Why Do Pugs Get Eye Boogers And The Best Way To Clean Them

Dog eye gunk is real and Pugs are extremely prone to this problem. If you’re reading this, you may be wondering “why do Pugs get eye boogers?” We’ll take a look at what causes this issue as well as some care tips to help you out.

Why Do Pugs Get Eye Boogers?

Eye discharge is normal for Pugs and some of the things that affect this condition are allergies, conjunctivitis, watery eyes, dry eye, poor grooming habits and etc. (we’ll take a deeper look below)

Brachycephalic dog breeds like the Pug (even puppies) are more susceptible to eye discharge, due to their short snout and large round eyes.

why do pugs get eye boogers

It’s important to clean a Pug’s eyes on a regular basis, as they are prone to several eye problems.

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What Is An Eye Booger?

Dogs experience eye discharge because their eyes are exposed to dirt and dust throughout the day. Their body’s natural response is to clean and filter out the debris their eyes are exposed to throughout the day.

When your pooch blinks, tears are released to help remove any irritants from their eyes.

Just like humans can develop a buildup of music in their eyes, so can dogs. However, a dog’s eye discharge may be either clear and runny, or it may be green/yellow and thick.

Pugs typically have eye boogers every morning, and it will usually look like a white substance.

You’ll notice that eye boogers are typically water in nature, and if left alone will cake up and dry in the inner and outer corner of their eyelids.

They look horrible and will be more noticeable on fawn-colored Pugs because of their light coat.

Eye discharge or eye boogers, tears or gunk can be extremely annoying for your pet. It can cause pain, irritation, and itchiness discomfort.

Should You Worry About Eye Discharge?

how to clean a dog's eye boogers
Dog eye boogers are a natural process and Pugs are prone to this condition.

In most cases, there is nothing to worry about as it’s very common among this breed.

However, if the mucus accumulates on a regular basis, or it’s thick and yellow, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Let’s take a look at some of the main causes of canine eye discharge and how to treat it.

Causes And Prevention of Eye Boogers

#1 Allergies

Pugs are prone to allergies and their bodies may react to pollen, dust mites, food, grass, just like humans do.

Allergy symptoms in your pooch can consist of red eyes, uncontrollable itching, constantly licking their paws, pawing at their eyes, and runny eyes with a clear watery discharge.

As I mentioned above, Brachycephalic dogs like the Pug are prone to allergies. Before you can treat it, you’ll first need to find out what’s causing the allergies.

Talk to your veterinarian and they may be able to provide you with some canine eye drops.

Never give your dog allergy medicine you found in your medicine cabinet, as not all human allergy medications are safe to use for pets.

#2 Epiphora

Epiphora or excessively teary eyes, basically means that your dog suffers from an abnormal overflow of tears.

Symptoms include loose or sagging skin around the eyes, redness, and irritation, uncontrollable squinting, inflammation, damp face, and discharge from the eye.

You’ll notice a brown colored discharge that has a distinct odor.

It will be more noticeable on lighter colored dogs because it will leave a reddish-brown stain on their fur beneath their eyes.

You’ll want to constantly monitor your pup and schedule an appointment to see your vet.

#3 Conjunctivitis aka Pink Eye

A dog that has excessive red eyes in or around the eyes, or clear pus-like boogers, may be dealing with an eye infection called conjunctivitis.

This condition occurs when the pink tissue inside the eyelid becomes inflamed. Unlike in humans, your dog’s pink eye is NOT contagious.

As a vigilant pet parent, you’ll want to watch for the following signs to be able to tell if your dog has this condition.

Red or puffy eyes, excessive pawing and rubbing the eyes from pain and discomfort, eye discharge, swelling of the eyelid linking (the conjunctiva), and the eyelids sticking together.

If you notice any of these symptoms and believe your dog has a pink eye, get them checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Your vet will perform a thorough exam of your dog’s eyelids and eyes.

#4 Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

Keratoconjunctivitis also known as dry eye is the inability to produce enough tears and unable to remove any debris. Dry eye occurs when your dog’s tear glands experience trauma or become infected.

Unfortunately, Pugs are extremely susceptible to this condition, so it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms to watch for.

You’ll want to monitor your dog’s mucous as it will look thick and yellowish and inflammation around the eye. Watch for excessive blinking/ or swelling of the eyelids.

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your vet to get your pup seen immediately, as KCS can result in vision loss.

#5 Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when there is an elevated pressure on your dog’s eyes, which prevents adequate drainage of ocular fluid.

This condition is common among senior dogs and most commonly affects Boston Terrier’s, Cocker Spaniels, Shar-Pei’s, Basset Hounds, and the Beagle.

There are two types of glaucoma, primary and secondary.

Monitor your dog’s eyes and look for dilated pupils and or vision loss, clouded eyes, and dilated pupils.

If you notice any of the symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinary.

Your vet will have test the pressure within your dog’s eyes and perform a detailed examination of both eyes.

#6 Poor Grooming Habits

While poor grooming is NOT usually the cause of eye boogers and canine tears. However, if you want to prevent the pain and discomfort associated with this condition, you should clean your dog’s eye boogers on a regular basis.

This means that you’ll want to have a proper grooming and hygiene regime for your Pug.

One of the best ways to prevent eye boogers is to ensure you groom your Pug on a regular basis. This will not only help you get rid of eye boogers but help you catch any eye problems early.

How to Clean A Pugs Eye Boogers

dog eye drops and eye wash
There are several veterinary-approved products you can use to clean and prevent eye boogers.

Even though eye discharge is completely normal, it doesn’t mean that it’s NOT disgusting, especially, when your dog rubs their face on your furniture and leaves their eye boogers all over the house.

According to Beth Kimmitt DVM, resident of ophthalmology, you can use a soft, wet cloth to gently wipe away the mucus from your dog’s eyes. You can also use a veterinary-approved canine eye cleaning product, as long as it doesn’t contain any alcohol.

Let’s take a look at some veterinary approved canine eye cleaning products you may want to consider to help you combat eye boogers.

#1 Burt’s Bees Natural Tear Stain Remover

Burt’s Bees Natural Canine Tear Stain Remover is 100% safe and veterinarian approved. It is produced from all-natural products and free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, fragrances, and colorants.

This product is known as a trusted name in natural skincare and is made with nature’s finest ingredients. You’ll have peace of mind and know you’re using a gentle solution to keep your Pug happy and feeling great.


Ingredients: Burt’s Bee products are made with nature’s finest ingredients.

Includes Chamomile: which is known to remove stains naturally.

Quick Results: Use daily and start seeing noticeable results in 15 – 30 days.

Reputable Company: Burt’s Bees has been creating natural skin products since 1984.


Avoid Consumption: It can be dangerous if pets consume it.

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#2 Vetericyn Eye Wash For Pets

Vetericyn Plus eyewash helps provide relief to your pet’s eyes by gently removing debris, soothing irritations, and wounds. It is the perfect daily cleanser to help keep your dog’s eyes clean.

They use an advanced hypochlorous technology that is recommended by veterinarians for home animal care.


Pain-Free: pH balanced and formulated to be safe enough to use around your dog’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, without experiencing any burning sensations.

Veterinary Approved: Recommended by vets and groomers for your pet home care. Should not be substituted for regular routine eye care.

Animals: Approved to be used on dogs, cats, and horses.

Easy to Use: Just apply a small amount on a cotton pad and wash the goo disappear. Some dog owners have used it as an eye drop. Use 2-4 times daily.


Bottle Size: Some people have complained that the price is expensive, considering the small size of the 3.2-ounce bottle.

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#3 Miracle Care Sterile Eye Wash For Dogs

This Miracle Care Sterile eyewash makes it easy to clean and protect your dog’s eyes. It comes with 90 eye wash pads that are pre-soaked in gentle ingredients.

Use to remove stains, mucus, overall eye cleaning care. Dog groomers have been using this product since 1961.


Convenient: Pre-soaked pads that can be used for dogs or cats and extremely easy to use. Use daily 3 – 4 times for optimal care.

No Irritants: Completely safe to use on your pet, without causing any stinging or eye irritations.

Multi-Use: Use to clean and remove grime, dirt, and bacteria that can lead to infections in or around the eyes. With proper and daily use, it can help remove that brown coloration around the eyes of light-colored dogs.


Dog Won’t Like It: Most dogs will not like their eyes being cleaned, but with regular cleaning, they should get used to it.

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There are also pet eye combs that you can use, however, these types of combs work best for dogs that have a lot of fur around their eyes.

Note: None of these products are a replacement for routine veterinary eye care for your pooch!

Final Word On Do Pugs Get Eye Boogers

As you can see, eye boogers are just a normal part of having a Pug. They are not only disgusting but can be bothersome to your pooch.

With proper care and grooming, you can help keep your pooch happy and healthy. Preventative care will also help your dog’s eyes stay healthy and avoid any long term effects from unchecked eyes.

References and Further Reading

Europe PMC – Aito A, Kotani T – Tear Production In Dogs With Epiphora And Corneal Epitheliopathy

WebMD – Discharge From A Dog’s Eyes

Hillspet – Jean Marie Bauhaus – Caring for Dogs With Conjunctivitis

Merck Manual – Melvin I. Root, MD – Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca


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