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Do Dogs Have Eyelashes? Does It Vary by Breed?

All dogs have eyelashes, but some dogs have very short ones, others have just a few, and still others are blessed with long, thick lashes that curl into their fur. Why do some dogs have these lush, beautiful lashes? Why do other dogs have tiny ones? To answer these questions, we need to consider the history of the domestic dog and how certain traits get passed on by breeding practices over time.


Certain Breeds Have Especially Long Eyelashes but All Dogs Have Eyelashes

There are some breeds of dogs with longer, more visible eyelashes than others, like Poodles and Australian Shepherds, but all dogs have eyelashes.

Eyelashes make it less likely for a dog’s eyes to get dry or irritated than they would without lashes. It also means that any dust or dirt in the air won’t get trapped as easily on the fur around their eyes.

Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: ArminEP, Pixabay

Small Dogs Tend to Have Shorter Eyelashes Than Large Dogs

If you have a small dog, you may have noticed that their eyelashes are short and stubby. They’re also often sparse and widely spaced. The eyes of small dogs are proportionately smaller than those of medium and large breeds. Smaller eyes need less protection from debris, so it makes sense for them to have fewer eyelashes per square inch of surface area.

However, even though small dog breeds have fewer eyelashes than large dogs do (in many cases, they only grow one or two), they aren’t defective or less healthy because of it! They are still equipped to deal with things like dirt or sand getting into their eyes, things that could potentially cause serious damage were it not for those few lashes providing extra protection!

grooming shih tzu dog
Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

The Reason That Some Dog Breeds Have Long Eyelashes Is More About Aesthetics Than Function

Long eyelashes are aesthetically pleasing but don’t necessarily function better than short ones. The longer the eyelashes, the more attractive the dog is perceived to be, but they aren’t necessarily healthier.

Long lashes can help keep debris or other foreign objects out of your dog’s eyes, but they’re not necessarily an indicator of eye health. All dogs’ eyes should be clear and healthy regardless of their appearance. Some dogs with short or sparse eyelashes may be more prone to eye infections and may require special care to prevent injury to their sensitive corneas.

cute poodle sitting
Image Credit: Piqsels

Dog Eyelashes Can Be Trimmed if They Irritate the Dog or Impair Vision in Any Way

Sometimes, eyelashes are groomed or trimmed to a certain length. It’s not uncommon for the small hairs to get in the way of a dog’s vision and cause irritation, which can lead to problems such as eye infections or corneal ulcers (a painful condition where a layer of cells on the surface of your dog’s cornea — the transparent layer covering their eyeball — becomes damaged).

However, not all dogs with eyelashes need them trimmed. If your pet has small eyes or naturally droopy eyelids, it may be best to leave their lashes alone, so they don’t get caught on anything! Your vet will be able to give you advice based on their observation of your dog’s face structure and lifestyle choices.

dog owner talking to vet
Image Credit; SeventyFour, Shutterstock

All Dogs Have Eyelashes That Can Vary in Length by Breed

All dogs have eyelashes, but their length and thickness can vary by breed. If you’re wondering if your dog has short or long eyelashes, a quick look at their face should let you know. If you want to get a better view, try looking at their eyes from above or in a mirror.



All dogs have eyelashes, but they aren’t all the same length, and many factors can affect their appearance. Knowing whether your pet has long eyelashes can help you determine if they need them trimmed, but be sure to speak to your vet before doing so.

Featured Image Credit: Shine Nucha, Shutterstock

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