Tear stains in dogs are usually more of a grooming issue than a medical one. Some dog breeds are more prone to tear stains which show up as brownish-reddish streaks or marks under the eyes. Sometimes, this gunky brown mark can run all the way down to the muzzle. While the stains are unsightly and not very pretty at all; they are natural and there are a few things pet parents can do to get them under control. In this guide, I will talk about dog eye cleaner drops, tear stain removal wipes, supplements as well as eye washes that are known to effectively eliminate dog tear stains.
What causes dog tear stains?
If your dog has suddenly developed tear stains, it is best to have him checked by a vet. Tear stains are natural in some breeds but not in all. Dogs with white or light colored coats and breeds with single coat and long hair are more susceptible to tear stains. Brachycephalic dog breeds with protruding eyes also tend to accumulate more gunk in their eyes resulting in pronounced tear stains. Tear stains are also called Poodle eye since poodles are extremely susceptible to developing these red and brown marks underneath the corners of their eyes. In most cases, one will not notice tear stains in dogs having dark color coats or in breeds that are naturally better at eliminating eye gunk. Sometimes, congenital eye issues, eye allergies and liver problems can also cause tear stains.
Causes of tear stains
- Blocked tear ducts
- Excess irritation or tearing of eyes
- Physical deformities
- Ear infections
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What to do to get rid of tear stains?
Tear stains are not painful and they certainly do not cause any discomfort to your dog. They just look odd and out of place, especially if your pet has a white fur. You can do a couple of things to get rid of tear stains when grooming your pet:
- Gently wipe the stains using sterile eye wipes or makeup remover pads dipped in saline water. I have also recommended some top quality wipes used specifically for dog tear stain removal, later on in this guide.
- Some pet parents have seen good results with apple cider vinegar; simply add a dash of organic apple cider vinegar to your pet’s drinking water.
- Keep the fur around dogs’ eyes trimmed and short.
- Avoid letting your pet stick out its head from the car window. This will prevent foreign objects entering into the eyes which could result in excess watering and eye irritation.
Ideally, you should have your pet checked by a vet twice a year to ensure there aren’t any underlying health conditions causing the stains.
Best dog tear stain removal products
Following products are known to have benefitted pets having severe tear stains:
Dog tear stain wipes are perfect for removing tear stains in Poodles, Morkies or Maltese dogs –breeds that are susceptible to tear stains. One of the best wipes for tear stains are from Pogi’s Pet Supplies®. These wipes contain aloe vera, vitamin E, and awapuhi and cucumber extracts. They have effectively helped over 1500+ pets get rid of ugly red-brown stains under the eyes. Pogi wipes come in packs of 100, 120, 240 or 400 count. They are quilted and large enough for larger dogs. You can also use them to clean cats’ eyes. Pogi dog tear stain wipes are fragrance free, earth friendly and hypoallergenic. Apart from the eyes, you can use these wipes to clean your dog’s privates, paws (after rainy day walks), infected ears and even the fur around the mouth. The wipes may even be used between bath times.
Dog tear stain chews
Supplements containing Lutein, cranberry, eyebright and eye brightening herbs like marshmallow and Oregon grape root can also strengthen your pet’s immunity and stimulate natural healing. These chews safely and effectively reduce eye gunk and subsequent tear stains. Best dog tear stain chews are from Angel’s Eyes®. These come in natural chicken flavor. You can also sprinkle the powdered chews on dog food and most dogs love their taste. On the downside, it has not helped several pets despite using for several weeks. You need to diligently administer the chews daily to see results.
Dog tear stain comb
Tear stain remover combs come with rounded bristles that do not hurt your pet’s eyes or skin. Use the comb on the fur underneath the eyes to remove dried crusts, mucus and eye gunk. Dog comb tear stain remover from Pets&Goods® consists of a set of two combs having large and small bristles. These gently remove crust and mucus from the corners of the pet’s eyes. You can easily and safely disinfect these combs. Professional groomers and vets also recommend these combs for dogs with tear stains.
Natural dog tear stain remover
The best natural dog tear stain remover comes from the brand Doctor4Paws®. This tear stain remover is made in the USA and is free from parabens, sulfates, and alcohol. Doctor4Paws® tear stain remover for dogs is easy to use: simply take required quantity on a sterile cloth or makeup-remover pad and wipe around your puppy’s eyes. It can also be safely used around the mouth to remove build-up caused by tear stains.
Tear stain eye wash pads
The dog tear stain cleaner from Miracle Care® consists of simple, pre-soaked, easy to use sterile eye cleaning pads. An advantage of using presoaked eye pads for cleaning tear stains from white furred dogs is that there is less wastage than using stain remover liquids from bottles with nozzles. They are fast, easy to use and effective. Miracle Care® eye pads for canine tear stains are thin and smooth in texture and proudly manufactured in the USA. They have worked well with Bichons, Maltipoos, Shih Tzus and even on white cats with tear stains.
Burt’s Bees tear stain remover for dogs
We love Burt’s Bees® products. They make two great tear stain remover products for dogs-grooming wipes and a dual combo of eye wash and all-natural tear stain remover. All three products have received great reviews from users. The wipes are multipurpose and can be used for all kinds of pet grooming. The chamomile tear stain remover and saline eye wash combination is PH balanced, sulfate free and all natural. On the downside, the eye wash-stain remover combo caused eye irritation in some pets. You must use the products diligently for at least 8 weeks to see results.
Tear stains on your fur baby can look like something serious, but they aren’t. The above products can help considerably lighten the stains so your pet can look gorgeous as ever.