Posted on: November 26, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 2

That poor pooch looks like it’s crying a river! Those brown, sticky tear stains you see that often form around a dog’s eyes are unpleasant for the pooch, and make them look much sadder than they usually are. Properly known as epiphora, these marks show up whenever there’s too many tears on the dog’s face.

Dogs generally cry for different reasons than people do, and it’s more of a protective mechanism than an indication of sadness. Most of the time, tears will flow from a dog’s eyes to help deal with irritation or inflammation. Since they can’t rub their eyes like humans can, the only way to deal with the problem is to cry it out.

White dogs especially are more prone to these kinds of stains since it shows up much darker on their fur, but that doesn’t mean dark coloured dogs don’t get them either. In this article, we’ll go over some of the ways to get rid of your dog’s tear stains by wiping them away, and bringing back the smiles of your happy dog!

1. Wipe it

This probably seems like common sense, but the easiest way to get rid of these stains is to properly wipe them away. Soaking a cloth in water and wiping the fur doesn’t always cut it though, so you might have to try something a bit more intensive.

Try mixing a 10 percent hydrogen-peroxide/90 percent water solution together, then wipe away those tear stains. You don’t have to rub too hard, and doing so will only make your dog more uncomfortable. When scrubbing, make sure not to get any of the solution in your dog’s eyes; that’s only going to burn and cause more discomfort for them.

After you’ve scrubbed away the stains and can’t see them anymore, rinse out the hydrogen peroxide with water, again making sure not to get any in their eyes. Obviously this doesn’t solve the problem permanently, so you’re going to have to be careful about cleaning regularly.

Another option you can use is a simple solution of warm water and lemon juice or salt. These two elements make great cleaners for many things, and you can add dog tear stains to that list.

2. Clip it

Sometimes the issue is simply that the dog has too much hair close to their eyes. This can particularly be a problem when you have a shaggy dog, so it wouldn’t hurt to give their whole body a bit of grooming to even out the amounts of fur on their body.

If you just want to get rid of the stains around their eyes, you can take little trimmers and pick away at the fur around their eyes. Before diving in with the trimmers, try to make them as comfortable as possible so they don’t make any sudden movements while cutting. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is accidently poke your dog with a sharp object.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can visit a pet grooming store who has staff that specialize in this kind of grooming.

3. Cover it

If you’re part of the show-dog community, this might be the best temporary fix for you. There are simple solutions you can make right out of your kitchen that will provide temporary cover up for those tear stains.

One simple paste you can make to clean the fur is made of corn flour, water, and bleach. Boil some water, then add a small drop of cornstarch and bleach. Scrub it into the stained area and let it sit for 10 minutes. After the time is up, rinse it off with warm water. Always make sure never to get any of these liquids into the dog’s eye.

Something you want to avoid using are dyes or cover-ups. This can stain the fur permanently and it is very hard to find the right colour that will match with the rest of your pet’s fur.

4. Vet it

If you’ve tried all the above methods but nothing seems to be doing the trick, you should take your dog to the vet to see if it’s something more serious bothering them.

Sometimes you might not be able to determine the root of the problem yourself, so it could take closer inspection to see what the issue is. Veterinarians will always know best whether you can deal with the problem at home, or if a more serious solution is needed.

Most vets will actually suggest that you avoid using tear stain removing products, as they don’t always work and can cause a lot of harm to the eye if it gets in there.

5. Treat it

If the problem is minor enough, you might be able to solve it yourself by doing a simple flush out of the eyes with warm water. They might not appreciate you pouring water in their eyes, but it’ll make them feel better in the long run.

A more serious cause to the problem might be a foreign object in the tear duct, causing irritation or blockages. If this is the case, you’re going to want to see a veterinarian and might even have to have them undergo surgery to get the object out.

Another reason they might need surgery is if the passage from the eyes to the nose is blocked. When people cry, you probably notice that they usually have to blow their nose. There is a direct path from the tear duct to the nose, and when it gets blocked there’s no other place for the tears to go but out the eyes. This usually means more tears and more tear stains, so a surgery might be needed to open up that pathway again.

Whether you have a show dog and want it looking its best, or just have a sad looking pooch that you want to look happy these options are all great solutions to help get rid of dog tear stains. Bring out those happy eyes again, and treat your dog well!

2 People reacted on this

  1. If you want to remove tear stains the natural way, try Naturally Tearfree Canine. All ingredients are FDA approved and it is very affordable. You will start noticing the results in 2 weeks. Sprinkle on your dog’s food and it solves the issue. Google the company for more information. It is safe and works great!

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