Home Remedies for Dog Tear Stains

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If you own a white or light-colored pooch, then you probably already know how hard it is to keep their coat clean. To make matters worse, they suffer from staining of the face. Some breeds seem to get the worst of it over others, but the condition can get quite noticeable. To get a handle on the situation, consider using home remedies for dog tear stains.

What is Tear Staining?

Tear staining takes place when hair starts to wick moisture from the eyes. While many different dog breeds experience tear staining, it is a common occurrence amongst canines with hair that normally falls from the top of the head and rests in the eye region, such as the Maltese, Lhasa Apso, or Shih Tzu. Dogs with heavy wrinkles, such as the Shar Pei are also susceptible. Dog tear stains are typically reddish brown in color.

Other hair coat stains associated with dogs can take place in areas other than the eyes. Water stains also take place when minerals in the water discolor facial hair in the whisker, beard, and mouth regions. If the water drips from their chins, the chest and front legs may become stained. Foods with color additives can also stain hair in the mouth area.

Tear staining commonly also affects the faces of Maltipoos, Bichon Frise, Papillion, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, as well as cat breeds, such as Persians, Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, Devon Rex, and Scottish Folds.

Causes and Symptoms

Tear staining is commonly caused by health, diet, and genetics (such as the eye structure of a certain breed). In the worst cases, some dogs also experience excessive tearing of the eyes. When the dog’s face is constantly damp, bacterial and yeast growth can lead to a condition known as ‘red yeast.’ A noticeably unpleasant odor can develop. Tear ducts could become infected if a canine has excessive tearing and staining.

Dog Tear Stain Home Remedies

When using home remedies for dog tear stains, keep in mind to carefully mix your treatments with the appropriate strength of each ingredient. You do not want to harm your dog by using too much of a specific ingredient. Also, avoid splashing remedies into your pet’s eyes. To get you started, consider the following suggestions for canine tear stains:

a) Apple Cider Vinegar:

Add ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl every day for one month to treat tear stains. The vinegar is known for its purifying qualities. Repeat this treatment once every two months to see continued results. You may also use apple cider vinegar as a rinse after bathing your companion. Carefully pour a 50/50 mix of warm water and vinegar over the body – making sure to avoid contact with the eyes. Rinse well with water.

b) Yogurt:

The probiotics found in yogurt can be used as a supplement for your tear-stained dog. This remedy will boost their immune system and remove toxins from the body. Choose low-fat plan, organic yogurt.

c) Air Filter:

If you keep your home free of dust, you can avoid some of the excessive tearing of a pet. It is recommended to change air filters every three months.

d) TUMS:

To prevent or treat yeast or infections associated with tear staining, you can use TUMS to affect the pH levels of your dog’s system. As a high source of calcium, TUMS can change the pH of the tears, which repels yeast growth. Administer ½ fruit-flavored tablet to your dog two times per day to see results.

e) White Vinegar:

Add one teaspoon of white vinegar to your pet’s drinking water to control new tear stains, as this remedy also changes pH levels. Use white vinegar to reduce the damage of deep stain colors.

f) Milk of Magnesia/ Cornstarch/ Hydrogen Peroxide:

Use these common household products to remove tear staining of dogs. Mix an equal amount of plain white milk of magnesia with hydrogen peroxide. Add a bit of cornstarch to make a paste. Place the remedy on the stains and let dry for four hours. Wash out of the coat and condition well. Allow a couple of days to see a difference in your dog’s tear stains.

g) Bottled Water:

Since the minerals in tap water can stain the facial hair of dogs, it is suggested to choose options with a low mineral content, such as bottled or purified waters.

h) Routine Grooming:

Get in the habit of frequent grooming of your pet, such as clipping the hair around the eye region to reduce excessive tearing and stains.

i) Warm Washcloth:

Every morning and every night, use a warm washcloth to wipe the eye areas of your pet. The goal is to keep the region clean and dry as much as possible.

j) Cornstarch:

To whiten up a dog’s coat, some people will rub in cornstarch to stains.

k) Regular Bathing:

To keep the eye region clean, routinely bathe your dog’s face. Use your fingertips to carefully apply shampoo on the stains. Rinse the soap away from the face and eyes after washing, and make sure to thoroughly dry.

l) Baby Wipes:

Remove dog tear stains with baby wipes. Repeat this remedy several times in a day to see the best results – starting in the morning and ending off at night. Position the wipe just below the eye and move downward until the stained area is clean.

m) Baby Powder:

Apply a small amount of baby powder to your dog’s eye region after applying a wet treatment to thoroughly absorb any leftover moisture.


[1] http://www.bulldogsworld.com/health-and-medical/tear-stain-causes-and-removal-options