What You Need to Know about Dog Tear Stains

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If your dog has tear stains, you need to learn about the condition to ensure you deal with it appropriately. Here is information about tear stains and the variety of places that dog stains can be found.


Tear stains are a common condition visible in most dogs, especially those with bright hair. The condition is due to tearing, where tears stick and dry on the hair around the eyes, leaving dark or reddish-brown noticeable stains. The excessive tearing and tear stains can be caused by a wide range of things ranging from infections, poor nutrition to allergic reactions.

How can you naturally treat tear stains? One of the main options you should consider is giving your pooch a proper diet. On the market, you can find the best dog food for tear stains. These foods are rich in proteins and other essential nutrients that will prevent tear stains. Read on to learn more about tear stains ranging from causes to how you can prevent or manage the condition.

What is tear staining?

Tear staining is a condition in dogs where hair around the eyes has brown, dark, or reddish stains. The stains are as a result of excessive tearing where the tears don’t drain as expected. If the tears have staining chemicals such as porphyrins, you are likely to see the stains around your dog’s eyes. Porphyrin is a chemical that is associated with red blood cells breakdown in the body and is removed through saliva, urine, and tears.

Causes of tear stains

Tear staining can be caused by environmental, genetic, medical, or nutritional causes. Some of the medical causes include bacterial and viral infections to the eyes. Also, an infection to the dogs’ ears can cause excessive tearing, resulting in tear stains. Medical conditions such as conjunctivitis and glaucoma can also cause excessive tearing on your dog. What’s more, exposure to smoke, allergens, dust, and other irritants can trigger the condition. 

Teething in puppies can cause excessive production of tears with staining chemicals, hence tear staining. For that reason, when your puppies are teething, you should expect some tear staining which is likely to disappear after some time. In addition, stress can trigger excess production of tears, some unhealthy chemicals, and buildup of porphyrin in dog’s body. This will ultimately cause tear stains on your dog.

Poor diet is another main cause of excessive tearing and tear staining in dogs. As mentioned above, porphyrin is one of the main chemicals that causes tear staining. Giving your pooch a poor diet all the time can cause porphyrin to build up in the body. You can avoid that by giving your dog healthy meals, which will help treat and even prevent tear staining on your dog. 

There are genetic causes of tear staining on your beautiful dog. The main genetic causes include excessively large tear glands, shallow eye sockets, inverted eyelids, and small tear ducts. Your pet may also have ingrown eyelashes and hair around the eyes, which can cause excessive tearing and consequent tear stains. 

How to manage or mitigate dog tear stains

There are different ways you can manage and prevent tear stains on your dog. However, how you manage or treat the condition will depend on the cause and the severity. Here are some excellent ways to handle the condition;

  • Proper diet plan

One of the natural ways you can use to manage tear stains is giving your dog healthy meals. On the market, you can find the dog food to prevent tear stains. The foods are rich in protein, fatty acids, probiotics, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that will prevent excessive tearing and the buildup of porphyrin in the dog’s body. You should also incorporate supplements or food additives into your dog’s meal plan. This will not only help in preventing tear stains but also improve your dog’s overall health.

  • ‘Face grooming’

If your dog has long hair around the eyes, you should cut it short. This will ensure that no long hair will irritate the eye, which can cause tearing. In addition, you should clean the hair around the eyes using a cotton ball with an appropriate eyewash solution. You just need to rub the cotton ball underneath and around your dogs’ eyes. Be careful with the solution you use for the procedure. Groom and clean your dog’s face more often, and the tear stains will be removed or become less visible. When you combine proper diet and keeping your dog clean around the eyes, you are likely to see the best results.

  • Seek treatment from a vet 

If proper diet and face grooming haven’t given you any positive results, you need to contact your vet to check your pet. The veterinarian will check your dog, run some tests to confirm what is causing tear stains on your dog. If your dog has a medical condition such as glaucoma or any other, the vet will offer treatment and share some tips on managing the condition until the pet gets better. What’s more, the vet will advise you on the best dog food for tear stains and how to keep your pet in the best shape.

How to remove tear stains on your dog

Yes, the above tips may work to help prevent excessive tearing and tear stains. However, if your dog has the stains already, you should think of ways to clean and remove the stains and focus on preventative measures. On the market, you can find dog tear stains removal solutions. It’s advisable to research to know the safest and effective cleaning products you can use to get rid of the stains. If you can’t afford to buy the products, you can consider a mild hydrogen peroxide mixture, Visine, or any other solution recommended by your vet. But make sure the products don’t get into your dog’s eyes.

Final Words

It’s always good to maintain your dog’s cute appearance. Tear stains can dent your dog’s appearance, but the above information can help you mitigate the condition. You can use the best dog food for tear stains and keep the area around the dog’s eyes clean. If the condition worsens, it’s advisable to take your dog to a vet for examination, tests, and treatment.

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