Some dog breeds, such as the Maltese or Shih Tzu, are prone to eye stains because of excessive tearing caused by having shallow eye sockets or hair growth around the eyes. Stains such as these tend to be more obvious on dogs with white or lighter colored fur, and if a dog is tearing an excess amount, stains can even affect their whole face. Stains not only make your dog look sad and unhealthy, but they can also cause a mild odor.
What in our pet's tears and mucus causes staining? If the stains are red then your pet has iron-rich mucus and saliva. If your pet's stains are more of a brown color this may be an indication of a yeast infection. Medical causes of staining can also include ingrown eyelashes, eye infections, eye diseases such as glaucoma, overly large glands or undersized ducts, exposure to secondhand smoke, or a diet which is poor in quality.
The first step in eliminating tear stains involves diligent maintenance typical for the kinds of dogs with tearing problems. Keep your dog's face clean and keep the fur on their face trimmed down, especially around the eyes. Eyes without fur in them won't goop as much.
Also replace plastic food and water bowls. Plastic contains chemicals and toxins that may be seeping into your dog's food. Filter your pet's water and change it often. Keep him on a balanced and high quality diet. The better your pet's overall health and diet, the less likely it is that their tears will contain stain causing by-products.
It's also helpful to wash their face first and clean out their eyes. Dog eye cleaner is another necessary part of removing of stains. Goopy eyes are more prone to tearing. A quality dog eye cleaner product will flush out a lot of what may be causing the tearing and staining, and dog tear stain remover will remove the stains from their fur. It's often helpful to comb through your pet's facial fur and remove any clumps of mucus that may be resting among the stains.
Dog tear stain remover is the next step in eliminating stains. Applying stain remover consistently is the key to making sure you take care of the staining completely. Sometimes staining can briefly get worse after beginning treatment, because the stain remover can drip through excess buildup and spread the stain around the face. Most dogs require about 8 to 12 weeks of treatment to see improvement in stains. Treatment takes diligence and patience, and if treatment is carried out properly and consistently, and results are unsatisfactory, it may be time for a visit to the vet as an underlying medical issue could be the cause.
Overall, a healthy diet, frequent grooming, and consistent check-ups can prevent a handful of causes of tear stains. As long as you keep an eye on your dog and pay attention to their needs, treatment and prevention should be easy to handle.