If at some point in your life you’ve got something in your eye, or perhaps you have an allergy, then you know what eye discomfort means. Can you remember what happened when your eyes were irritated?
They started producing more tears than usual in order to cope with the foreign body – irritant, debris, dirt. That way, the foreign body was removed from the eye, and your eye was happy again.
Well, the same goes for dogs.
Tear stains are the result of excessive tear production, or on the other hand, insufficient tear drainage. But compared to the above-explained situation, in this case, the tearing doesn’t stop. This condition is known as Epiphora.
When there are too many tears, they don’t have anywhere to go but down the pet’s face, leaving red or brown stains.
But, how does this explain the change in the fur’s color? The discoloration of the dog’s coat is actually triggered by the buildup of a pigment called Porphyrin. This pigment is part of saliva, tears, and urine.
Tear Stains – What Cause Them?
Tear stains can be caused by different factors. Here are some of them:
• Allergies • Eye Infection • Ear infection • Poor diet • Very small tear ducts opening • Very large tear glands • Inverted eyelid • Eye disease • Poor diet • Stress • Genetics
The Difference Between Red and Brown Tear Stains
Many dog owners don’t know that red and brown tear stains mean a different thing. Red tear stains are just a slight annoyance and are caused by Porphyrin.
On the other hand, brown tear stains are more than just annoyance, as they point to a yeast infection. This infection happens when the area around the eyes is constantly wet due to excess tearing/insufficient tear drainage.
Another sign that indicates this infection is the unpleasant smell. Of course, if you notice any of these signs, go to the vet immediately.
In the meantime, don’t try natural home remedies or any other tips that you read on the Internet. Following these without hearing the opinion of your vet first may cause much more trouble.
Tear Stains in Puppies
If your pup has tear stains, there’s probably no reason to worry. Namely, excess tearing is normal in puppies during teething.
However, if you tend to worry too much, just take your pup to the vet and see what he’ll tell you. That way, you’ll be calm.
Is There a Rule When It Comes to Which Dogs Can Get Tear Stains?
No, there isn’t some rule that tells which breeds and when will get the tear stains.
All dogs can get tear stains, and this depends on many factors. Plus, all dogs are different. And of course, tear stains are easy to notice on white coats.
However, it’s true that certain breeds suffer from this problem more often, due to their genetics.
Let’s take brachycephalic dog breeds as an example. These dogs have a short nose and shallow eyes sockets. This means that their facial structure causes breathing problems.
The following are just some dogs that fall into this category:
Tear stains may look impossible to remove, but don’t worry about that. There’s actually a lot you can do to keep tear stains under control.
1. Clean your dog’s face
The first thing you have to do is keep your dog’s face as clean as possible. This includes cleaning his face a couple of times per day, with a soft and moist cloth.
In addition, you can use colloidal silver, wet wipes, and a dog tear stain remover if your vet agreed to. According to Dr. Becker, olive leaf, dandelion, milk thistle, and colostrum are great for reducing the staining.
Other than that, make sure to keep the fur on his face trimmed as this will reduce the tear stains. Clearly, a professional groomer should do that, not you.
2. Give your dog high-quality foods
You love paying attention to the food you eat, right? You try not to eat junk food and the foods that aren’t rich in nutrients.
Well, how about you do that for your dog as well, considering that he can’t go to the store and pick the healthy food himself?
We get it, a high-quality diet is much more expensive than a poor-quality one. But, in the end, is it really worth it?
We don’t think so because a poor diet will have many consequences on your dog’s health.
So, you’ll end up spending a bunch of money on his treatment. Not to talk about all the stress that goes with this kind of situation.
Thus, to avoid all the fuss and muss, feed your dog with a balanced and high-quality diet. Also, consult the vet as he will tell you which food is more appropriate for your dog.
Naturally, a high-quality diet will help reduce tear stains.
3. Switch to filtered water
We all know how awful tap water is – full of scale and God-knows-what-else. Do you think that your dog’s body loves having all those impurities? Of course not. So, switch to fresh, filtered water which is definitely much healthier for your dog.
4. Use appropriate food bowls
Plastic food and water bowls are the most popular choice for pets due to their low price and durability. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that plastic bowls are also good for your dog.
They often contain bacteria, especially if your dog’s been using the same ones for a long time. The bacteria can easily irritate your dog’s face, and cause skin problems.
Therefore, we suggest you choose the right way rather than the cheaper way and buy glass, stainless steel, and porcelain bowls. Your dog will certainly be thankful for that!
5. Don’t use these
Due to mistaken beliefs, some dog owners use the wrong products to remove tear stains. As expected, using these can cause a serious infection an even a lot of pain to your dog. So, using the following products is a big NO-NO.
• Topical apple cider vinegar (you can use this only orally) • Tums • Hydrogen peroxide • Milk of magnesia • Micellar water or any other kind of makeup remover • Powders that are made for humans • Corn syrup • Eye drops made for humans • Tear Stain Products which contain Tylosin Tartrate ***
*** In 2014, certain U.S. manufacturers were warned by the FDA to stop retailing tearstain products that contained Tylosin Tartrate. Otherwise, they would file a sanction against them. This was because Tylosin Tartrate wasn’t and still isn’t approved for cats and dogs.
The manufacturers that put this ingredient in their products were those who made Pets’ Spark, Angels’ Glow, Angels’ Eyes, Healthy Glow, and Glow Groom.
Instead of randomly buying tear stain products, first, read the label carefully.
Reducing and preventing tear stains can easily be done with this product if you use it on a daily basis.
When the tear stains are cleaned, there won’t be a breeding area for bacteria.
This tear stain remover has an all-natural formula thanks to which your dog’s skin will be soothed.
The combination of Lavender Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Garlic Extract will do wonders for your pet’s skin. The product doesn’t contain toxins, harsh chemicals, or irritants.
In addition, the application is fast and simple. Just pour a capful on a clean cloth and wipe the tear stains, making sure that the remover doesn’t get into your pet’s eyes. After you have cleaned his face, wipe it with a dry cloth to keep things under control.
Please keep in mind that this product cannot be used on pets that are less than 12 weeks old. Also, it won’t remove all the tear stains after the couple of uses.
All-natural formula keeps the stained area clean and fresh
Suitable for all dog breeds and cats
Doesn’t contain chemicals, irritants, and toxins
Easy to apply
Can’t be used on pets that are younger than 12 weeks
Won’t take the tear stains off immediately; you have to use it regularly
And we came to this very best tear stain remover for bulldogs. Meet the Squishface Wrinkle Paste – the tear stain remover that works!
If you have a French or English bulldog, then you struggle with cleaning his wrinkles, tail pocket, and on top of all, tear stains.
Well, what if we were to tell you that this product works great for all the three problems? Yup, that’s right.
The special formula ensures your dog’s skin and coat stay clean and healthy, providing a water-resistant barrier that keeps bacteria and fungus on distance.
The Wrinkle Paste has very few ingredients, hence it’s appropriate for sensitive dogs, old dogs as well as dogs that are susceptible to allergies. It also doesn’t have any smell, which is a bonus, especially if you don’t like experimenting with what smells your dog would like.
Without a doubt, this is a marvelous product. However, it does cost a bit and the tube is small. But, then again, it solves three problems instead of just one, so in a way, you save some money. We guess it all depends on how you look at it.
Ideal for cleaning bulldog’s wrinkles, tear stains and tail pockets
Appropriate for sensitive dogs, allergy-prone dogs, and old dogs
Well, congratulations! You finally came to the end of this article, and we truly hope that you learned something along the way.
To wrap it up, tear stains should NOT be taken for granted, because they can indicate an eye infection or disease. That’s why you should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice tear stains.
If everything’s fine with your dog, then your vet will probably tell you to use a dog tear stain remover and to change his diet into a high-quality one and other things we’ve mentioned above.
As for the products that we put on our list, each one is a good choice, it just depends on what your pup wants. Of course, you should choose the best tear stain remover for your dog.
Our favorite pick is the number one – the Arava Pet Eye Wipes. They are affordable, efficient, and practical. What’s more, they have a gentle formula that is ideal for all kinds of dogs including those with allergies and sensitive skin. So, it looks like, with this product, every dog will be happy.