Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pug eye problems: How daily care could keep your dog's eyes healthier

Pug with big eyes looking at the camera
Pugs really do have beautiful eyes. They're a sort of deep, chocolate brown, and when they're surrounded by dark and lush fur, they have even more pop and power.

But, the way a pug's eyes are set into that dog skull can result in a number of very serious injuries.

Many pugs (including Liam) have eyes that bulge just a little bit, with eyelids that aren't quite long enough to cover the whole globe. That means each blink of his little eyes leaves a tiny strip of cells exposed to the open air. Those cells are weak, simply because they're dry, and they can tear with even the slightest bit of pressure.

In addition, pugs have very short muzzles, so they must push their entire faces into objects they'd like to sniff. That puts their fragile, dry eyes in direct contact with dirt, grass, the teeth of other animals, sharp bits of kibble, etc.

The top tip pug owners must follow involves emergency care. As soon as a pug even thinks about squinting, that little one should head in for an exam and/or medications. The sooner those issues are addressed by professionals, the less likely that a little scrape will ulcerate and put the integrity of the entire eye at risk.

But, there are all sorts of things you can do in order to keep your pug's eyes a little safer from these injuries.

The first: Use a lubricating eye drop. I use this product: GenTeal Severe Dry Eye Relief Gel.

It's a very thick, very gooey gel that slides into the eye with no messy residue left behind, and it keeps Liam's eyes lubricated all night long.

That's important, as Liam often has his eyes open when he sleeps. (See video proof in this blog entry.) If I can keep his eyes moist at night, when he's likely doing damage to the surface of his eyes, I might be able to keep him from eye scrapes and tears on the following day.

Next up: Training. This is a tough one, but it's vital to keep a pug under good leash and/or verbal control when they're out and about in the great outdoors. I just can't let Liam do a high-speed chase through tall grass, and I don't want him rooting through substances that may or may not be dangerous. That means, when we're in unfamiliar spaces, he's on a short lead. And in the yard, he knows to come whenever I call him (treats help with that).

Dogs that just can't be trained might benefit from this product line: Doggles.

Full disclosure: I haven't used these myself. But, I admire the design. These goggles can fully protect a dog's eyes from both hard and soft objects, and they're exceedingly difficult for dogs to remove. Popping these on a repeat offender could keep that dog's eyes safe.

Any of you readers dealing with dog eye issues? I'd love to know what solutions work for you. Hit me up in the comments!

Disclosure: Some product links in this post are “affiliate links.” If you click on them and make a purchase, I'll get a commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I believe provide real value. This disclosure comes in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. With our frenchie, our issue is watery eyes (from allergies?) that cause red streaks down the face. So far, nothing has helped with the red streaks.

    1. I've heard about that issue! I wish I had good advice, but mine don't have white around the eyes. If you do end up finding something that works, will you let me know?