6 ways to manage dog tear stains

6 ways to manage dog tear stains

Dog tear stains are discoloured markings that often appear in the fur around a dog's eyes.

These stains can vary in colour, typically ranging from light brown to reddish-brown. Tear stains are particularly noticeable in dogs with light-coloured fur, as the contrast makes the discolouration more apparent.

What causes dog tear stains?

Tear stains are caused by a combination of factors:

  1. Tear Production: Dogs naturally produce tears to keep their eyes lubricated and remove debris. Excessive tearing, also known as epiphora, can occur due to factors such as genetics, breed characteristics, or eye irritation.

  2. Saliva and Enzymes: Tears contain enzymes that break down the pigment in tears. When tears overflow from the eyes and come into contact with the fur, these enzymes can react with the dog's saliva, causing a chemical reaction that leads to staining.

  3. Facial Anatomy: Some dog breeds have certain facial features, such as shallow eye sockets or short snouts, that make tear drainage less effective. This can result in excessive tearing and a higher likelihood of tear stains.

  4. Irritation and Allergies: Allergies, infections, or irritants like dust, pollen, or certain cleaning products can cause increased tear production and subsequent staining.

  5. Diet and Nutrition: Poor diet, especially one high in artificial dyes or additives, can contribute to tear stains. Additionally, some believe that certain ingredients in dog food can cause tear staining, though the scientific evidence for this is limited. You can see our 100% natural and human grade meat air dried and freeze dried dog food here

6 ways to manage and prevent dog tear stains

dog tear stains
  1. Regular Grooming: Wipe your dog's eyes with a clean, damp cloth daily to remove excess tears and prevent staining. Be gentle to avoid causing irritation.

  2. Trimming Fur: Keeping the fur around your dog's eyes trimmed short can help reduce the area where tears come into contact with the fur.

  3. Filtered Water: Providing your dog with filtered or purified water might help reduce tear staining, as some minerals and additives in tap water can contribute to staining.

  4. Dietary Changes: Consult your veterinarian about your dog's diet. Some pet owners have reported improvements in tear staining after switching to high-quality, grain-free, or hypoallergenic diets.

  5. Tear-Stain Removal Products: There are commercial tear-stain removers, wipes, and solutions available that can help lighten existing stains. Always follow the instructions and avoid using products that contain potentially harmful ingredients.

  6. Address Underlying Issues: If your dog's tearing is excessive or accompanied by other symptoms like redness, swelling, or discharge, consult a veterinarian. Underlying issues like infections or allergies should be addressed professionally.

It's important to note that while tear stains are a common concern, they are not always a sign of a serious health issue.

If you're concerned about your dog's tear stains or eye health, consult a veterinarian for personalised advice and recommendations.

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