Dog Tear Stains: Causes & Treatment

Dog Tear Stains: Causes & Treatment
18 October 2023

Dog Tear Stains: Causes & Treatment

You may notice that some dogs, particularly those with paler fur, get reddish-brown staining on the fur near their eyes. This is what’s known as tear staining in dogs. Here, we talk you through what tear staining is and what you can do to remove tear stains on your dog. 

What Are Tear Stains in Dogs?

Tear staining is a common occurrence, especially in dogs with a lighter coat. Dogs naturally produce a chemical called porphyrin, which contains iron, and when there’s a build-up of this chemical in your dog’s body, it is excreted through your dog’s tears. This is what causes the rusty or reddish stains on your dog’s fur.

What Causes Tear Stains in Dogs?

Some dog breeds are more prone to tear staining for several reasons, including the shape of their skulls (which can affect tear drainage), the colour of their fur (paler colours will show tear stains more clearly than darker furs), and even the length of their fur as it may grow over their eyes and cause some irritation. Dog breeds particularly prone to tear stains include, but are not limited to: 

  • Flat-faced breeds (such as Boxers, Bulldogs, and Pugs)
  • Long-haired breeds (such as Spaniels, Shih Tzus, and Poodles)
  • White or pale-coloured dogs (such as West Highland White Terriers, Bichon Frises, and Samoyeds)
  • And more! 

Tear staining in some dog breeds is harmless, but if you’ve noticed your dog producing more tears than normal or sudden staining, it may be a sign of eye problems, such as: 

  • Allergies
  • Blocked ducts
  • Ingrown hairs or eyelashes 
  • Irritation from improper grooming

If you notice your dog producing more tears than usual or are concerned about their eye health, contact your vet for further advice. 

How to Get Rid of Tear Stains in Dogs

While they’re typically harmless, tear stains can be unpleasant, so it’s no wonder you want to get rid of them. If the stains are caused by a medical condition, then it’ll be down to your vet to recommend appropriate treatment. 

However, if your dog is naturally prone to tear stains, then you can lessen or remove the staining by:

While not a health risk, tear stains are a very common problem that many dog owners are faced with. But, with the proper care and attention, you can help minimise the staining on your dog’s fur and have them look happy and healthy in no time! 

If your dog is prone to tear stains, why not check out our great range of dog eye products specifically designed to help you care for your dog’s eye health? 

Shop Tear stain remover at Pet Drugs Online

This post is an opinion and should only be used as a guide. You should discuss any change to your pet’s care or lifestyle thoroughly with your vet before starting any program or treatment.