Dog tear stains are one of the common causes of frustration among dog owners. Although it’s not a life-threatening condition, they are unattractive and may indicate other problems.
Eye stains are characterized by red or brown discoloration around your dog’s eyes. These marks are usually hard to remove.
Owners who constantly have to deal with their dog’s tear stains know the hassle of trying to get rid of them. That’s because it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of solution. A lot of dog owners have tried different solutions, but still to no avail.
If you’re wondering how to remove it, then keep reading to learn the most effective method to do so. In this article, In this article, we will look at what causes dog tear stains, and how to naturally remove them.
What are Dog Tear Stains?
As its name implies, tear stains are red or dark brown marks around your dog’s eyes that result from excessive tearing.
Red tear stains around your dog’s eyes indicate a buildup of porphyrin, the pigment found in tears. This results from the condition called Epiphora, wherein your pet cannot produce or drain tears normally.
As a result, the porphyrin–containing tears accumulate and leave a stubborn stain on your furry friend’s face.
On the other hand, stains that are dark brown or rust in color could mean a yeast infection. Since fungi like moisture, they were able to grow and thrive under your pet’s eyes due to the tears.
We’ve enumerated below the conditions that could cause excessive tearing and stains.
- Eye problems like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, and infections
- Shallow eye sockets
- Blocked tear drainage holes (puncta)
- Ingrown lashes or fur
- Irregular tear glands and ducts
- Exposure to irritants
- Inverted eyelids
- Unhealthy lifestyle
Is your dog prone to tear staining?
Many dogs experience tear staining. However, the discoloration may not be noticeable in dogs with a dark fur color. You have to look closely to determine any red or brown marks under your pet’s eyes.
In white or lightly-colored fur dogs, the stains are conspicuous, which is why owners tend to be alarmed.
Apart from the fur color, the risk of experiencing eye problems is another factor that could lead to it.
Dog breeds like Pugs, Shih-Tzus, Malteses, and Pekingese are likely to have tear stains because of their shallow eye sockets. These breeds also have problematic hair growth under the eyes.
Apart from these breeds, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels are also at risk of having eye stains due to blocked tear drainage ducts. As a result, their tears build up and spill on the fur under their eyes.
Step-by-Step Process to Remove Dog Tear Stains Naturally
They won’t put your canine friend’s life in danger. However, the stains could still bother and frustrate you, especially if your dog has a white or fair fur color.
Not only does tear stains make your pet look unattractive and unclean, but it’s also stubborn and challenging to remove.
If you’re a pet owner trying to treat stains under your dog’s eyes, you can try these natural ways to remove it.
It’s important that you clean your dog thoroughly first before giving him any treatment for the stains. This will get rid of any loose dust and dirt on your dog’s fur and ensure the effectiveness of tear stain removal.
You can bathe your pet on your own or take it to a grooming spa for professional deep cleaning. If you plan to DIY, you can use a whitening dog shampoo to wash and scrub the stained areas.
Cure the eye problem
If your dog tears excessively due to irritation, gently flush your pet’s eyes with clean water. If your dog has an ingrown eyelash or fur, you may need to trim its hair to prevent irritation.
In severe cases, you should consult with your veterinarian to provide you with professional advice and medication.
Create a natural brightening solution
One safe and effective way to remove dog tear stains is to regularly dab a brightening solution under your dog’s eyes. You can apply mild saline solutions to tear stains using a cotton pad.
You can also use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in a 1:4 ratio. However, this product is not advisable since hydrogen peroxide can hurt your pet’s eyes.
If you plan to use this solution, make sure that you only apply it below the eyes and not in it. Also, use warm water to rinse the solution afterward.
Daily application of a brightening solution could increase the chance of clearing your pet’s under-eye stains.
Changing your dog’s water
Many dog owners who have dealt with tear stains suggest switching to filtered water. They also recommend adding apple cider vinegar to your pet’s drinking water.
They believe that this method can control and prevent watery eyes and tear stains. These techniques are ideal if you think the cause of the stains is food dyes, teething, or blocked puncta.
Go to your vet
If none of the solutions we mentioned worked, you should go and consult your vet. That way, they can diagnose any medical or eye problem that your dog is suffering from.
Your vet will also discuss with you the cause of the tear stains and provide you with a concrete treatment plan.
Though this disease is not lethal, it’s a sign that you should pay attention to your pet. Make sure it has a healthy and clean lifestyle, and that it regularly visits its doctor.