurting its eyes. 

  • Step 4. Apply an eyewash

After removing the visible booger and tear stains, I suggest giving your dog an eyewash to cleanse the remaining dirt. Wipe it gently and avoid over-applying, so the solution doesn’t drip all over your pet’s face.

These are the four easy steps to clean dog eye boogers on your pet’s face. Remember that you’re not supposed to wash your dog’s face with soap or shampoo. This will dry its nose and irritate the eyes. This harmless-looking act of washing a dog’s face with soap can cause many problems for your dog. 

How to clean dogs’ eye tear stains?

Dog tear stains are common, especially for those with white fur. Breeds like Shih Tzu, Maltese, and Poodles are at-risk of having hard-to-remove tear stains, partly because of their white coat. Remember that both eye boogers and tear stains can cause matting on your dog’s face if not cleaned immediately.

To remove the stains, you should use a tear stain remover. This is a special formula made for dogs and can fade tear stains safely. However, I suggest consulting the vet to prevent any irritation on your dog’s eyes.

Aside from that, make it a habit to clean your dog’s face with a washcloth soaked in warm water. This will prevent eye boogers from accumulating and causing stubborn tear stains.

How to soften dog eye booger?

If your dog’s eye boogers have a crusty and hard-to-remove consistency, you should try to scrape them off with your hand. What you need is a washcloth soaked in warm water. Dab it on your dog’s boogers and let it absorb the moisture.

how to soften dog eye booger

Do this repeatedly until the eye booger softens up. After that, wipe the gunk off and apply an eyewash on your dog’s blinkers.

Why does my dog’s eye boogers smell?

Eye boogers can develop a smell once bacteria are accumulated upon them. This happens if you don’t clean them up right away.

However, it can also be due to yeast infection of the eyes. This condition will cause eye swelling and smelly discharge on your dog’s eyes. You will even notice that your pooch will paw its eyes due to the itchiness of the infection.

Cleaning up your dog’s eye boogers properly is important to prevent any odor build-up. However, if the smell persists, you should take your dog to the vet for a medical check.

How to prevent dog eye boogers?

Eye boogers are normal from time to time, but they can cause infection if you don’t clean them right away. Also, if your dog experiences intense eye boogers, you should take it seriously. To prevent any complications, you should keep the following points in mind:

  • Have your dog checked by vet. Eye boogers are due to irritations on your dog’s eyes. In an effort to combat the infection, the body will discharge fluids to flush out the foreign matter. This leads to intense eye boogers that can have a bad smell.
  • Groom the dog properly. Aside from health problems, poor grooming problems can also cause eye boogers. If your dog has long fur, trim the facial area regularly so the booger won’t get into the hair and cause a mess.

how to prevent dog eye boogers

  • Never use dog shampoo. When it comes to cleaning dog eye boogers, you should never shampoo the pooch’s face. Doing this will only lead to further production of eye boogers as your dog’s blinkers get irritated.  Even the best dog shampoos for odor and shedding can’t be used for cleaning dogs’ eye boogers.
  • Remove any potential allergens. If you’ve been with your dog for a couple of years, you probably have an idea about its allergens. To prevent eye boogers, avoid exposing your dog to these substances. It could be dust, molds, pollen, and so on. You should also mind your dog’s food, which is a common culprit to allergens.
  • Use a tear stain comb. A tear stain comb is a small grooming tool designed to comb away all your dog’s crust and eye boogers. It has fine teeth that also prevent future stains and eye boogers from forming.


As part of grooming, you should know how to clean dog eye boogers on your pet. This will prevent infections, aside from keeping your pooch tidy. If you suspect any health problems, you should consult your dog’s vet for proper diagnosis and treatment timely. Being proactive and consistent with grooming will help a lot to prevent this problem. 

If you are not sure about the safety of the procedure, you should take your dog to a professional groomer. Regular cleaning helps avoid various problems from developing.

I hope the information from this article will help you take better care of your dog. 

Thank you for reading! 

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