Just like humans, dogs can suffer from problems with their eyes and vision. Unfortunately, unlike with humans, it's difficult to correct these problems in canines. Surgery can be expensive, dog eyewear still hasn't hit the mainstream market, and many conditions are irreparable. That's why the best way to keep your dog free of vision problems is to take a preventative approach to keeping their eyes healthy. Here are 3 things you can do to ensure your dog's eyes stay in top condition:
Keep Eyes Clean and Clear
Pet owners are used to keeping their own eyes clean and free of hair and debris, so why not do the same for your pet? Cleaning your dog's eyes regularly with a damp cotton ball or canine eye wipes can help reduce the risk of infection. You may also wish to use doggy eye drops to kill eye bacteria, particularly if your dog suffers from recurring infections. Remember, you should never get soap in your dog's eyes; this also means keeping their eyes shielded when you wash them with dog shampoo. Aside from cleaning, you should also make sure they're clear of any foreign bodies that could scratch the eye. Be careful of walking through trails with low branches or letting your dog stick their head of the car window. If your dog has long hair, you should keep it cut short around their eyes.
Feed Eye-Friendly Treats
Treats can be yummy, but they can also be healthy. When it comes to treating your dog, try to opt for foods that have health benefits for your dog's eyes. For example, eggs contain many nutrients thought to protect eyes; this includes lutein and zeaxanthin, which prevent macular degeneration, and the cataract-preventing cysteine and sulphur. Carrots may not help your dog see in the dark, but munching on some sweet carrot sticks will provide them with beta-carotene, which protects the eye's retina. Pumpkin, kale, broccoli and blueberries are also rich in many of these nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are another essential component of healthy retinas, so consider offering your pup fish like tuna and sardines if their kibble doesn't already contain them.
See a Vet Regularly
Taking your dog for regular vet checkups is one of the best ways to ensure their eyes are healthy and their vision is in working order. This is particularly important for dogs that are prone to eye disorders. Cataracts, for example, are more common in breeds such as the poodle, miniature schnauzer, bichon frise, American cocker spaniel and Boston terrier. Other breeds, like the chow chow, shar-pei, English bulldog and Great Dane, are more likely to suffer from ingrowing eyelids which damage the cornea. Ask your vet which eye problems to look out for in your breed and remember to book and appointment immediately if you notice any worrying symptoms.