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Eliminating Tear Stains in Dogs: Natural Remedies and Long-Term Solutions

Dogs are known to be our best friends, and are often described as loyal, loving, and playful. However, dogs are also prone to some health issues, and one of the most common ones among them is tear stains.

Tear stains are often seen around a dog’s eyes, and can make their face look dirty and unhealthy. In this article, we will discuss the causes of tear stains in dogs and how to prevent them.

Causes of Tear Stains in Dogs

Porphyrin Breakdown

Porphyrin is a pigment that is found in various body tissues, including the tears and saliva of dogs. When dogs produce too much of this pigment, it can lead to the development of tear stains.

Porphyrin breakdown occurs when this pigment is exposed to sunlight, and it turns a reddish-brown color. This is why tear stains often look brownish-red in color.

Health Issues

Tear stains can also be a sign of underlying health issues in dogs. Some of the health issues that can cause tear stains are infections, glaucoma, allergies, and poor diets.

Infections can cause inflammation of the eye, leading to excessive tear production and staining. Glaucoma is a condition that increases the pressure in the eye, and this can cause damage to the tear ducts, which can lead to tear staining.

Allergies can lead to excessive tear production, which can cause staining. Poor diets with high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates can also cause tear staining in dogs.

Preventing Tear Stains in Dogs

Eye Hygiene

One of the most effective ways to prevent tear stains in dogs is to maintain good eye hygiene. This involves trimming the hair around the eyes to prevent contact with the tears, using an eye wash to clean the area, and using an absorbent cloth to remove any excess tears.

Trimming the hair around the eyes will also prevent eye infections and reduce the chances of tear staining. The eye wash should be used regularly to prevent any buildup of bacteria and dirt around the eye area.

Using an absorbent cloth to remove excess tears will prevent them from drying on the fur, which can lead to staining.

Veterinary Care

Apart from maintaining good eye hygiene, it is essential to visit a veterinarian regularly for check-ups. A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and proper nutrition can also help prevent tear stains.

Your veterinarian can give you further advice and recommend specific products to help with tear stains. It is essential to stick to a recommended diet and not feed dogs human food, sugar, or carbohydrates, which can exacerbate tear staining.


In conclusion, tear stains can be a cause for concern for dog owners, but they can be prevented. Maintaining good eye hygiene, visiting a veterinarian regularly, and feeding dogs with a proper diet, are some of the most effective ways to prevent tear staining.

Tear staining is not harmful to your dog’s health, but it can make them look unhealthy. Taking proper care of your dog’s hygiene and health will ensure that they stay happy and healthy.

As a dog owner, its important to pay attention to your dogs health and appearance, as this can be an indicator of an underlying issue. While tear staining may seem like a minor issue, it can have a significant impact on your dog’s appearance and self-confidence.

In this article, we will explore additional information on tear stains in dogs, including treatment options and tear stains in specific breeds.

Fixing Tear Stains in Dogs

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available to fix tear stains in dogs. Some of these options include using tear stain removal drops, antibiotics, surgery, and lifestyle changes.

Tear stain removal drops can be used to help reduce the appearance of tear stains in dogs. These drops work by breaking down and removing pigmentation buildup.

You can purchase tear stain removal drops from your veterinarian or pet store. Its essential to use these drops as directed on the label to avoid any adverse effects.

Antibiotics can be prescribed by your veterinarian to treat an underlying infection that may be causing your dog’s excessive tearing. An infection can cause inflammation and irritation in the eye, leading to increased tear production and staining.

Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and possibly recommend further testing before prescribing antibiotics. Surgery is an option for dogs that have a severe case of tear staining.

Surgery involves redirecting the tear ducts to prevent excessive tearing and staining. This procedure is typically done under general anesthesia, and the recovery period may take a few weeks.

Lifestyle changes, such as switching to a high-quality diet and reducing exposure to allergens, can help reduce tear staining in dogs. It’s essential to avoid feeding dogs with food that contains high levels of sugars and carbohydrates, as these can promote the growth of bacteria, leading to tear staining.

Regular exercise and routine check-ups with a veterinarian can also help maintain your dogs overall health and reduce the likelihood of tear staining.

Regular Cleaning and Grooming

Regular cleaning and grooming can help reduce tear staining in dogs. This involves using a moistened washcloth or saline solution to clean around the eyes.

It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or products that may cause further irritation to your dog’s eyes. Another effective method of cleaning is using an eye flush.

An eye flush contains a sterile, isotonic saline solution that can help rinse away accumulated mucus and debris that contribute to tear staining. Eye flushes can be purchased online or at your local pet store, and its essential to follow the instructions on the label carefully.

Tear Stains in Specific Breeds

Brachycephalic Dogs

Brachycephalic dogs are short-nosed breeds, such as pugs, shih tzus, and bulldogs, that have prominent eyes. These breeds are more prone to tear staining due to their eye shape and tear duct structure.

The excess tears tend to flow down their face, leading to staining. The best way to avoid tear staining in these breeds is by paying extra attention to their eye hygiene, ensuring that they are regularly cleaned and groomed.

It’s also essential to contact your veterinarian if you notice excessive tearing, as this may be a sign of an underlying infection or condition.

Dogs with Long Hair

Long-haired breeds, such as Maltese and Shih Tzus, are more prone to tear staining due to their long hair that can block tear ducts or lead to abnormal tear ducts. This can cause overproduction of tears and lead to staining.

To prevent tear staining in these breeds, it’s important to make sure that hair around the eyes is kept short at all times and groomed often, especially if you notice that the hair is blocking the tear ducts or causing excessive tears. A veterinarian may also recommend surgery to correct a blocked tear duct, or other underlying health issues that contribute to tear staining.


Tear stains in dogs are a common issue that can result from various underlying conditions, breeds, and environmental factors. With proper hygiene, grooming, nutrition, and care, it’s possible to prevent, treat, and reduce the appearance of tear staining.

If you notice persistent or severe tear stains in your dog, it’s essential to reach out to a veterinarian for further advice and treatment. As dog owners, we want the best for our furry companions, and this includes their health and appearance.

Tear stains can be a significant concern for some dog owners, and they can be challenging to manage or eliminate. In this article, we will explore additional information on natural remedies for tear stains in dogs, as well as long-term solutions to reduce their reoccurrence.

Natural Remedies for Tear Stains

Nutritional Supplements

One effective way to reduce and eliminate tear stains in dogs is with the use of nutritional supplements. These supplements are designed to reduce tear stains by improving eye health and reducing tear production.

Some examples of nutritional supplements that reduce tear stains include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in sources such as salmon, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, and can help to reduce inflammation in the eyes.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to support immune function and can help to reduce the oxidative stress placed on the eyes. Probiotics can help to improve the digestive health of your dog and reduce the production of excessive tears that can cause tear staining.

Tylosin Antibiotic

An antibiotic called Tylosin can also be used as a natural remedy for tear staining in dogs. Tylosin is known to work by reducing the bacteria that are present in your dog’s gut that are responsible for excessive tear production.

This can help to reduce the likelihood of tear staining in dogs that have excessive tear production due to bacterial overgrowth. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before giving antibiotics to your dog, as they can have side effects, and it’s essential to avoid giving antibiotics unnecessarily.

Long-Term Solution for Tear Stains

Time for Fur Growth

If your dog has existing stained fur around their eyes, one long-term solution for reducing tear stains is to wait for the stained fur to grow out and be trimmed away. This can be a long process, as hair growth is typically slow, but it’s a natural way to reduce tear staining without the need for products or remedies.

In the meantime, it’s essential to keep the fur clean by washing with a mild shampoo and wiping the area with a damp cloth.

Continuous Remedies

Tear staining is often an ongoing issue for dogs, and it can be challenging to manage without the use of continuous remedies. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a regular eye hygiene routine and provide your dog with proper nutrition and care to prevent tear stains from recurring.

This includes regular grooming to trim the hair around the eyes and using a gentle eye wash or saline solution to remove any buildup of bacteria or dirt around the eyes. To prevent tear staining from reoccurring, it’s essential to avoid factors that contribute to excessive tear production or staining, such as feeding your dog a high-carbohydrate diet or exposing them to allergens.

Instead, focus on providing a balanced and nutritious diet for your dog that promotes eye and overall health. Regular exercise and routine check-ups with your veterinarian can also help maintain your dog’s health and reduce the likelihood of issues that contribute to tear staining.


Tear staining can be a persistent issue for dog owners, but with proper care and management, it’s possible to reduce and eliminate it. Natural remedies, such as nutritional supplements, can be effective in reducing tear stains, as well as maintaining good eye hygiene and providing proper nutrition and care for your dog.

Long-term solutions for reducing tear staining involve waiting for the stained fur to grow out or continuing to use remedies and care to prevent its reoccurrence. With the right approach and care, your dog can maintain a healthy and tear-stain-free appearance.

In conclusion, tear staining in dogs can be a common issue that impacts their appearance and self-confidence. With proper care and management, it is possible to prevent, reduce, and eliminate tear staining in dogs.

Natural remedies such as nutritional supplements, Tylosin antibiotics, and maintaining proper nutrition and hygiene can all play a role in reducing tear staining. Long-term solutions involve waiting for stained fur to grow out or continuing to use remedies and care to prevent reoccurrence.

As dog owners, it is essential to pay attention to our pet’s health and hygiene to ensure that they look and feel their best. By implementing the tips and information presented in this article, dog owners can help their furry companions maintain a healthy and tear-stain-free appearance.

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