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3 Simple Steps to Administer Eye Drops to Your Dog

When it comes to taking care of your dog, there are a few things that you need to be able to do in case of illness or injury. One of the more basic tasks is being able to administer eye drops when your veterinarian prescribes them.

Step1: Preparation

Read the instructions on your medication. It's very important to follow all the instructions given to you by your dog's veterinarian or by the eye-drop manufacturer. Read the bottle itself as well as any literature included with the package for optimum results.

If discharge is present, the area should be cleansed with a sterile eyewash solution prior to applying the medication. Remove the cap from the bottle of medication and place it on a clean surface.

Step 2: Restrain your dog

Ensure your hands are clean and then secure your dog. If possible, enlist the help of a friend or family member to hold your dog still; this will give you two free hands to get the drops into your dog's eyes. If you must do it yourself, bring the dog in close to your body and hold him between your knees with his back facing towards you or place your dog's hindquarters against something so he cannot back away from you.

Another method to restrain the dog is to place him on a table. Stand on the side of the table opposite to the eye you are medicating. Drape your right arm over the dog's shoulders (this method assumes you are right handed – reverse these instructions if you are left-handed). Your left hand will be used to handle his head. Use your right hand to hold the medication container. If the dog tries to stand, lean your upper body over his shoulders to prevent him from getting up.  Remember that proper restraint will not hurt your dog and will minimise the chances of him becoming distressed by the procedure, as restraint will enable you to perform it quickly and efficiently. 

Step 3: Administer the eye medication

Place one hand (your left hand, if you’re right-handed) under and around your dog's chin and lift upward, so his eyes are looking towards the ceiling. With the fingers or thumb of the same hand (depending on which eye you need to place the drops into) gently pull the eyelid of the affected eye downwards. This will form a little eyelid pouch that you will then administer the drops into. Rest your other hand, holding the medication, on top of your dog's head. Be sure the tip of the bottle is pointed away from your dog's eye until you’re ready to administer the drops, so that if your dog jerks, the tube tip will not injure the eye. 

Squeeze the prescribed number of eye drops into the eyelid pouch that you created, being careful not to touch the tip of the bottle to your dog's eye. Let go of your dog, and allow him to blink and move around as the act of blinking will move the eye drops across the surface of the eye evenly, and help the drops to be effective.