Dog Tear Stain Treatment

Dog Tear Stain Treatment

Anyone with a white or light coloured dog will know about the common problem of tear stains. It happens when a brown or red discolouration appears just below the eyes. Tears are formed to keep eyes free from irritants. Normally tears drain through the nasolacrimal duct into the nose and down the throat. However, when this duct gets blocked, tears flow from the eyes instead. There are many dog tear stain treatments available, but success rates vary and you might have to try a few before you find one that really works.

Tear Stain Treatment For Dogs


The medical term for inability to drain tears is known as Epiphora. 


Dog tear staining in dogs is a common problem, however if the stains have an offensive smell or appear suddenly it is time to visit the vet. 

Health Concerns From Tear Staining Include:



Eye Infection

Ear Infection

Inverted Eyelid

Ingrown Eyelash


Reasons For Increased Tear Production

As mentioned before, the problem occurs when ducts are blocked. This can happen when tear production increases, as in the following :-

  1. Tear ducts can be irritated by eyelashes or fur around the eyes.
  2. Shallow eye sockets and short noses seen in Brachycephalic dog breeds can increase production of tears.
  3. Allergies may also affect tear production.
  4. Teething puppies are prone to over production of tears.


Porpyhyrin is the pigment found in tears which stains fur under the eyes.


Top Tip 1

Replace your dog’s drinking water with filtered water. In the past this has completely solved a problem I had with my Chihuahua’s tear stains. Allergens and chemicals in tap water can irritate tear ducts.


Tear Stain Treatments - Dog Breeds

Dog Breeds Known To Suffer From Tear Staining

Bichon Frise



Cocker Spaniel

Lhasa Apso

Shih Tzu



Boston Terrier



Tear Staining


Natural Treatments For Tear Staining

Mild cases can be treated by simply wiping under the dogs eyes with a slightly damp tissue. This may need to be done more than once a day.

Rub organic coconut oil gently into the fur under the eye area. This acts as a barrier and stops the tear stains sinking into the fur. Try this everyday for two weeks and use daily if there is an improvement.

Coconut oil for dogs

Add a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water every day. This will prevent yeast infections and balance PH  levels. Apple cider vinegar can also be used diluted with filtered water to clean under the eye area.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs

Be Wary Of Over The Counter Products

Check out these  tear staining products from Amazon. Before buying, check ingredients and choose products with natural properties.

Please don’t put harsh chemicals close to your dogs eyes.

Top Tip 2

Replace plastic dog bowls with stainless steel or ceramic. Plastic bowls can harbour nasty bacteria.

Tear Stain Treatment In Dogs

Top Tip 3

Treat your dog from the inside out by giving high quality food.

Many cheap dog food brands use ‘fillers’ like grain to food. These fillers are used to add bulk to the food but do not contain any nutritional value. Check the ingredients on commercial dog food packaging for grains, additives and preservatives. Try to give your dog a natural, balanced diet.


Dog tear staining is a common problem in certain dog breeds.

If stains appear suddenly or smell offensive check with your vet.

When health problems have been ruled out, try the natural solutions mentioned above.

Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls and change to filtered water.

Look at your dog’s diet, if necessary change to a higher quality food.

Only use treatments with chemicals after consulting a vet.

Additional Reading

Eye Contact In Dogs

Cataracts In Dogs

Does your dog suffer from tear stains?

Have you found any effective treatments, please let me know in the comments below.



Leave a Reply

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: