My dog, Max, is pretty darned cute (if I do say so myself). But one thing that never fails to gross me out is the goop that sometimes forms under his eyes. These stains are the result of discharge coming from his eyes, and if your dog is anything like mine, he or she probably gets them, too.
While dog tear stains aren’t any cause for alarm, they can look unattractive, and keeping your dog’s eyes clean is important if they’re fighting irritation or infection.
Luckily, these DIY pet eye wipes make cleaning a breeze, and they’re so simple to make! The ingredients are gentle and won’t disrupt the pH balance of your dog’s skin. They also discourage the growth of yeast and bacteria in this all-too-perfect environment for infections.
If you’d rather keep it simple and purchase from the pros, we outlined the best dog eye wipes in this guide. But if you want to try it yourself, check out our instructions below.
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What you’ll need to make your own dog eye wipes
- 2 cups distilled or filtered water in a large bowl
- 2 Tbsp high-quality, all-natural dog shampoo (I used 4 Legger’s Dog Shampoo, but check the tips section below for other options)
- 1 paper towel roll (the sturdier the better to reduce tearing)
- An airtight container with lid (this is the container I used, but anything with an airtight seal will do)
How to do it
Here’s how to make DIY pet wipes in four easy steps.
1. Cut the paper towel roll in half
Stand your paper towel roll on end next to your container and mark a point a little below the top of the container. The point is to cut the roll down to a height that will fit inside the container with the lid closed.
After marking the roll, use a serrated knife (such as a bread knife) to cut it in two. Place the roll inside the container.
2. Combine the water and cleaning agent
In a large bowl, stir your chosen cleaning agent into the water until thoroughly mixed.
As I said above, we use 4 Legger’s all-natural dog shampoo, because the major oils and ingredients necessary to make this recipe work are already combined inside. But I’ll go into more detail about why we chose it and where to find other options in the tips section below.
3. Pour the mixture over the roll
Pour the mixture into the container, soaking the entire paper towel roll. Pull out the cardboard center after the roll is completely soaked.
4. Pull from the inside
Once the paper towels have absorbed the mixture and the cardboard tube is removed, you’re done! Yes, it’s that easy! Just draw the wipes up from the center, rather than outside, as you use them, and make sure you seal the lid tightly in-between uses to retain the moisture.
Tips & common questions
What cleaning agent should I choose?
Saponified oils are great cleaners. These oils combined with natural antiseptic ingredients make a great recipe for cleaning areas that can harbor a bunch of nasty microorganisms. Fortunately for you, these ingredients have already been combined in all of our top picks for the best dog shampoo.
Using a shampoo makes this recipe so easy to recreate!
We love 4 Legger’s shampoo for so many reasons, but to name a few: it’s unscented; gentle; vet-and-groomer recommended; and it contains olive, coconut, and jojoba oils that help loosen eye gunk and prevent tear staining. The additional ingredients of aloe vera and rosemary extract can also inhibit bacterial growth.1, 2
However, the important thing is just to use a shampoo without any parabens or other harsh chemicals that could irritate your dog’s eyes and skin. Any of the shampoos in the guide linked above could also work.
I have kids…can I just use baby wipes?
No, it is not safe to use baby wipes on dogs since the pH of a dog’s skin and the pH of a human’s skin are different.
Keep the solution out of the eyes
Since these wipes are made with gentle and cleansing ingredients, they’re great for cleaning around your dog’s eyes. However, be sure to keep the solution out of the eyes themselves. All-natural or not, nobody wants a cleaning solution in their eyeballs.
They can double as an all-over wipe
Did your dog get a little dusty in-between baths? These wipes can double as an all-over pet wipe! I like to use them after we take Max on the dusty trails around our home, or after a walk on that occasional day when it rains here in southern California.
Not feeling crafty? You can buy wipes pre-made
If making your own wipes seems too tedious, but you’re unsure of the chemicals in mass-produced products, don’t worry. We’ve outlined the best dog eye wipes here, so you can find chemically safe eye wipes without the hassle. And if your dog has heavy-duty stains that require stronger treatment, check out our guide to the best dog tear stain removers.
- Goudarzi, M., Fazeli, M., Azad, M., Seyedjavadi, S., Mousavi, R., ”Aloe vera Gel: Effective Therapeutic Agent against Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates Recovered from Burn Wound Infections”. Chemotherapy Research and Practice. 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525459/
- Rafael de Oliveira, J., Esteves Afonso Camargo, S., Dias de Oliveira, L., “Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent”. Journal of Biomedical Science. 2019; 26: 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6325740/