Pet Dog World contains affiliate links. If you click one of these links I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, thank you! Please see my Disclosure Policy for further information.

Ever wonder if your dog can see that squirrel across the street? Taking care of your best friend goes beyond just check-ups and vaccinations. Their eyes, just like ours, need attention too! Let’s explore why eye exams are important for dogs, how to spot potential problems, and where to find a qualified professional.

Dog wearing glasses and a dog's eye

Why Eye Health Matters

Dogs rely heavily on their vision, much like humans. Healthy eyes are essential for your dog’s mobility, ability to interact with its environment, and overall quality of life. Eye problems in dogs can range from minor irritations to severe conditions that may lead to blindness if left untreated.

Common eye issues in dogs include:

  • Cataracts: Cloudiness in the lens, leading to vision impairment.
  • Glaucoma: Increased pressure in the eye, which can cause pain and blindness.
  • Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the eye lining, often referred to as pink eye.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A genetic condition leading to gradual vision loss.

Signs Your Dog Needs an Eye Test

It’s important to be vigilant about your dog’s eye health. Here are some signs that your dog might need an eye examination:

  • Redness or swelling in the eyes.
  • Excessive tearing or discharge.
  • Squinting or blinking more than usual.
  • Cloudy or hazy eyes.
  • Behavioural changes, such as bumping into objects or reluctance to move in dim lighting.
  • Pawing at the eyes or face.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to consider an eye test for your dog.

How to Get Your Dog’s Eyes Tested

  1. Visit Your Regular Vet: Your first step should be to consult your veterinarian. They can perform a basic eye examination and determine if further testing is needed. They might use an ophthalmoscope to examine the eye’s interior and check for common issues.
  2. Referral to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist: If your vet identifies a potential problem or if your dog’s condition is beyond basic treatment, they will likely refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist. These specialists have advanced training and equipment specifically for diagnosing and treating eye conditions in animals.
  3. Eye Examination Procedure: During the visit, the veterinary ophthalmologist will perform a comprehensive examination. This might include:
  • Schirmer Tear Test: Measures tear production to check for dry eye.
  • Tonometry: Checks the pressure inside the eye for glaucoma.
  • Fluorescein Stain Test: Detects corneal ulcers or scratches by applying a special dye to the eye.
  • Retinal Examination: Using advanced imaging techniques to examine the retina.

Where to Go for a Professional Eye Examination

There are several excellent options in the UK for getting your dog’s eyes checked by veterinary ophthalmologists, who are specialists in pet eye care. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose:

  • Specialist Centres: These centres offer advanced eye care and often require a referral from your primary veterinarian. Examples include Davies Veterinary Specialists in Bedfordshire, known for their dedicated ophthalmology team.
  • University Hospitals: Some universities, like the Royal Veterinary College in London, have ophthalmology departments within their comprehensive veterinary services. These might accept referrals or offer consultations directly.
  • Referral Centres: Centres like Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull often house specialist teams, including ophthalmologists. They typically require a referral from your vet.

Finding a Location: Consider your location! While the centres mentioned above are spread across the UK, you might have a closer option. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS Find a Vet) has a search tool to find RCVS-registered veterinary ophthalmologists near you.

Remember, this is just a starting point. Always discuss your dog’s specific needs with your vet to determine the best course of action.


Getting your dog’s eyes tested is a vital part of maintaining their overall health and quality of life. Being aware of symptoms, and knowing where to go for specialised care can make a significant difference. If you suspect your dog might have an eye problem, don’t hesitate—seek professional advice and ensure your dog’s vision remains clear and healthy.

Ensure your dog's eye health with professional testing. Learn the signs of eye issues, how to get an eye test, and where to find a qualified vet in the UK.

For help with dog training, follow this proven system for creating an incredibly well-behaved, intelligent dog who follows your every command!

Love dogs? Why not start your dog treat business and work from home? Find out how to start a dog bakery here.

Share with your friends!