The basic reason dogs have tear stains on their face is because they are shedding tears instead of the tears draining properly into their tear ducts. There can be other reasons for dogs to have tears. Short-nosed breeds often have shallow eye sockets which cause the normal tears to fall out onto the dog’s face. In some cases a dog will have excess tearing because he has hair around his eyes that irritate them or which “wick” the tears out of the eyes and onto the face. There are also some other reasons due to eye structure or eye problems such as an eye infection or glaucoma, or an irritation caused by an eyelash rubbing against the eye.

All dogs can have tears on their face but staining is most noticeable if you have a white dog.  This is because the tears will come in contact with bacteria or red yeast on your dog’s face and produce a reddish stain that is easy to see on a white dog.

Depending on the reason why your dog has tear stains, there are often ways to minimize their appearance. If your dog has tear stains because he has shallow eye sockets, such as with the short-nosed breeds, you can’t change the shape of his eye sockets, but you can do some things to keep the stains at bay. If your dog has tear stains because of a constant eye irritation, you can keep the hair around his eyes trimmed and see a vet about any eye infection or glaucoma.

If your dog has tear staining because of a problem with eyelashes that turn in or an eyelid problem, there are some surgical options. You can talk to your vet about what he or she might be able to do to fix the problem.

You can make the tear stains less noticeable in the following ways:

  • Antibiotics: Some owners use tetracycline or tylosin to reduce or eliminate tear stains. It’s probably not a good idea to use these antibiotics indefinitely since they can lead to drug-resistant bacteria in some cases.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Many owners swear by apple cider vinegar added to food and drinking water to reduce or eliminate tear stains. They use raw apple cider vinegar from a product that still has the “mother” in the jar. They add a tablespoon a day to the dog’s food or water. The acidity in the apple cider vinegar is supposed to keep the tears from staining when they come in contact with any bacteria on the dog’s face. It’s a theory anyway.  Some people like to add ½ to a whole Tums to their dog’s food each day. Like the apple cider vinegar, the Tums will change the pH in your dog’s tears slightly and stop the tear stains.
  • Distilled Water: According to many people, giving your dog distilled water to drink can help eliminate tear staining.
  • Grooming Products. There are many grooming products you can use to remove or whiten tear stains. You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean the tear stains off your dog’s face. There are also products made specifically for tear stains which work for some dogs. Angel Eyes is popular with many owners.
  • Wash your dog’s face: You should wash your dog’s face on a daily basis, making sure to gently remove any staining under the eyes. Be careful to clean around the eyes and examine them for any problems.

You may not be able to stop  your dog’s tears but you should be able to make any stains less noticeable by using one of these methods.

Why Is It That Pets Get Tear Stains?

Tear Stains can be unattractive and can actually have an affect on your dog’s physical condition. Many breeds of dogs and even kittens can end up with tear stains. Tear stains seem to be most obvious on pups that have light colored hair. What many puppy owners do not know, is that these types of stains may be attributed to Epiphora, a condition having to do with the tear ducts that causes excessive tears. Epiphora is often brought on by your pet’s response to toxins such as infection, allergies, medical conditions, or lack of a suitable diet. The output of tears is the way in which your dog rids their body of poisons. Another way epiphora might be triggered is when the animal’s tear ducts are obstructed by a foreign object or eyelash. Even the structure of a dog’s eye lids could cause eye watering. Once the tears build up in your dog’s coat, yeast can flourish. Red Yeast is the most popular offender, and it could produce a foul scent. There are several treatment methods to help treat a canine’s tear spots. You need to speak to your veterinarian before attempting any remedies. It might even be worthwhile to consult with an optometrist.

Tear Stain Treatments

If you do not feel comfortable giving your pet medicine, you can consider various natural treatments to remove tear spots. Try giving your canine natural spring water as opposed to using tap water, since there might be a fewer amount of enzymes that might trigger tear stains. Additionally you can place a tiny amount of white vinegar to modify the acidity of the drinking water to restrict microbe development. Consider switching your canine’s food intake by checking out his normal food to see if there might be any ingredients that could be triggering health concerns. Make sure to thoroughly clean your canine’s water dish regularly by cleaning it with very hot water. Keep your pet away from contaminants including vet, fungus, or other toxins. There are different treatments that can be used to scrub or brighten present tear discolorations from hair like peroxide thickened with flour.

While tear duct surgical procedures can be costly as well as invasive, they can permanently cure tear staining by getting to the reason behind the problem. A veterinarian may recommend dog eye drops in some instances. Another option is to incorporate Angels Eyes tear stain remover in your pet’s food. Angels Eyes will prevent your puppy from getting bacterial contamination that induce increased tearing and staining. It is best to try out the most effective and least obtrusive solutions for starters. Always speak to your vet before you start your pooch on any treatment plan.