Why Do My Golden Retriever’s Eyes Water?

Do your Golden Retriever’s eyes water more than normal? 

There are many reasons that your Golden retriever’s eyes may water. 

If this is a new occurrence and does not seem to get better with a little time, or seems to be getting worse, it would be best for your vet to check out your dog’s eyes to make sure that there is nothing serious going on.

Why Do My Golden Retriever’s Eyes Water?

The most common reason that a Golden Retriever’s eyes would water is that there is a foreign object in their eyes. Frequent watering eyes may indicate that your Golden Retriever has an allergy, an infection, a corneal ulcer, or even distichia, all of which will require veterinary intervention.

If you notice any issues with your Golden Retriever’s eye, it would be best to see your vet. 

Many eye issues need to be treated right away to prevent your dog from losing their eye sight. 

Reasons Your Golden Retriever’s Eyes Are Watering

These are a few common reasons that your Golden Retrievers eye may be watering.


Epiphora is the medical term for watery eyes. 

Many times, when your Golden Retrievers’ eyes start to watery, their face will get wet.

This can cause your Golden Retriever to develop an infection on their face. 

Keeping your dog’s face cleaned each day can help decrease any issues you may see with excessive watering of the eyes. 


If your dog has allergies, you will commonly notice that their eyes are watering.

Any environmental allergies such as pollen can enter your dog’s eye and cause them discomfort. 

If your Golden Retriever does have allergies, you can apply allergy eye drops to their eyes. 

Also giving over-the-counter allergy medication such as Benadryl can also help.

A typical dosage of Benadryl is 1mg per pound twice a day. 

So, a 50-pound dog would need to take two adult tablets twice a day.

If they have severe allergies there are other prescription allergy medications that your vet can prescribe for your dog. 


Conjunctivitis is the medical term for pink eye and is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, this is the tissue that is around the eye.

This area will get very red and inflamed and can cause an infection.

The most common causes for this are an ingrown eyelash, allergies, and viral or bacterial infection. 

You can use contact saline wash to clean the eye, but this rarely solves the problem. 

Many times, your Golden Retriever will need to be on medicated eye drops. 

It is always best to make sure that you wash your hands when putting drops into your dog’s eye as pinkeye can be very contagious from one animal to another and even to people. 

Corneal Ulcer

This is probably the most common eye problem seen in all breeds of dogs. 

A corneal ulcer will develop when something damages the surface of your Golden Retriever’s eye. 

This will cause a sore or ulcer on the surface of your dog’s eye. 

Corneal ulcers can get so big that they can even cause the eyeball to rupture. 

If you notice a bluish-grey spot on the surface of your Golden Retriever’s eye, it would be best to take your Golden Retriever to your vet. 

Your vet will stain your dog’s eye with a special stain to see the ulcer. 

If your dog does have an ulcer, they will need eye antibiotics and other eye medications to help this ulcer heal. 

Your dog may also need pain medication as a corneal ulcer is very painful.

Most dogs with a corneal ulcer will also have to wear a cone of shame to help prevent them from rubbing their eye. 

Ulcers can be very painful and itchy causing your dog to paw at their eye and cause even more damage. 

Why Do My Golden Retrievers Eyes Water 1 Why Do My Golden Retriever's Eyes Water?

Foreign Object in their eye

If your dog plays outside or runs around in the woods, they can easily get something stuck in their eye. 

Common things to get stuck in the eye are grass seeds, pieces of sand, or pieces of sticks. 

If you see something in your dog’s eye, you can wash their eye with saline to try to get it out. 

Sometimes your dog will need to be sedated by your vet in order for them to allow you to remove anything from their eye. 

Foreign objects can easily scratch the surface of your dog’s eye causing an ulcer. 

They can even puncture your dog’s eye cause your dog to need emergency eye surgery if not have their eye removed. 


Distichia is the medical term meaning that there are eyelashes that are in the wrong place. 

Many times, this causes eyelashes to grow into your dog’s eye. 

This can rub on the surface of your dog’s eye and cause an infection. 

If your dog does have distichia, it would be best for them to see your vet. 

Many of these lashes are very soft and do not cause any issues. 

Other times these lashes are very hard and need to be removed. 

There are two different ways to treat distichia. 

The easiest non-surgical option is to apply ointment to your dog’s eye every day. 

You would have to do this every day for the rest of your dog’s life.

The other way to treat these issues is by using electrolysis or cryotherapy to remove these eyelashes. 

What Can I do at home for watery eyes?

If your dog just has mild watering of their eyes, this may not be anything to be alarmed about. 

Many times, you can wash their eyes with saline and use a gentle cloth to keep their face clean and dry. 

If your dog’s eyes are very watery and your dog is also squinting their eyes, this would indicate that there is something more serious going on that would need to see your vet. 

If your dog’s eyes are watering causing a buildup of water on their face you can use special wipes made for cleaning the eyes. 

One of the best eye wipes is Lid and Lash Wipes. 

These wipes can be used each day to help prevent any infection from excessive watery eyes. 

What can My vet do to help my dog’s watery eyes?

If your dog has a severe infection, extra eyelash, or something stuck in their eye, your vet should be your first choice for treatment. 

Your vet can prescribe your dog medication to help decrease the pain and inflammation in your dog’s eye and help stop your dog’s eyes from watering. 

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons that your Golden Retrievers’ eyes may be watering. 

It is best to try to figure out what is causing these issues so that you can appropriately treat it. 

Many eye issues can get bad very quickly, so it is best to not delay a vet visit when your dog’s eyes seem like there is something wrong with them. 

The earlier you start treating there issues the quicker and easier your dog will return to normal. 

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