Published on: 03/24/2024, updated on: 03/24/2024

Say Goodbye to Tear Stains: The Best Tear Stain Removers for Dogs (And How to Prevent Them)

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Tired of those stubborn tear stains on your fluffy white pup? As a fellow dog owner, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to constantly battle those reddish-brown marks, especially on dogs with white fur like my own adorable poodle.

🐢 If you're wondering how to remove tear stains from your Bichon's white coat or safely clean tear stains from your poodle's face, you're in the right place!

Those pesky stains are actually caused by something called porphyrins - molecules that naturally occur in your dog's tears.

When they build up, they leave behind those unsightly rusty streaks that seem impossible to get rid of. πŸ‘€

But don't worry, pet parents! In this article, we're going to dive deep into the world of tear stain removers.

We'll explore the best and safest options out there, complete with a thorough comparison of popular brands. Plus, we'll uncover some surprising tips and tricks for preventing those stains from appearing in the first place. So, let's get started on this journey to bidding farewell to tear stains once and for all! πŸ™Œ

what is the best tear stain remover for dogs
Chinese downy dog eye care. A cotton pad soaked with eye drops in the girl's hand

What is the best tear stain remover for dogs?

πŸ₯‡ When it comes to finding the best tear stain remover for your dog, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Every pup is different, so it's essential to consider your dog's specific needs - their breed, any sensitivities they might have, and the severity of their tear stains.

πŸ”Ž One crucial tip: always read the ingredient labels carefully. You want to avoid harsh chemicals that could irritate your dog's delicate eye area. Look for products with gentle, natural ingredients that will be safe for your furry friend.

To help you find the perfect match, I've thoroughly tested three popular tear stain removers. Check out the comparison chart below:

BrandEffectivenessEase of UseSafetyPrice
Eye Envy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐$$
Angels' Eyes⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐$$$

Popular tear stain remover brands

Let's take a closer look at each of these brands:

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  1. Eye Envy - This liquid solution is a bit pricey, but many dog owners swear by its effectiveness. I found it great for ongoing maintenance to keep tear stains at bay. If you're looking for a natural way to remove tear stains, Eye Envy is a solid choice.
  2. Angels' Eyes - These beef-flavored chews contain cranberry powder, which can help with tear stains from the inside out. They're a bit pricey, but can be a good option for dogs who won't sit still for daily eye cleaning.
  3. Petpost - These wipes are affordable and super easy to use. While they might not be as effective for severe stains, they're great for daily upkeep and preventing new stains from setting in. Plus, they're safe for puppies over 12 weeks old.

Understanding the types of tear stain removers

There are two main types of tear stain removers you'll come across:

πŸ’§ Solutions: These liquid formulas, like Eye Envy, are perfect for daily cleaning around your dog's eyes. They're great for tackling existing stains and keeping the area clean to prevent new ones from forming. I found solutions to be a lifesaver when my poodle had a particularly bad flare-up of tear stains.

🌬️ Powders: Tear stain remover powders, like the one in Angels' Eyes chews, work by absorbing excess moisture around your dog's eyes. This helps prevent the buildup of bacteria that can contribute to those brown stains. In my experience, powders are great for daily maintenance to keep stains from getting out of control.

Beyond Cleaning: Why Do Dogs Get Tear Stains?

man feeding cute beagle with dog food
man feeding cute beagle with dog food

To really get a handle on tear stains, it's helpful to understand some of the common causes behind them.

🍽️ Diet: Did you know that food allergies or poor nutrition can actually contribute to tear stains? Yep, if your dog's diet is causing them to produce excess porphyrins, you might see more of those reddish-brown marks.

πŸ₯ Health Concerns: I reached out to my vet, Dr. Smith, to get some expert insight on this. She explained that "allergies, yeast infections, and even blocked tear ducts can all lead to excessive tearing and staining. If you suspect your pup might have an underlying health issue, it's always best to chat with your vet."

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πŸ‘ƒ Brachycephalic Breeds: Dogs with flatter faces, like Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs, are more prone to tear stains. Their adorable smushed faces cause tears to overflow onto the fur more easily because their tear ducts are often shallow or even nonexistent.

The Surprising Ways to Reduce Tear Stains

While tear stain removers are great for cleaning up those pesky marks, there are a few other surprising things you can do to help reduce tear stains:

πŸ’¦ Filtered water: Believe it or not, the mineral content in your dog's drinking water could be contributing to tear stains. When I switched my poodle to filtered water, I noticed a significant reduction in staining within a few weeks.

πŸ₯£ Stainless steel bowls: Plastic food and water bowls can harbor bacteria that might irritate your dog's eyes. Swapping them out for stainless steel can help keep things cleaner and reduce tearing.

😌 Stress reduction: Just like us, dogs can get a little teary-eyed when they're feeling stressed. Creating a calm, relaxed environment for your pup can actually help regulate their tearing and minimize stains.

Natural Remedies & Prevention

Mixing apple cider vinegar with drinking water.

If you prefer a more natural approach to tear stain removal and prevention, there are a couple of options to consider. Always consult with your vet before trying any home remedies.

🍎 Apple cider vinegar: Some pet parents swear by adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their dog's drinking water.

The recommended ratio is 1 teaspoon of ACV per 1 cup of water. It's thought to help balance pH levels and reduce tear stains, but always check with your vet before trying this method. ACV can be a great natural alternative to harsh chemical removers.

πŸ’ Cranberry: Believe it or not, cranberry powder (like the kind found in Angels' Eyes chews) can help adjust the pH of your dog's urine. This study found that cranberry can help prevent urinary tract infections in dogs, which can sometimes contribute to excessive tearing and staining.

If you're looking for a natural supplement to reduce tear stains from the inside out, cranberry might be worth considering. Just be sure to consult with your vet first.

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DIY tear stain prevention tips

In addition to using tear stain removers and trying natural remedies, there are a couple of simple things you can do at home to help prevent tear stains:

βœ‚οΈ Regular trimming: Keeping the fur around your dog's eyes trimmed can help prevent it from irritating their eyes and wicking away tears onto their face.

I try to trim my poodle's eye area every 2-3 weeks. It's a quick and easy way to keep tear stains at bay.

πŸ› Consistent face cleaning: Gently wiping around your dog's eyes and face every day can help remove any tear buildup before it has a chance to stain.

I like to use a soft, damp cloth or pre-moistened wipes made specifically for dogs.

When to See Your Vet

While tear stains are usually more of a cosmetic issue than a serious health concern, there are some cases where you'll want to visit your vet:

⚠️ If your dog suddenly develops tear stains out of nowhere, or if the staining seems excessive, it's a good idea to rule out any underlying health conditions. Certain chronic issues, like eye infections or blocked tear ducts, will require veterinary treatment to resolve.


🐾 So there you have it, folks - your ultimate guide to busting tear stains and keeping your dog's face looking its best.

If I had to recommend just one product, I would suggest starting with Eye Envy. It's a bit pricier than some other options, but I've found it to be safe, effective, and easy to use for both preventing tear stains and treating existing ones.

Just remember, managing tear stains is an ongoing process. The key is to be patient, stay consistent with your cleaning routine, and keep an eye out for any underlying causes that might be contributing to the problem.

😊 With the right combination of tear stain removers, preventative measures, and a little bit of TLC, you can say goodbye to those pesky tear stains for good. Trust me, your pup will thank you for it!

For even more information on what causes tear stains and how to manage them, check out these helpful resources:

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