Animals provide indispensable models to translate basic mechanistic discoveries and realize their therapeutic potential in humans. Conversely, advances in human medicine often inform management of similar conditions in clinical veterinary medicine. In this paper, key experimental model species are introduced, with emphasis on genetic contributions of the mouse. Its role and those of larger animal models are described in common ocular research areas including intraocular neoplasia, corneal epithelial and stromal disease, cataract, uveitis, glaucoma, and retinal dystrophies. Emphasis is placed on those conditions shared by humans and domestic animals, with the intent of exploring how the study of comparable conditions in humans, domestic animals, and laboratory animals informs one another.