Why do dogs get boogers?

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and this article is for informational purposes only. If your dog has more eye discharge than usual, or if you notice any sudden changes, please consult your veterinarian.

Does your dog have a lot of boogers? If so, you are not alone. I feel like I constantly wipe them off my dog. How about taking pictures? Well, she’s almost guaranteed to have some.

Let’s take a quick look at why dogs get boogers and what to watch out for in terms of potential health issues.

Why do dogs get boogers?

Although some eye discharge in dogs is completely normal, there are a few things to look out for, such as yellow discharge or pus, that could indicate a serious infection.

Why do dogs get boogers? In this article, we’ll look at some of the common causes of canine eye discharge and some of the potentially dangerous symptoms to watch out for. Here is a brief overview of five common causes of eye discharge in dogs.


Conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye) is the inflammation of the tissue that covers the front part of the eyeball and lines the eyelids. The most common symptoms of canine conjunctivitis include eye discharge, excessive blinking, redness, and swelling around the eyes. It is usually seen in both eyes, but under certain conditions only one may be affected.

Some of the municipalities causes of conjunctivitis include viral infections such as bacterial infections, allergies, eyelid abnormalities, glaucoma, tumors, eye trauma, or inflammation caused by environmental pollutants such as smoke. Depending on the cause, treatment may include antibiotics, painkillers, antihistamines, and possible surgery to treat tear duct problems.

Canine dry eye

Canine dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a condition that results from insufficient tear production (or when they evaporate too quickly). Some of the common conditions that cause limited tear production that can lead to dry eye include hypothyroidism, distemper virus, and immune disorders that damage the tear-producing glands.

Symptoms of canine dry eye include irritation, redness, and discharge. Dogs with dry eye may blink or squint excessively, and some may keep their eyes closed. Usually both eyes are affected, although one eye may look worse than the other. Canine dry eye can lead to corneal ulceration which, due to the scarring it causes, can impact your dog’s vision. Treatment depends on the severity and may include artificial tears, antibiotics, or surgery.


Ephiphora is another condition that can affect dogs, and in simple terms, it is an overflow of tears from the eyes. It’s often a symptom of something else going on and is associated with a variety of conditions. So if your dog has more eye discharge than normal, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet to determine the underlying cause.

The most common signs are an overabundance of moisture around your dog’s eyes and a reddish or brown discoloration on the fur. If your dog has more moisture around the eyes than usual or an abnormal amount of secretions, your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause. Depending on the cause, treatment may include antibiotics, steroids, or surgery.


Entropion is a genetics where part of the eyelid is folded inwards. This often causes the hairs on the surface of the eyelid to rub against the cornea, eventually leading to corneal ulceration or perforation. The damage can also lead to a buildup of scar tissue which can interfere with vision.

The most common symptoms of entropion in dogs are strabismus, excessive tearing, and discharge of mucus from the outer corners of the eye. The treatment for entropion is corrective surgery.

Breed specific issues

Certain dog breeds, such as those with bulging eyes, are more likely to develop eye problems such as excessive boogers or discharge from the eyes.

exophthalmos is the bulging of the eye out of the socket, and is common in brachycephalic (short nose) breeds such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus. Dogs with bulging eyes are more likely to have eye problems because their eyes are more exposed and accumulate a lot of foreign bodies.

Breeds with lots of loose skin like Bloodhounds and Cocker Spaniels are more prone to ectropion (outward rolling eyelids) and cherry eye, where a gland in the eyelid falls out of position.

Excessive or abnormal eye discharge can be a sign of something serious with your dog, so it’s best to have it checked out by your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Resources and Recommended Reading

For more information on why dogs get boogers, check out the following articles;

Why Do Dogs Get Boogers

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