We can all agree that dogs are some of the cutest animals there are.
These adorably cute animals with their round heads, soft fur, cute faces, and big beautiful eyes are usually soothing and appealing sights. Talking of beautiful eyes, you want to ensure their eyes are devoid of those reddish-brown streaks that often stain the areas beneath the eyes.
Tear stains in dogs aren’t cute. Are they?
You’re probably wondering why these tear stains are common in dogs and how you can prevent them for your pooch. We’ve got you covered. This post answers these and some of the more common questions you might have about dog tear stains.
Understanding the causes of dog tear stains
According to WebMD, excessive tearing in the dog’s eyes is usually due to irritation in the dog’s eyes or your dog’s inability to drain tears properly.
In the same way that a human’s eyes will water if an irritant comes in contact with the eyes, your dog’s eyes will also water (with tears) to rid the eyes of irritants. When the dog’s eyes are continuously exposed to these irritants, chronic tearing might occur.
While there are small holes in the eyes to drain off these tears, problems with this biological drainage could affect proper draining of the tears causing it to spill to the skin areas beneath the eyes, ultimately staining these areas.
Now that you understand what’s happening behind the scenes when a dog is suffering from tear stains, it’s also important to know the specific conditions that trigger this in dogs.
DogLovesPoint says a wide range of environmental, medical, dietary, and genetic conditions could cause excessive tearing in dogs. Some of these include;
- Viral and bacterial infections to the eyes or ears.
- Medical conditions like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, etc.
- Exposure to dust, smoke, allergens, and other irritants.
- Genetic conditions include excessively large tear glands, unreasonably small tear duct openings, ingrown hair and eyelashes around the eyes, inverted eyelids, shallow eye sockets, and entropion.
- Poor diet can also cause dog tear stains as well as excessive stress and teething in puppies.
How to prevent stains
Dog tear stains are more prominent on white dogs, but they can also be an eyesore even on dogs with dark hair tones. To prevent this from causing a nuisance beneath your dog’s eyes, you have to take the extra step to prevent it from happening in the first place.
So, how do you prevent dog tear stains?
Placing your dog on a healthy and nutritious diet can help.
Along with clean, purified, or distilled water, you also have to ensure your dog’s food is of the topmost quality, is grain-free, and incorporates vegan dietary sources. Low-quality dog foods with too many filler ingredients will not just cause excessive tearing for your dog but can also impact their health in the long run.
Secondly, along with a high-quality diet, you should also ensure proper hygiene.
Simple daily face grooming, among other things, can help. You can try some of the great canine eyewash solutions out there for use around and underneath the areas below your dog’s eyes. To wash the muzzle hair, consider using a waterless or dry shampoo along with a wet washcloth. You should also consider trimming the hairs around the eyes regularly to avoid these hairs irritating the eyes.
Also, adding food additives like organic apple cider vinegar, buttermilk powder, mild antibiotics, and probiotic enzymes like I-Stain, can help keep tear stains under control.
How to clean and remove stains
The steps above work best when you need preventative measures to avoid tear stains. But things are slightly different if your dog is already suffering from tear stains.
If that’s your situation, consult your veterinarian.
Along with getting the best dog foods to prevent tear stains, there are a few things you can do to help you clean and remove the tear stains from your dog’s fur.
One of these includes buying dog tear stain removal products, many of which are often available for purchase online. But it’s always advisable to be cautious here as many of these products with expensive price tags often have little to no impact in removing the stain.
Aside from already-made products, you can also try wiping the dog’s muzzle with a mild hydrogen peroxide mixture. Visine also seems to work. You want to avoid these getting into the dog’s eyes as you apply them to the fur in both cases.
Many dog parents have found success with the above methods, and some have reported that this helps lighten the stain significantly to a level where it hardly becomes noticeable. Other pet parents have also reported using natural remedies like coconut oil or apple cider vinegar to remove tear stains from their dogs. However, there is little to no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these.
Dog breeds at higher risk of tear stains
While dog tear stains are common in dogs, they are more common in certain breeds than others. Dog breeds like Maltese, Pugs, Shih-Tzus, and Pekingese are more at risk. These short-nosed dog breeds often have shallow eye sockets or hair growth in the skin around the eyes. They are also unable to shut off their eyelids completely while sleeping. All of these factors can cause excessive tearing and stains beneath the eyes.
Dog breeds like poodles and cocker spaniels are also more likely to have blocked tear ducts than other breeds. Finally, white-colored dogs are more likely to have visible tear stains on the fur area under the eyes because the pigment in tears can easily dye the white fur on the skin.
Dog tear stains are a common occurrence in dogs. While removing the stains can prove a tough challenge, preventative measures such as proper hygiene, grain-free nutrient-rich dog foods, and more will help prevent tear stains in your dogs and help these beautiful creatures maintain optimum health.
Whether you have a white pooch, a dark-colored one, or any of those breeds at risk of tear stains, the tips above will help you start either preventing tear stains in your dog or removing the tear stains.