Can Dogs Get Pink Eye From Humans

Can Dogs Get Pink Eye From Humans? [what is conjunctivitis?]

Can dogs get pink eye from humans? Yes, but it’s very rare. Pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (membranes that line the eyelids and cover the white part of the eye) that can be caused by bacteria or viruses. A human with pink eye could transmit the disease to a dog by touching them.

If you’ve ever had a case of pink eye, you know how contagious it can be. But is it really contagious to your dog? Keep reading to find out and learn what you need to know!

It turns out that dogs can contract the same type of viral infection as we do, but it typically only affects puppies and breeds with less resistance to this kind of illness. 

What is Conjunctivitis?

A key factor is not allowing the discharge from a human eye that has pink to come in contact with a dog’s eye.

Pink eye in dogs can be contagious to humans, so if you have been handling your pup recently, wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything else!

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that can affect dogs of any age, breed or sex. The most common form of conjunctivitis in dogs is known as pink eye and it causes redness and swelling around the eyes. 

Although the condition can be uncomfortable for your dog, there are many things you can do at home to help ease their discomfort and prevent further complications from developing.

What is Pink Eye in Dogs?

Your pet is your best friend and you want to ensure that they are healthy. What many people don’t know is that not all forms of canine conjunctivitis (pink eye) are caused by bacteria or viruses.

Why Do Dogs Get Pink Eye?

There are multiple causes of pink eye in a dog. 

Why Do Dogs Get Pink Eye?

How Do Dogs Get Conjunctivitis?

  • Allergies – Caused by environmental issues such as smoke, pollen and dust
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis – Caused by an infection
  • Dry eye
  • Injury
  • Viral Conjunctivitis – Caused by a virus such as herpes

Some cases may be allergic reactions to environmental conditions. A dog’s eyes are sensitive to irritants just like your eyes are. A foreign object in your dog’s eyes can also cause problems.

Pink eye can be caused by an infection with the herpes virus. It can be either bacterial or viral infections and on occasion both.

What to do If Your Dogs Pink Eye is From an Allergic Reaction

If your vet tells you the cause is an allergic reaction to environmental conditions the best way to avoid infection is to keep your pet from going out during periods of high pollen count.

Make sure they stay indoors with air conditioning on hot days. If you don’t want to do that for some reason, then it’s highly recommended you get an air filter fitted for their room at home. 

You should also clean and wipe down any area where your dog sleeps or spends time.

Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet if you Suspect They Have Pink Eye?

Yes! If left untreated, pink eye could lead to serious complications such as glaucoma and corneal ulcers as well as other serious health problems. 

Why Do Dogs Get Pink Eye
How to Treat Dog Pink Eye

Fortunately, pink eye is usually easily treated with antibiotic eye drops or eye ointment for bacterial infection or antiviral medications for viral infection. 

It’s important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect he/she has pink eye so they can get proper treatment and prevent a serious condition.

What Dog Breeds Are Most Susceptible to Pink Eye?

Remember, any dog breed can get pink eye but here is a brief list of some dog breeds that may be more likely to become infected because of their facial structure.

  • Bulldogs
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Hound Dogs
  • Pugs
  • Poodles
  • Shar-Pei

Is Pink Eye Dangerous for Your Dog?

It’s important that dog owners recognize the symptoms of pink eye (Conjunctivitis) early on so they can take action before things get out of hand. 

If left untreated it can lead to blindness or even cause other serious health issues!

How to Know if Your Dog has Pink Eye? 

You may notice their eyes become red or watery, this is a common symptom of pink eye in dogs.

Symptoms of Pink Eye in a Dog

Here are some other symptoms of conjunctivitis in dogs to look out for: 

  • Excessive eye tearing
  • Excessive eye blinking
  • Discharge around the eyes
  • Crusty eye discharge that may cause difficulty to open them
  • Crustiness near the nose area
  • Nasal discharge
  • Red eye
  • Redness on the eyelids
  • Redness inside the ears
  • Rubbing their face on the ground in an attempt to get relief from itching

NOTE: Symptoms may appear only in one eye or both eyes!

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, take them to your veterinarian immediately!

How to Treat a Dog with Pink Eye

Since pink eye can be contagious to humans, it is important for dog owners to know how to treat their pets if they are diagnosed with this condition. 

The best treatment starts with a visit to your veterinarian to make sure that you have the correct diagnosis. Early treatment is key!

Your vet will then prescribe medication or give you other instructions on how to take care of the problem at home. 

It is also important that you keep other animals away from your sick pup so as not to subject them to the same illness.

Dogs with Pink Eye and Allergies

A common reason for dogs getting pink eye is because they have allergies in their eyes.

The good news is that this condition can be easily treated by your vet by giving them an antihistamine which should clear up their allergy symptoms.

Some veterinarians might prescribe topical ointments while others opt for oral medications or antibiotic drops.

The choice largely depends on the severity of the infection but also which type of medication is more likely to work better for your canine friend’s unique needs. Your vet will know.

How to Prevent Canine Pink Eye From Spreading at Home

Although the condition can be uncomfortable for your dog, there are many things you can do at home to help ease their discomfort and prevent further complications from developing.

Practice good hygiene around your dog. Avoid contact with their eyes, nose, mouth, and bodily fluids from other animals while they are sick so that you don’t get infected yourself.

REMEMBER! Consult your veterinarian before administering any medications to ensure it’s safe for your dog.

Signs Your Dog May Have Caught Pink Eye From You!

If your pet has contracted pink eye, it might be from you.! 

If you have recently been around another dog with pink eye or have shared an environment with another animal that may have had the condition, then there is a chance that your pet could catch it from you.

How Do Dogs Get Pink Eye From Humans?

Pink eye spreads quickly through physical contact like touching, licking, or sneezing.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Pink Eye

Here are some ways on how to prevent a dog from getting pink eye:

  • Ensure that your pet gets enough sleep at night 
  • Wash hands before touching their face 
  • Make sure they don’t get too much sunlight 
  • Keep them away from smoke and other irritants
  • Don’t expose them to other animals (or humans) with similar symptoms 
  • Always give them plenty of fresh water
  • Keep their bedding and surrounding area clean

Related Questions

Can You Get Pink Eye From Dogs?

The idea of you catching a disease from your dog may be scary, but it’s not impossible. 

Many people mistakenly believe they can never get pink eye from their dog because dogs don’t shed tears and therefore cannot transmit the virus that causes this type of infection. 

However, contact with saliva is another way to spread the infection to humans. That means you could easily catch pink eye if your dog licks your face.

Just grooming a dog that has pink eye without proper protective gear could possibly put you at risk. In rare cases, this applies even if your dog doesn’t have any visible signs of conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis that’s caused by a virus is generally contagious before symptoms appear and can remain so as long as the symptoms last.

Can Dogs Get Pink Eye From Cats?

The general consensus among experts is that yes, cats can transmit pink eye to a dog but it would be considered rare.

The smart course of action would be to isolate any pet from a cat that has pink eye and keep things cleaned.

What is an Elizabethan Collar?

Elizabethan Collars are used to prevent an animal (usually a dog or cat) from licking, chewing, or scratching a problem area on its body.

It is a round piece of plastic that goes around the dog’s neck and forms a barrier around its head.

In the case of pink eye, an Elizabethan Collar could help prevent the dog from scratching its eyes and causing an eye injury.

The use of Elizabethan Collars on pets is controversial as some say it causes mental and physical discomfort for the animal.

Are There Any Home Remedies to Treat Pink Eye?

As we mentioned above several times the first step is to consult your vet about pink eye treatments for your dog.

Your vet may tell you to treat your dog at home with the following.

  • Artificial TearsArtificial Tears is a commercial made product that can help if your dog is suffering from dry eyes. It is applied and stays in the eye.
  • Cold Compress – Gently applying a cold compress (not frozen) to your dog’s face and eyes may make it feel better and reduce some irritation. You could simply use a washcloth for this.
  • Elizabethan Collar – Using an Elizabethan Collar (or E-collar) as described above may help. Ask your vet first.
  • Saline Solution – Gently washing your dogs eyes out with a simple saline solution may help remove irritants that could be causing the problem. You can obtain this from your vet or at a local pet store.

What is a Veterinary Ophthalmologist?

A veterinary ophthalmologist specializes in the care of an animal’s eyes. They are often called ‘Eye Vets”. 

Taking your pet to a regular eye exam from a veterinary ophthalmologist is a great idea to help them stay healthy.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pink Eye?

Yes, most pet health insurance plans will cover pink eye for your dog. Be sure to check the insurance policy document to confirm.

There are also alternative health plans to pet insurance such as Pet Assure that will provide you a significant discount on health care for your pet.


Pink eye can cause serious issues in your dog. While it is a common ailment the first thing you should always do is consult your vet for the best treatment options.

Determining the underlying cause of pink eye is not always a simple task so be sure to consult with a professional veterinarian before you apply any treatment.

If treated early and properly you can expect a full recovery for your dog from pink eye. 

Remember that eye problems left untreated can lead to vision problems and eye disease that may cause permanent damage to your dog.

Can Dogs Get Pink Eye From Humans

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