Tear Stains on Dogs

icon June 26, 2024

Tear stains on dogs are a common issue that affects many breeds and can be a source of concern for pet owners. These stains appear as reddish-brown marks around the dog’s eyes and are particularly noticeable on light-colored fur. This article will delve into the causes of tear stains, how to remove them naturally, the role of diet, and preventive measures. We will also explore specific breeds prone to tear stains and the age at which they typically appear.

Tear Stains on Dogs

What Causes Tear Stains in Dogs?

Tear stains are primarily caused by excessive tear production (epiphora) and the subsequent accumulation of tears on the fur around the eyes. Several factors contribute to this condition:

1. Blocked Tear Ducts:
Blockages in the tear ducts can prevent tears from draining properly, leading to overflow.

2. Eye Infections:
Bacterial or fungal infections can cause excessive tearing.

3. Allergies:
Allergies to food, environmental factors, or grooming products can result in increased tear production.

4. Eyelid Abnormalities:
Conditions such as entropion (inward-turning eyelids) or ectropion (outward-turning eyelids) can cause irritation and tearing.

5. Genetics:
Some breeds are genetically predisposed to tear staining due to their facial structure and eye shape.

6. Poor Diet:
Certain diets can exacerbate tear staining by promoting tear production or changing tear composition.

How to Remove Dog Tear Stains Naturally

Removing tear stains naturally involves a combination of good hygiene practices and natural remedies:

1. Regular Cleaning:
Gently clean the area around your dog’s eyes daily with a damp cloth or cotton pad. Use distilled water to avoid introducing contaminants.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water can help balance pH levels and reduce tear staining.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide:
Dilute hydrogen peroxide (1 part peroxide to 10 parts water) and apply it carefully with a cotton ball, avoiding direct contact with the eyes.

4. Chamomile Tea:
Wipe the stained area with cooled chamomile tea, known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Coconut Oil:
Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the stained fur. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and can help keep the area clean and moisturized.

→Dog Tear Stain Remover:

dog tear stain remover


  • Helps dissolve compounds discharged from the eyes and eliminate colored dirt such as tear stains

  • Be of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory functions to clear eye fever, toxin, swelling and pain in eyes

  • Reduce excess secretions due to the obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct

  • Helps clean discharge from your pet's eye caused by allergies or other eye problems

  • Cost-effective, pain-free alternative to medicated eye drops

  • Veterinarian-recommended maintenance solution to keep your pet's eyes clean and prevent tear stains and other eye issues

  • Safe for all animals at all life stages

Coconut Oil for Dog Tear Stains

Coconut oil is a popular natural remedy for tear stains due to its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties. Here’s how to use it:

Use a clean cotton ball or your fingers to apply a small amount of coconut oil to the stained area.

Apply daily until the stains begin to fade. For maintenance, apply once or twice a week.

Additional Benefits:
Coconut oil can also improve overall skin and coat health, providing additional benefits beyond reducing tear stains.

How to Prevent Tear Stains on Dogs

Prevention of tear stains involves addressing the underlying causes and maintaining good hygiene:

1. Regular Grooming:
Keep the fur around your dog’s eyes trimmed to prevent irritation and accumulation of moisture.

2. Proper Nutrition:
Feed a high-quality, balanced diet to support overall health and reduce tear production.

3. Clean Water:
Ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times.

4. Eye Care:
Regularly check your dog’s eyes for signs of infection or irritation and clean them as needed.

5. Avoid Allergens:
Identify and eliminate potential allergens in your dog’s environment and diet.

What Foods Cause Tear Stains in Dogs?

Diet plays a significant role in tear staining. Certain foods can exacerbate the condition:

1. High-Grain Diets: Diets high in grains can lead to increased tear production and staining.

2. Artificial Additives: Foods containing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives can contribute to tear staining.

3. Low-Quality Ingredients: Poor-quality dog food with fillers and by-products can negatively impact tear production and overall health.

Dog Tear Stains Before and After

Addressing tear stains can lead to significant improvements in your dog’s appearance. Here are some steps to achieve noticeable results:

  • Initial Cleaning: Begin with thorough cleaning using natural remedies.
  • Consistent Routine: Maintain a regular cleaning and grooming routine.
  • Dietary Changes: Transition to a high-quality diet free from artificial additives and low-quality ingredients.
  • Before and After Photos: Take photos before starting treatment and periodically to monitor progress and effectiveness.

What Dog Breeds Get Tear Stains?

Certain breeds are more prone to tear staining due to their facial structure and eye anatomy. These include:

  • Poodles
  • Maltese
  • Bichon Frise
  • Shih Tzu
  • Bulldogs
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Pekingese
  • Pugs

These breeds often have prominent eyes and shorter nasal passages, leading to increased tear production and staining.

At What Age Do Dogs Get Tear Stains?

Tear stains can appear at any age but are more common in puppies and older dogs:

Tear stains often appear in puppies as their tear ducts develop and adjust. Puppy fur is also softer and more absorbent, which can make stains more noticeable.

Older Dogs:
Tear staining can become more prevalent in older dogs due to health issues, decreased grooming, or changes in diet.


Tear stains on dogs can be a nuisance, but understanding the causes and implementing natural treatments and preventive measures can significantly reduce their occurrence. By maintaining good hygiene, providing a proper diet, and addressing underlying health issues, pet owners can keep their dogs looking and feeling their best. Regular care and attention to your dog’s eyes can prevent tear stains from becoming a persistent problem, ensuring a happy and healthy pet.

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