How To Get Soap Out of Your Dogs Eyes: Quick, Clear Answers

Poor pup! When your dog gets anything in their eyes, it can be a concern, but soap is especially bad. It may not be abrasive, but some soaps have nasty ingredients that can cause irritation or worse. The only thing to do is get rid of it fast and soothe your dog’s eyes to avoid damage and more pain. How exactly should you do that? The answer is simple enough if you follow the steps I’ve laid out below.

Exact Steps to Get Soap Out of Dog Eyes

To get the soap out of your dog’s eyes, you need to rinse the eye out. Foreign substances like soap in the eyes hurt, and your dog may be a little freaked out. This is a perfectly normal reaction to having ocular pain. Even humans can panic if their eyes hurt.

Your dog doesn’t understand what happened, only that it’s painful. Typically, your dog trusts you to do what’s right for them, but it can be a little challenging to get your pet to cooperate. Be patient.

  1. Hold the dog’s head firmly. Speaking to your pup softly, in reassuring tones, may help calm them.
  2. Rinse with clean, room temperature water by pouring it gently over the eye or eyes.
  3. You may need to hold the eye open if they try to close it. Be gentle. Your pet is already uncomfortable.
  4. Repeat as needed until all soap is gone.
  5. Dry the area.
  6. When in doubt, it’s better to overdo it than leave soap residue. Water won’t hurt them, but leaving soap in their eyes certainly can.
  7. Apply saline solution or eyewash liberally to the inner corner of the eye to help soothe the irritation.
  8. Use a soft cloth to wipe away excess moisture as needed.
  9. Reassure your dog and give them a treat to let them know they were good.

Be Firm & Gentle With a Dog That Has Soapy Eyes

Holding a dog’s head when they have soap in their eyes can be tricky. You need to steady them and help calm them down. Don’t lose your temper, and always keep your voice calm when dealing with any animal who is in pain.

If necessary, you can sit down low on a footstool or the ground and toss a leg over your dog to help steady them. As long as you’re not bruising them or breaking bones, it’s okay to hold your pet tightly so you can help them.

Depending on the size of your dog, you can use a hand or an arm to hold their head in place and tilt their head upward so you can see. Make sure you have enough light to get a good view. Reassure them every step of the way, so your dog understands you’re not angry or trying to hurt them.

A Better Eye Wash Solution

Whether your dog has soap in the eye or not, I suggest picking up a Booster Bath from Amazon. They’re quick and easy to put together and help hold your dog in place for washing. When you have an emergency like eye issues, bringing them up closer to your level can help you get a good look at the problem to treat it quickly. 

360-degree access is so helpful. More importantly, the two-piece snap-together design is fast to assemble no matter where you store it. That means you can help your dog quickly. Click here to check out prices and availability.

Rinsing Out Dog Eyes to Remove Soap

You should never use a showerhead or other pressured washer to rinse the soap from your canine companion’s eyes. You could hurt them. Instead, opt for a cup that you can use to pour. The stream will be more gentile.

Don’t just dump the water. Hold your dog’s head so the water will reach the eyes. Tilting the head backward slightly will help you see what’s happening. Next, slowly pour the clean, room temperature water into the eye, but be prepared for some squirming when it hits.

Keep pouring water until you’re satisfied that everything is gone. Fifteen minutes is the suggested amount of time to flush out a human eye thoroughly. It might seem like overkill, but when delicate eye tissues are at stake, better safe than sorry.

Take your time, and keep talking calmly to your dog. Let your pet know that they’re a good boy (or girl) even if their behavior is less than desirable. You need them calm more than you need to work on training right now.

For Eye-Accident Prone Dogs

Pets are like people. Some are more prone to get soap in the eyes or have other ocular accidents than others. If this isn’t your first rodeo with soap in the eye, then it may be time to keep a better solution on hand. Always talk to your vet about what products are safe to use at home. (I’m not a vet, so please don’t take anything I say as medical advice for your pets.)

My favorite home remedy for eye troubles is Tomlyn Opticlear Veterinary Eye Wash. I appreciate that it’s manufactured at a human-grade facility and gentile on my pup’s eyes. You can find out more about it by clicking here

Soothe & Comfort a Dog Who Had Soapy Eyes

Once the soapy-eye drama is over for your dog, it’s essential to do what you can to soothe them. First, you can ease their eyes with an excellent healing eye drop like PetAlive Eye-Heal. This will help their body recover from the trauma fast. Apply drops liberally to the corner of their eye or eyes and wipe any excess off. You can pick up a bottle by clicking here.

Once you’ve done what you can for their stinging eyes, take a few minutes to pet or cuddle your dog. Letting them know you care and that you think they’ve done well when they let you help will aid in bonding, and make it more comfortable in the future. Give them a small treat. Consistently rewarding good behavior is superb pet parenting.

Why is Soap in the Eye a Problem

Beyond the obvious, it hurts, soap can cause more damage than a little irritation. From redness, itching, and pain to severe injury, the ingredients in soap are not suitable for your pet’s eyes. Moreover, depending on what kind of soap you use, it can be a big problem.

Human Soaps & Your Dog

Regardless of whether they get in the eyes or not, most human soaps are not good for dogs. The pH balance can wreak havoc on more than soft eye tissue. From the oils on their skin and hair to allergic reactions, never substitute your bath products without first checking with a vet or groomer.

Luckily, there are a few exceptions. First, Castile soap is among the most gentle and effective cleansers for use on dogs. Second, pine-tar soap may sound like a sticky mess, but it’s fragrant and useful to have around. Ask your groomer. Lastly, glycerine soaps can be safe, depending on what other ingredients are included for colors and scents.

It’s vital to store your soaps where your canine companion can’t reach them. Even those human soaps that are okay for your dog can be toxic if swallowed. Avoid the issue entirely by storing them safely away.

Soap Ingredients for Dogs to Avoid

Like human bathing products, pet grooming products aren’t as precisely quality checked as foods. The minimal FDA oversight isn’t always enough to keep your pet safe. Read the labels carefully when choosing any soap products for your dog. Below are my top four ingredients to avoid.

  • The Mystery Mix- Anything that says ‘proprietary blend’ or gives a generic term like ‘artificial scents’ should be avoided like the plague. You’ll never know what’s in the bottle with ‘ingredients’ like those.
  • Mineral Oil- This one is extra tricky because mineral oil sounds great. It’s a natural moisture-retaining ingredient, but it’s not good for dog’s coats and skin.
  • Isothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone- A good rule of thumb is never to buy something you can’t pronounce, and define. In this case, there’s a significant chance of allergic reactions. More importantly, the methylisothiazolinone might be neurotoxic.
  • Alcohol (Any) Including Isopropyl- The drying effect in these typically denatured alcohols is not suitable for your dog. Moreover, they can cause damage if your pet has any wounds for them to get into. Conventional wisdom would say you can use alcohol to treat nicks and cuts, but it’s not true and may do more damage.

There is a huge laundry list of ingredients found in soaps, even those approved for pets. Many of them are bad news, but technically legal to sell. Your safest bet is to go with an all-natural, organic soap with as few ingredients as possible. Then cross-check the elements with a vet or groomer for safety.

I like Y.U.M. Dog Soap Zum Bars because they also help repel ticks and fleas naturally. They have all-natural ingredients that I easily recognize like olive oil and goats milk. You can get your own Zum Bars by clicking here

Final Thoughts

We’ve all had soap in our eye at some point, and most dogs are no different. It stings and makes you react instantly. That’s just your body telling you something is where it doesn’t belong, and your pet has the same reaction.

Unfortunately, dogs can’t shop for safe soaps or rinse their own eyes out as we can. They have to rely on you entirely. Be patient and gentle. After all, a dog doesn’t understand what soap is the way we do. All they know is that their eyes hurt. You can’t avoid every accident, but you can help prevent them.

Keep your soaps away from your pets, and choose safe dog soaps when you bathe your canine companions. If their eyes swell up excessively or they seem to be in more than average pain after rinsing, please talk to your vet. It could save your dog’s eyesight.

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