Pug Eye Boogers: Why Do Pugs Have It and How To Deal With It

Noticing patches of gunk around your Pug’s eyes?

Eye discharge (or eye boogers) is a relatively common phenomenon amongst our Pugs.

If you’re worried about your Pug’s eye boogers then this is the article for you. We’ll be guiding you through everything you need to know about all that nasty gunk.

What Are Eye Boogers? Are Pug Eye Boogers Normal?

Pug eye discharge is a completely natural substance that dogs produce to filter our debris and dust from their eyes. In fact, doggie eye boogers aren’t all that different from human ones.

Just like us, when your Pug blinks, tears irrigate the eyes and remove any irritants, particles, or accumulated debris.

Sometimes these substances build up forming a kind of mucusy discharge.

This discharge is usually a whitish substance and is often most noticeable in the morning when your Pug wakes up.

But when this discharge accumulates too much it can become uncomfortable, causing itching and irritation. If left too long, eye boogers can start to cake up and dry out your Pugs eyelids.

That’s why it is so important to keep your Pug’s eyes clean and healthy (more about this later).

Brachycephalic dog breeds like Pugs are more prone to eye boogers and leakage due to their producing eyes and short nose which tend to collect debris more easily.

Why Do Pugs Get Eye Boogers and Should I Be Concerned?

As we already mentioned, in most cases eye boogers are completely normal. It’s just the eye’s natural cleaning response.

However, sometimes irregular mucus accumulation can be a sign of something more sinister so it’s important to know what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to eye boogers.

Normal eye discharge is….

  • White/ greyish in color
  • A soft consistency

Normal eye discharge like this can just be gently wiped away as part of your usual Pug eye cleansing regimen.

Abnormal eye discharge is…

  • Colored (often yellow, green
  • Thick or crusty in consistency

These symptoms may be accompanied by redness, itching or rubbing, and excessive squinting. You might also notice that your Pug is suffering from some kind of eye condition such as conjunctivitis. In these cases, it’s important to book an appointment with your vet.

Causes of Pug Eye Boogers

Eye discharge is a common symptom of many canine conditions. Everything from sub-par grooming to allergies and glaucoma can cause discharge. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of Pug eye boogers.

1. Allergies

Allergic reactions to allergens like dust mites, pollen, grass, and certain types of food can cause uncomfortable symptoms for your Pug including redness of the eyes, itching, licking, watery or discharge-filled eyes.

2. Epiphora

Epiphora is the term used for the overproduction of tears in the eye.

Accompanying symptoms of epiphora include redness and inflammation, brown smelly discharge, irritation, and squinting.

Your Pug may appear to have a damp face from all this excess tear production.

3. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis (otherwise known as pink eye) occurs when the tissue inside your Pug’s eyelid becomes inflamed.

A dog with conjunctivitis may have red, puffy, and/or oozing eyes. In some cases, eyelids swell to such an extent that the eyelids stick together.

Luckily, unlike human cases of conjunctivitis, canine conjunctivitis is not contagious.

4. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or ‘dry eye’ is essentially the opposite of Epiphora.

Instead of producing too many tears, a Pug with KCS cannot produce enough tears to cleanse the eye of debris and dust that has accumulated there.

As a result, tear glands become infected.

KCS symptoms include thick yellowish eye discharge, excessive blinking, and swelling. Serious cases of KCS can even lead to vision loss, so visit your vet as soon as possible.

5. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious ocular condition most common in senior canines. Glaucoma results from increased eye pressure that prevents the drainage of ocular fluids.

Typical symptoms included dilated pupils, clouded eyes, and vision loss.

How To Deal With Pug Eye Boogers

The best way to keep your Pug’s eyes healthy and free of excess boogers is by cleaning them regularly.

Whilst discharge from the eye is completely normal and natural, an overaccumulation of it is not.

In order to prevent crusty, thick, or discolored eye boogers you’ll want to make sure that you are providing your Pug with regular grooming.

Below we’ve outlined some of the best ways to care for your Pug’s eyes and prevent abnormal eye discharge from accumulating.

1. Regular eye care (daily is best)

Make sure that you are cleaning your Pug’s eyes daily. Wipe the eye area to remove debris, rheum (sleep), and any dust anywhere between one and three times per day.

You can use warm water and a soft cloth or special doggie eye wipes/ cleansers from your local pet store or groomer.

Top tip: When it comes to eye care it’s best not to use your fingers. Clean off any gunk with a clean, damp cloth to prevent infection.

2. Careful bathing

When bath time comes around make sure that you are protecting your Pug’s eyes. Keep all products (including doggie shampoos) away from your Pug’s delicate eyes.

To clean your Pug’s eyes it’s better to use plain water or a special eyewash formula recommended by your vet or groomer.

3. Catch eye problems early

Keep watch of your Pug’s eye condition. If you notice any abnormal symptoms bring them to the attention of your veterinarian as soon as possible.

The sooner you get a diagnosis the better you’ll be able to treat it.

4. Avoid chemicals

Any kind of irritant can cause your Pug’s eyes to suffer – including household cleaning products. Avoid using cleaning products like air fresheners in your home if possible.

What if my Pug has something in their eye?

If you notice that your Pug has a foreign body or debris in their eye you will need to flush it out.

To do this you should use a sterile canine eye cleaning solution. Open your Pug’s eye gently and squeeze the solution into the lower lid before wiping clean.

Pug Eye Boogers and Discharge: FAQ

1. Are Pug eye boogers contagious?

Most eye boogers are not contagious. Non-infectious conjunctivitis cannot be spread to people or animals.

However, some eye conditions are contagious. Bacterial infections and viruses like pink eye are transmittable to other dogs and should be treated immediately.

2. Why does my Pug get bad eye boogers?

Some Pugs are prone to eye boogers more than others.

If your Pug is getting lots of eye discharge around their eyes on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that they may be suffering from an ongoing irritation or allergy.

In this case, it’s best to check in with your vet for further diagnostic testing and treatment.

If you’ve noticed that your Pug has yellow or greenish eye discharge building up around their eyes, make sure that they do not have an eyelash or foreign object stuck in their eye, as this can sometimes be the cause.

Pug Eye Boogers: Last Words

Pug eye boogers are perfectly normal in most cases.

A small accumulation of whitish discharge is just your Pug’s natural response to daily debris and dust entering the eye.

In fact, Brachycephalic breeds like Pugs are even more prone to this due to their big, bulging eyes.

In some cases, however, excess or abnormal eye discharge is cause for concern.

If in doubt, it’s always best to visit your vet as early as possible to seek treatment and return your Pug to full health.