How to Clean Dog Eye Boogers, Causes and Home Remedies

Find out the causes of brown, red, green, yellow, white or black dog eye boogers, how to clean the gunk up, home remedies and tips to protect your dog’s eyes.

Dog Eye boogers

Tears are an important element in a dog’s eye health. According to Pet MD, they provide nourishment to the cornea and eliminate any debris trapped there in. The presence of any form of eye discharge that results in dog eye boogers is the pet’s way of saying there is a problem. 

Located at the eyes’ corners are tear ducts which help to drain the tears. At times, though, some gunk which is made up of oil, tears, mucus, dust and dead cells may accumulate at the point and become crusty when dried up. This is usually normal and common during the night when the dogs sleep and after daytime naps. 

The amount produced tends to be constant and can be easily removed with a moistened wash cloth. However, when there is increased eye discharge in dogs, something out of the ordinary is causing it. These eye boogers also tend to have a different color and are caused by the elements discussed below.

Causes of Eye Boogers in Dogs

You may be wondering:
“Why does my dog have eye boogers?”
“Why does my dog keep getting eye boogers constantly?”
Well, find the answers to these questions below.

Foreign Body

This normally is the case where the eye boogers in dog accumulate on one eye only. The foreign body results in irritation. The boogers are as a way of the eyes trying to flush out the object. The foreign body may be as tiny as an eyelash or a piece of wood. Foreign bodies in eyes should be removed as soon as they are noticed to prevent further damage on the eyes.

Breed Anatomy

Breeds that have naturally big eyes are more likely to experience eye issues. Bulldogs, pugs, boxers and Pekingese are highly susceptible to eye gunk. This can be attributed to their being brachycephalic breeds and thus having shallow eye sockets and protruding eyes. As a result the suffer drainage issues and the eyelids may not function optimally.


Dogs are exposed to various things which they might be allergic to. Pollen, grass, dust may cause a reaction within the body of a dog. This is more so if your breed is a setter, terrier, retrieves or flat face, which are predisposed to experience allergic reactions. When an allergic reaction occurs in a dog, they will have runny eyes and nasal discharge which could see them form boogers. Other symptoms of dog allergic reactions include snoring, sneezing, vomiting, red swollen eyes and excessive scratching.


Conjunctivitis or dog pink eye occurs as a result of bacterial or viral eye infection. The infection results in the infection causing inflammation of the conjunctiva, the part of the eye that is clear and found lying over the white part. It lines the inside of the eyelid too. A dog with pink eye will have extra eye boogers, regularly paw at the eyes, and have red eyes, squint and wake up with crusty eyes.


This is a condition resulting in excessive tearing in your dogs. When your dog’s eyes overflow with tears, the area around the eyes becomes excessively wet, there are tear stains in brightly coated dogs and they have a bad odor. Excessive drainage and eye discharge resulting to eye boogers in dogs may be caused by eye injury, conjunctivitis or allergies.


When a dog has glaucoma, there is extra pressure exerted on the eye. As a result, the ocular fluid drainage is inefficient. There are two types of glaucoma, primary glaucoma occurs when the eyes can’t drain the fluid resulting in the fluid getting backed up in the eye. 

Secondary glaucoma results from eye injury from trauma on the eye and other conditions such as eye inflammation. Cocker Spaniels, Chow Chows and Poodles are breeds predisposed to the condition. Have the eyes of your pet checked whenever you suspect that the eye mucus on your dog’s eyes is from glaucoma.

Types of Dog Eye Boogers

Clear and Watery Discharge

This is associated with epiphora discussed above. It could be caused by anatomical abnormalities, allergies or irritants. Where the dog only has mild increase in tearing but does not seem to be in distress or much discomfort, keep monitoring the clear watery discharge. It is bound to clear within no time. If it doesn’t, see your vet.

Red or Brown Eye Discharge

The effects of dog eye brown discharge is most obvious in brightly colored pups as it results in tear stains. The condition is usually normal and the discoloring of the coat is caused by components of the tears. Using a damp cloth to wipe off the gunk or applying eye cleaning solution can help eliminate the problem. Trim fur around the eyes and supplement your doggos diet to reduce tear staining.

White Mucus Eye Discharge

When a dog has keratoconjucntivitis sicca which is commonly known as KCS, its immune system destroys tear producing glands. This results in dry eye due to the supply of tears being less that the eyes demand. As a result, the body tries to produce mucus to cover up for the deficiency. 

Unfortunately, eye mucus cannot replace tears and the dog suffers great discomfort. A dog suffering KCS will have white or grayish mucus around the eyes. Treatment is necessary to get rid of these eye boogers.

Yellow or Green Dog Eye Boogers

Dog yellow or green discharge normally occur as a result of eye infections. The infection may be a primary condition of occur secondary to other eye issues. Eye infections are common in puppies due to their juvenile immune system. In some cases though the yellow or green discharge may be pointing to problems affecting other parts of the dog’s body such as the nervous system and the respiratory system.

Black Dog Eye Boogers

Well, black eye gunk on your dog is quite unsightly. Black and brown mucoid discharge with red eyes are likely to point out to an allergic reaction. It is accompanied by inflammation and will usually occur after a dog or puppy is exposed to allergens. The allergens may be contained in food, the environment or even in their feeding bowl. Stopping allergic reactions requires elimination of the allergens. Antihistamines can be used to stop irritation and get rid of the black boogers.

How to Clean Dog Eye Boogers

Cleaning up your dog’s eye gunk, discharge, mucus, tears stains and eye boogers can easily be done at home. It is an important aspect of ensuring your dog remains well groomed and that there is no buildup of the same since accumulation can cause discomfort to your pup.

In case you are wondering how to stop dog eye boogers from forming, the problem should clear up on its own. If it doesn’t, check in with your vet for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. That being said, dog eye crusty buildup is not something you want rubbing against your skin when you are cuddling. 

Although the presence of eye boogers in dogs clears up on its own, those that occur require to be cleaned off. This also helps in ensuring that your dog does not develop a metallic smell from the buildup. Here is how to clean dog eye boogers.

Cleaning Eye Boogers Using a Damp Cloth

To clean dog eye discharge with a cloth, ensure that your dog is scalp first.
  • Wet the cloth or a piece of sponge with warm water and wring it out so it is not dripping. Do not use soap or detergent as this could irritate the eyes.
  • Using gentle strokes, wipe the dogs eyes from the inside to the outside.
  • In case the boogers are as a result of a medical condition and your vet has offered an eye solution for cleaning, moisten a cotton ball with the eye wash   wipe the eyes from the inside to the outside corners.
  • For every wipe, ensure that you use a new cotton ball or rinse off the wash cloth. Change them for each eye to avoid cross contamination.

Dog Eye Boogers Home Remedy

Home remedies to help remove dog eye discharge

Saline Rinse

This is a great natural method for boogers resulting from dog conjunctivitis.
  • Add a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm sterile water and stir to dissolve.
  • Using a cotton ball, wipe off the discharge buildup. Repeat procedure twice daily until the eyes heal.

Lemon Juice

This should only be used when you are certain the cause of boogers is an eye infection. It is therefore appropriate for use of green or yellow gunk.
  • To two tablespoons of distilled water, add about five drops of fresh lemon juice.
  • Using a dropper, apply two drops of this solution into each eye.
  • Repeat up to three times a day.

Chamomile Tea

This has been known to cure various eye infections as it contains healing properties.
  • Add a tea bag of chamomile tea to a cup of boiling water and leave it for a while.
  • After the tea has cooled, put two drops of the same into the dog’s eyes.
  • Using the remaining tea, clean the area around the eye to eliminate eye gunk.

How to Protect your Dog against Eye Boogers Formation

  • Keep your dog’s face clean including the surrounding far to prevent eye infection discharge.
  • Do not allow your dog to ride with his head hanging outside as debris that cause eye irritation could end up in their eyes. 
  • Trim the hairs around your dog’s eyes to prevent the proliferation of infection causing bacteria.
With the above info, I hope you can easily deal with, treat and cure dog eye boogers at home. Whenever you are not certain about their cause or if your dog keeps getting eye boogers constantly, visit your veterinarian.


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