What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Eye is Watering?

Is your dog’s eye watering? What does this mean? Is there something you should do for your pet, or can you just wait and see what happens?

Watery eyes, or eyes that have discharge, can sometimes be a symptom of a serious problem in dogs. As a dog owner, it’s important for you to learn how to recognize concerning symptoms and know how to respond if your dog shows signs of something wrong. In the article below, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of watery eyes in dogs so you can narrow down what might be going on with your pet.

dog eye watering


Allergies are the most common cause of watery eyes in dogs. Most of the time, dogs will have discharge from both eyes when they are experiencing allergies. However, some dogs may only have one watery eye at a time, and this is perfectly normal.

If your dog’s allergies are mild to moderate, you may be able to just wait for them to pass. If they are moderate to severe, however, you should talk to your veterinarian for information about treating and managing your pet’s allergies through medication.

Object in the Eye

If you’ve ever gotten an eyelash or a large piece of dust in your eye, you know what it feels like. Dogs can also experience eyelashes, foreign objects, dust, and other materials that can get into their eyes and cause itching, irritation, and watering.

If your dog has an object in their eye, chances are good the excessive watering will wash the object out in a short amount of time. However, you should keep a close watch on them for the next couple of days. If they show any more signs of irritation or pain, take them to the vet, as the object could have caused more damage to the eye.

Trauma to the Eye

Dogs who experience any type of injury or trauma to the eye may have discharge from the affected eye. If you know your dog has experienced an eye injury, take them to the vet, as they may have more damage than you can see yourself.

If you’re unsure what could be causing your dog’s watery eye, but you know they is showing signs of pain or injury, you may still want to take your dog to the vet. Eye injuries can sometimes lead to a loss of vision or loss of the entire eye if left untreated.

Corneal Ulcer

Dogs are prone to experiencing corneal ulcers, which are sores on the cornea of the eye. These sores may be large or small, and they may be shallow or deep, depending on the initial cause of the ulcer. They are often caused by injury but may occur because of dry eye, too.

If your dog has a corneal ulcer, they will likely have a lot of discharge from the eye. Your dog may also squint and paw at their eye frequently, and they may show other signs of feeling some pain or discomfort. Steroids can usually treat this problem.


Glaucoma in dogs is basically the same as glaucoma in humans. This buildup of pressure behind the eye may cause your dog’s eye to bulge slightly or may lead to cloudiness of the eyes. It can also cause watering in one or both eyes, depending on which eyes are affected.

Glaucoma is painful and typically requires surgery to correct. Rarely, it may be able to be managed with the use of medications, but most vets will recommend the surgery for dogs who are healthy enough to undergo it.

Rolling Eyelid

Some dog breeds are predisposed to a condition that is commonly known as rolling eyelid. Dogs with short, flat faces may have eyelids that roll inward, while dogs with long, drooping faces may have eyelids that roll outward. Both conditions can be painful and can affect a dog’s vision if left untreated.

If your dog has either of these conditions, they may need surgery to correct the problem. The good news is that most dogs recover well from this type of surgery and do not lose any vision if the problem is caught early.

Heart + Paw Can Provide Relief

Many times, a watering eye is indicative of a mild problem that may clear up on its own. However, in some cases, it may mean that your dog has a more serious issue that requires professional help to treat.

Any time you have concerns about your pet’s health or wellness, make sure to talk to your vet. Your vet can give you specific advice related to your individual dog’s needs, based on their health history, breed, and more. By working with a trusted vet, you can handle any health problems that may affect your dog.

If you need to talk with a veterinarian about your dog’s eye watering call or book an appointment online at one of our Heart + Paw locations

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About Us

Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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