Tear stains are normal and is actually common condition that all dogs have. But why does this happen? Simply put, dogs’ tears contain something called porphyrins – these are dye molecules that contain iron and are produced when their body breaks down red blood cells – which are then secreted through their tears. But they are not only found in tears, porphyrins are also found in their urine, bile, and saliva. That’s why you can also see brownish stains in their groin areas and other parts where they lick or chew excessively.
They are pretty common occurrences in adult dogs, but more so on puppies because they produce more tears when they’re on their teething stage.
Excessive tearing, however, may have underlying medical conditions. If it occurs on your dog in a way that looks irregular, then you have to pay a visit to the veterinarian for professional advice. Bacterial formation and infections are a few reasons why dogs tear up excessively. Allergies and abnormal-length eyelashes can also be reasons, so observe their environment and reactions to gain more information on your dog.
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Is it necessary to clean up tear stains?
Tearing doesn’t really affect a dog’s daily life that much. But if left alone, it may lead to a build-up of mucus and crusted tears that may irritate their skin. It also results in a dirty look that is not flattering for you dog. Especially for white-coated dogs, like the Maltese and Bichon Frisé.
These stains can be an unattractive feature that will frustrate owners. Not only do dog tears matt the fur around their eyes, it also leaves a brownish stain that soils their coats. Keep them clean and looking pretty by maintaining the natural color of their furs.
How to control or prevent the appearance of tear stains from your dog
Here are a few solutions to lessen their tears and prevent more from staining their fur.
Diet and Supplements
High-quality dog food will always be beneficial for your dog health-wise, but they’re also great for tear reduction. If they have high-grade food to couple with daily grooming, it guarantees a decrease in the tear that they produce. Also, you might want to check the water that they drink. If it is high in iron or mineral content, it’s better to change them to bottled or filtered water.
There are also dog supplements that market themselves as tear stain reducers. Of course, you need to consult with your veterinarian first before administering these supplements to your dogs.
If your dog has excessive tears that may be caused by a bacterial infection, see a professional to get it checked. They will give you antibiotics that may reduce this tearing and make it easier for you to clean up. It won’t remove them completely, but it will definitely help lessen it.
If you use plastic bowls for food and water, replace them with more durable materials like stainless steel, glass, or porcelain. Cracks in a plastic bowl may harbor bacteria that can worsen their tear production.
Regular Cleaning and Hygiene Maintenance
Regular cleaning and grooming are the best and safest solution to reducing your dog’s tears, as well as the brownish color that stains their fur.
Cleaning the mucus that they excrete with tear stain removal solutions and wipes are safe methods to remove this build-up. Trimming the hair around their eyes is also a way to reduce their tearing and the area you would have to clean.
Types of Tear Stain Removers
Cleansers and Solutions
Cleansers and solutions with mild boric acid, which are usually found in contact lens solutions, as well as liquid vitamin C are good ingredients to look for in an effective tear stain remover. They lighten the poryphrin in the tears and reduce the stain that will form on their fur.
Using eye drops or cotton dipped in the formula are gentle ways to administer it to their eyes.
There are wipes available in the market that are already saturated with a cleansing formula. Not only will it clean their fur of any dried mucus and tears, it also helps distribute a formula that would help retrieve the natural color of your dog’s fur.
Combs are great for de-mattifying a dog’s fur that has clumped together due to dried mucus or tears. After using a solution to soften the matted fur, you can thin it out with a comb and get out the clumps that have formed. They might not remove the stain completely, but for any build up of dried mucus or tears, the comb is an essential tool to use.
These are constructed to be like the combs you use to weed out ticks and fleas from your dog’s fur. Only use this comb for tear stain purposes.
Powder and Brushes
There are tear stain removers that come in powder form. Usually these come with an applicator brush to help you spread it evenly along the dog’s fur. It also helps coat the surrounding fur with the stains so they can sit properly on each strand and let them do all the work.
Dry tear stain cleansers are the “leave-on” type, where you have to leave them on the dog’s fur until you need to re-apply them.
Homemade Tear Stain Removers
A home remedy for tear stain removal is a recipe that should not include makeup removers or any similar products with harsh chemicals – like Tylosin or hydrogen peroxide – because it may irritate their eyes and make their tearing worse.
A small amount of mild boric acid, liquid vitamin C, or artificial tears to wipe on the stains are a few ways to remove them naturally, although it may take some time before any change happens.
Apple cider vinegar is also one of the home remedies that some dog owners swear to. A bit of apple cider vinegar is mixed to their food or water as a remedy that is administered orally. But since dog breeds have differing biological structures, this method may or may not work on your dog. It is better to ask your veterinarian for their opinion first.
So what method should you use for removing tear stains?
The easiest approach for removing tear stains is using eye drops. They are liquid formulas that you can pour onto a cotton ball or dip a Q-tip into which you use to wipe on the stains and your dog’s eyes.
You can start with using these liquid drops, but if you’ve observed that it doesn’t work for your dog, there are still plenty of methods you can choose from.
What is the Best Tear Stain Remover for Dogs?
Best Tear Stain Remover Eye Drops for Dogs – Arava Pets Eye Wipes
The Arava Pet Eye Wipes is a liquid formula that includes 100% natural ingredients that is gentle to your dog’s eyes. They can be administered through cotton balls or the accompanying wipes that the company also sells.
Not only does this product reduce tearing, the Arava Pet Eye Wipes also whitens any fur that is stained with reddish/brown because of their tears. This formula is best to use for 4-8 weeks regularly for outstanding results.
There are a lot of other benefits that the Arava gives your dog. It claims to be anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and hypoallergenic. Now, that is definitely a tear stain remover suitable for any dog breed.
- 100% natural ingredients that is safe for dogs of any breed
- Reduces tearing and removes tear stains through regular application
- Hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory
- Can also be used for saliva stains around the mouth
- Nourishing formula that is healthy for dog’s fur
Best Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs – Petpost Tear Stain Remover Wipes
If you’d like a tear stain remover that also comes with wipes, then this is the product you want. The Petpost Tear Stain Remover Wipes includes 100 pieces of pre-saturated wipes that you can easily pull off its container.
Their wipes are soft and easy on the skin, with a formula that includes Juniper Berry and Coconut Oil extracts. It is capable of removing stains and keep them from forming on your dog’s fur. Its formula can also break down crusted mucus and tears so they can be wiped off easily.
The company is committed to protecting the environment so they use recyclable materials for their packaging.
- Has ingredients with fruit extracts that are easy on the skin
- Wipes make the formula easy to use and administer
- By having individual pieces, you can control how much you use on your dog
- Can remove tear stains and even prevent them from forming
- Softens crusted mucus and tears to make it easy to wipe off
Best Tear Stain Solution and Brush Set for Dogs – Always Bright Eyes Liquid Tear Stain Application
The Always Bright Eyes is a set of tear stain removal products that can be used on their own or in sequence. Both the powder and liquid formula contains non-harmful and natural ingredients that are suitable for dogs and cats.
This set comes with a set of brushes for easier application. The liquid formula is great for breaking down the dried mucus or crusts that formed around their eyes, while the dry formula is used after the liquid solution. A brush is used to cover the stained fur with the powder and should be left on the pup for a few minutes. This will help bring back its original color, which is especially good for dogs with previously clean, white coats.
- Has both liquid and powder formula for best results
- Both formulas have non-harmful and natural ingredients
- Has applicator brushes included
- A few weeks of regular use will work wonders on a dog’s fur
- Removes tear stains and prevents them from forming again
Best Smelling Tear Stain Remover with Natural Ingredients – TropiClean Tear Stain Remover
For an essential tear stain remover that does that and more, then the TropiClean is the way to go! The gentle formula that TropiClean uses for their tear stain remover can also be used for their whole face.
The TropiClean Tear Stain Remover is a dog facial cleanser that removes stains, dirt, dried mucus, and has a fantastic smell of blueberries and vanilla. You can use this anytime since this is an all-around cleanser made for all dog breeds of any age.
The formula they use have natural plant and fruit extracts, like vanilla, blueberry, and coconut oil that effectively removes dirt and crusted mucus. It also has a tearless feature as an added benefit.
- Tear stain remover that doubles as facial cleanser
- Gentle to the skin and has a wonderful smell
- Removes mucus as well as dirt from a dog’s face
- Made for all dog breeds of any age
- Made from natural extracts and ingredients
- Has tearless feature but should be used as instructed
Best Stay-On Powder for Tear Stain Removal and Prevention – Eye Envy Powder
An easy solution to clean and prevent the stain around your dog’s eyes would be to use the Eye Envy Powder. This powerful, anti-bacterial formula has gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your dog’s eyes when applied around or near it.
After a few weeks of continuous use, the Eye Envy Powder will successfully rid your dog of tear stains and clean fur will follow. This powder will only work if the area is clean of fresh tears or mucus, patted dry, and covered with the Eye Envy Powder. Leaving it on will nurture their fur thoroughly and slowly lighten the color of the affected fur. You can easily apply it with your finger if you don’t have any applicator.
- Powerful but gentle powder formula
- “Stay-on” powder that removes and prevents tear stains
- Easy to apply and effective through continuous use
- Anti-bacterial ingredients that helps lessen tearing
- Has a pearly white color that will look invisible on white fur
- Great for dog breeds with white coats