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Why Do French Bulldogs Eyes Water? 8 Causes + Helpful Tips

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It’s definitely unusual when french bulldogs’ eyes water so much. There are many reasons why it could be happening. Some are quite severe and others are rather harmless. Regardless, it’s important to know what could be causing it to happen in your frenchie’s situation.

Why Do French Bulldogs Eyes Water:

Brachycephalic breeds, like french bulldogs, are more susceptible to having watery eyes because of their shallow eye sockets and tight eyelids which affects proper drainage of their tear ducts. Other reasons for their watery eyes could be allergies, infection, or airborne irritants.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • What kinds of allergies can make a french bulldogs eyes water
  • How your frenchies eye lashes might be creating teary eyes.
  • 3 tips to help get rid of your french bulldogs watery eyes and tear stains (tip #3 is especially important for frenchies)
  • And much, much more

Let’s jump right in.

8 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Eyes Water

1) Allergic Reaction

When a french bulldog is allergic to something, their eyes may water as a result.

This can be food allergies or environmental, seasonal allergies.

Environmental allergies are much easier to diagnose because they usually show up right after your frenchie has been exposed to them.

But food allergies are much more difficult to track down because it can sometimes take 2-3 months for them to have a reaction.

An easy way to get an idea of whether it’s environmental or food allergies is by thinking about what time of year it is.

If it’s spring or fall, there’s an increased chance that it’s environmental allergies.

If it’s the winter where not many allergens are moving through the air, it’s likely a food allergy.

When it comes to helping your pup get over their allergies it’s important to consult with a vet.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

2) Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis will typically affect both eyes.

It happens when the lining tissue that covers their eyeballs becomes inflamed.

This can be a result of bacteria getting in their eye or can be a secondary effect of another disease they’re fighting.

You may notice yellow/green pus coming from their eyes or mucus if they have conjunctivitis.

You’ll likely also notice your frenchie constantly rubbing their eyes as well as swollen eyelids.

3) SFD

SFD is a reason for watery eyes that only happens to french bulldogs and other wrinkly skinned pups.

SFD stands for skin fold dermatitis.

And the cute skin folds your pup has on their face, if not regularly cleaned, are an ideal place for bacteria to grow.

Which means the skin on their face is more likely to become infected due to constant moisture.

This not only affects their skin, but can also have an effect on their eyes, which makes them water.

Related Reading: 8 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Itch So Much + Helpful Tips

4) Tear Duct Blockage

When your frenchies tear ducts are functioning as they should, tears will drain through these ducts and empty out through their nose.

But when they’re blocked, the tears have nowhere to go which means they buildup in their eyes and eventually spill over.

Their tear ducts may become blocked because of trauma, inflammation, a new medication they’re taking, or in some cases tumors.

The only way to fix their tear ducts is to have them flushed out or have whatever is causing the blockage surgically removed.

If no matter how often you wipe their tears/tear stains away, there always seems to be more, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.

5) Glaucoma

Certainly not super common, but definitely a possibility is your frenchie has glaucoma.

Glaucoma creates more pressure in and around their eye and creates improper fluid drainage.

Which creates a buildup and makes their eyes look watery and can create tear stains.

Some signs that your dog may have glaucoma are:

  • Frequent blinking of the eye
  • Their eye(s) may start to appear cloudy
  • Loss of vision
  • Noticeably red blood vessels in the white portion of their eyes

If you notice any of these in addition to their watery eyes it’s important to have a vet take a look at them.

6) Airborne Irritants

If you’ve ever accidentally got perfume in your eye, you know how painful it is and that your eyes typically begin to water as a response.

The same will happen with your frenchie.

It can also be smoke, other types of sprays or even dust.

If any foreign object gets in your pup’s eye, it’s only normal for them to water in an attempt to flush out whatever flew in.

7) Abnormal Eyelash Growth

Your frenchie might unfortunately have abnormal eyelash growth that’s constantly poking their eye causing them to water.

The medical term for this is Distichiasis.

It means either a few, or all, of their eyelashes are growing in abnormal directions.

It can also mean their eyelashes are growing in unusual locations on their eyelids.

When this happens it means one, or many, of their eyelashes are frequently touching their eye which is making them water.

Genetics play a big role in this happening and french bulldogs are one of the more likely to experience this.

8) Something Scratched Their Cornea

If something gets in your frenchies eye, their body’s natural response is to produce tears to help get whatever it is, out.

However, if what got in their eye scratched their cornea, their eye will continuously produce tears.

Their body is attempting to flush out whatever is irritating their eye, but unfortunately it’s not able to wash away a scratch.

In this case it’s important to have them see a vet.

3 Tips To Get Rid Of French Bulldogs Watery Eyes & Tear Stains

1) Take Them To The Vet

The only reason it may not be completely necessary to take your frenchie to the vet is if they got something in their eye and you were able to help them get it out.

If your french bulldogs watery eyes have been persistent over the last several days, it’s important to schedule a visit to the vet.

The only way for you to help your pup’s eyes stop watering is to know the cause behind what’s making them water.

Once you’ve found that out by taking them to the vet, you can get them the treatment or medication they need to start getting better.

Watery eyes are certainly not normal and can be happening for severe reasons as well as more harmless reasons.

So it’s important to know what situation your pup is in.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

2) Limit Exposure To Irritant

While this is absolutely easier said than done, it’s important to spend time figuring out what is bothering them and limit their exposure to it.

Whether it’s a food allergy, an environmental allergy, a perfume, spray or smoke.

Once you’ve found out what it is that’s causing their watery eyes you can avoid situations where they would encounter these irritants.

While you don’t want to do this without consulting with a veterinarian, it’s valuable information to bring with you when you visit them.

It will help give them a better understanding of your pups situation and likely help them come up with a better course of action.

3) Increase Face Wiping/Washing

Your frenchies’ adorable wrinkles may need a little more maintenance to keep their eyes from watering and collecting tear stains.

Because their skin folds are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria (they’re warm & wet) it’s important that they’re cleaned a few times a week.

This will also help prevent the build up of tear stains that make your frenchie look far too sad.

Using a wet wipe to gently rub around their eyes can help clear up any eye discharge before they become stains.

The best dog wipes on amazon are Earth Rated Dog Wipes.

They’re plant based, compostable, hypoallergenic and also leave a nice scent behind.

Final Thoughts

There are harmless, temporary reasons for your frenchies eyes to be water as well as more severe reasons.

It’s best not to guess on your own and have a vet look at them to ensure it’s nothing serious or to get them the treatment they need.

Other posts you might find interesting:

12 Best Beds For French Bulldogs: Beds That Last

11 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Cry & Whine So Much + Tips

8 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Eat Everything + 4 Tips

16 Interesting Reasons Why French Bulldogs Lick So Much


French Bulldog

Watery Eyes in Dogs

PetMD’s Watery Eyes in Dogs

Discharge From a Dog’s Eyes

5 Types of Dog Eye Discharge (and What They Mean)

Eye Injuries in Dogs

Dog Eye Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment