Are White Dogs and Tear Stains Inseparable?

Are White Dogs and Tear Stains Inseparable?

Maltese, Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus… all adorable and all prone to brown tear stains around their eyes. The staining is by no means limited to these breeds of dogs; it can occur in many light colored dogs, but particularly the smaller breeds. The good news is that there are things you can do to leave your pampered pet stain-free.


As is often the case, the best way to treat the problem is to first determine the cause. The five most common causes of tear staining are:

1. Ear infections. If you notice a lot of tear stains that coincide with ear infections, the two are probably linked.

2. Red yeast. Excess tearing turns the wet fur around the eyes into a breeding ground for bacteria, of which the most common is red yeast, hence the brownish tinge to the stains.

3. Blocked tear ducts. Some breeds of small dog are prone to blocked tear ducts which can cause excessive tearing.

4. Allergies. Cigarette smoke, certain shampoos, and chemicals are just some the irritants that can make the eyes water. Alternatively, an allergy to something internal, ie. food, can also cause tearing.

5. Water. It sounds so simple but drinking water is also the easiest cause of tear staining to overlook. Depending upon the mineral content in your local water supply, staining around the face may occur.


Although there are various antibiotics, steroids, and other medications that can be prescribed to treat tear staining, since it can be on ongoing problem, it is better to treat the source of the problem with natural products . A natural remedy may take a little longer to show results but it will be better for your dog in the long run.

First, if you think your pet’s drinking water may be the source of the problem, switch to using distilled water. Also be sure to avoid allergens where possible.

Some pet owners have found that using supplements to change the pH value of the actual tears can help by creating a hostile environment for yeast. Antacids or any other calcium carbonate tablets may help, as may a teaspoon of white cider vinegar in your pet’s drinking water. Be warned that vinegared drinking water will definitely take some time to get used to, so if you choose to try this method, introduce the vinegar slowly, gradually increasing the amount.

Be sure to keep your dog’s ears clean to prevent infections which can lead to staining.

One of the most effective treatment methods is to take a two-pronged approach – using wipes to clean the face and a nutritional supplement to build up the body’s defenses from within. The Eyepack from Happytails Canine Spa Line includes a pack of Eyepads , containing colloidal silver, golden seal and eyebright, to wipe away tear stains without harsh chemicals. Also included is the Eyemunity nutritional supplement, a blend of enzymes, herbs and epicor to add to your dog’s food to strengthen their immune system. Using both together has been shown to have great results and returns your pet’s face to its natural gleaming white condition.

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  1. Another thing that helps with the treatment/prevention of the tear stains is pumpkin in their diet.

  2. I am a dog trainer and I have a long haired chihuahua puppy that has a tear stain under one eye, my groomer said to put one teaspoon of Brewers yeast (the kind you get at the grocery store not the pet store) in her food each day.

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