Some dogs have long eyelashes by nature, so you or your groomer might decide to trim them. But do dog eyelashes grow back, and if so, how long does it take?
If you trim or cut your dog’s eyelashes, you should expect that they will grow back. However, it may take longer than growing hair on other parts of the body. Generally, dog eyelashes grow back to their original size in four to seven weeks, depending on their natural length.
Let’s take a look at dog eyelashes and what happens if you cut them or trim them. We’ll also examine the reasons for cutting dog eyelashes and what kind of disorder they might develop if you do not do so. Below, there is also a list of dog breeds that have the longest eyelashes so that you can learn more about these dog features.
Do Dogs Have Eyelashes?
Dogs indeed have eyelashes. Sometimes, very hairy dogs have their eyes covered by fur, so it can be difficult to see their eyelashes. Dogs usually have four rows of lashes on the upper eyelid, and none along the lower.
Like humans, dogs’ eyelashes are tactile organs — they can actually sense things they touch. One of their primary functions is to sense when they are close to something that could be harmful or dangerous and “tell” the eye to close immediately. This helps prevent eye injuries.
And though they might be a helpful part of the face of a dog, they can also cause some disorders if they become too long. Some dog breeds have really long eyelashes, so cutting or trimming them becomes an option. People are often uncertain about whether they should cut their dog’s eyelashes and whether they will grow back once they are cut.
Should You Trim Your Dog’s Eyelashes?
This is a common question for dog owners, who are not sure if they are doing the right thing or for the right reasons. Dog eyelashes definitely can be safely trimmed without harming the dog.
But you should only trim your dog’s eyelashes if they are long enough to interfere with your dog’s vision or they pose a health risk (more on this below).
If your dog’s eyelashes are naturally short, then it is recommended to leave them alone. You don’t want to interfere with their function of preventing eye injuries.
Do Dog Eyelashes Grow Back?
Whether you decide to fully cut them off or just shorten them with trimming, your dog’s eyelashes will grow back. Eyelash growth is the same as other hair on the body; therefore, there is no reason for them not to grow back.
However, eyelashes might take longer to grow back to their original size. It might take a month, or even longer, depending on the trim or the cut you have done. Also, it might depend on the natural length of the eyelashes of the particular dog.
Dog Breeds With Long Eyelashes
The length of the dog’s eyelashes is related to the length of the fur of the dog. Therefore, dogs with longer fur have longer eyelashes, while those with short fur have short eyelashes that are usually not very visible. Some of the dog breeds that have long eyelashes are:
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Old English Sheepdog
- Cocker Spaniels
- Shih Tzus
These dog breeds usually require a trim or a cut of the eyelashes since they grow quite long, and they might obstruct the vision of the dog, or cause some disorders. Therefore, it is recommended that you do a regular trim.
Reasons For Trimming Dog Eyelashes (Eyelash Disorders)
One of the reasons to trim your dog’s eyelashes is because their length might obstruct the dog’s eyesight. However, there are disorders that occur due to long eyelashes, so cutting or trimming them may be necessary. Below are some of the disorders that might occur with eyelashes.
Distichiasis is a condition where the dog has a growth of abnormal eyelashes in unusual places around their eyes. These unusual places can be on the upper or lower eyelids, even though it is unusual for dogs to have eyelashes on the lower lids.
These abnormal lashes can cause redness and irritation of the eyes, as well as eye discharge. Other symptoms might include excessive tearing and blinking as well as pain around the eyes.
It is a condition that causes the eyelashes to grow in an irregular direction, such as towards the inside of the eye. This might happen if a dog has naturally long eyelashes or the eyes have suffered a trauma previously. Trichiasis is prominent in dog breeds with long eyelashes and very young dogs.
Symptoms of trichiasis include pain, irritation, itchiness, excessive watering of the eye, and dark pigmentation around the eye. This condition can lead to an eye infection which might include a more complicated recovery.
Cutting and trimming dog eyelashes is common in this situation, and the eyelashes naturally grow back to the original length, although the process is slower than that of the regular hair on the body. Sometimes this is recommended due to vision obstruction that eyelashes might cause, or in order to prevent disorders and illnesses in the eyes.
Only trim your dog’s eyelashes if it is necessary for them to see properly or to avoid a medical condition. Doing it for vanity purposes is only inviting complications. In any event, your dog’s eyelashes will always grow back.