How Do I Get Dirt Out of a Dog's Eye?

Dog eyes are delicate, so take care of them.
Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

A little dirt in your dog's eye may seem harmless, but complications can arise if you don't act. A scratched cornea, a self-inflicted injury from pawing and infection are potential problems. If your dog squints, paws at her face or otherwise indicates a problem with an eye, see your vet promptly.


Usually, you can remove dirt from your dog's eye with a few gentle wipes. Dampen a cotton ball or washcloth with temperate water. Place a smaller dog on an elevated surface. Hold your dog's head steady by grasping below her jaw with one hand. If she's resistant, enlist a helper to hold her. Carefully wipe outwardly from the corner of the eye without touching the eyeball. If you can't wipe the dirt away, apply a few drops of a sterile saline solution as directed on the package.


See your vet if you suspect your dog suffered an eye injury or complication from the foreign matter you cleaned out. Discharge, tearing, crusting, redness, swelling, red or white eyelid linings, cloudiness, squinting, a visible third eyelid, unequal pupil sizes, holding the eye closed or other irregularities may indicate a disorder, injury or infection.