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Guide To Dog Tear Stains

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Unsightly tear stains and crust around your dog's eyes can look awful. In severe cases, it may even cause your pup some discomfort. Fortunately, it's an issue with a remedy.


There are several reasons why dogs develop messy tear stains around their eyes, but, fortunately, most are benign. The most common cause is that the hair growing around the eye occasionally causes some irritation and excess tearing. Dog breeds with shallow eye sockets are more likely to have this issue, but no dog is fully immune.

Old scar tissue on or around the eye can also lead to excess tearing. Active eye infections are another cause, which must be addressed by your veterinarian. Dogs with entropion eyelids, which means the lids are inward-turning and are more prone to blockages and infections that can lead to excess tearing and stains around the eyes.

Medical Intervention

Medical intervention may be necessary from your vet for certain tearing causes. An eye infection must be treated with a proper diagnosis of the cause and the application of eye drops to fight the infection. Otherwise, the tears will only become worse, and your dog may suffer additional health issues, such as vision loss. Issues like blocked ducts must also be treated by the vet for similar reasons.

Your vet will also want to rule out other causes, even if no infections or blockages are found. Anything that can make a human eye tear up can also affect your pup. For example, allergies such as seasonal hay fever or a food allergy can lead to eye irritation in dogs just as it does in humans. Treating the underlying cause is the only way to fully solve the issue with tearing and the resultant stains.

Treatment and Removal

Fortunately, treatment is relatively easy. If there is an underlying cause, your pup will be prescribed eye drops, anti-inflammatories, or allergy treatment. Once this is done, the tears can be addressed. If there are no treatable underlying causes, then tear removal may be an ongoing process and part of your dog's normal grooming routine going forward.

There are DIY recipes available for tear stain removal, but these typically contain harmful agents like vinegar or peroxide that can irritate your dog if you accidentally get them too close to the eye. Instead, invest in pet tear stain remover wipes. These are less irritating and easy to use without causing your pup discomfort. You may need to use the wipes daily until the old stains are removed, then only a once weekly touchup is necessary to prevent tear stains from returning.

Contact a pet tear stain remover wipes vendor near you to learn more.