​How To Clean Dog Tear Stains

​How To Clean Dog Tear Stains

Posted by Rhonda Jewel on Nov 27, 2020

The prevention of tear stains is a much simpler task than trying to clean off the stains once they are there. Prevention starts with a good, holistic health routine.

Tear stains can be caused by colorants in kibble foods, yeasts, discoloration from minerals in tap water and bacteria buildup that has formed due to all this.

The red discoloration in tears can be from porphyrin production. Porphyrins are iron containing molecules produced when the body breaks down iron. Tap water and well waters high in iron make the problem so much worse typically.

Staining can also be caused from other things as well. Anywhere to lack of proper grooming with susceptible type breeds and from allergies, toxins, smoke etc. in the environment. Or even teething puppies are more susceptible.

Brachycephalic breed dogs can have more shallow eye sockets. Shallow sockets can have difficultly draining tears properly, especially if they are irritated already from the other issues above.

These stains are most obvious on light-colored dogs, and some breeds are more prone to excessive tearing than others including poodles, Maltese and shih tzus.

Blocked tear ducts are another common problem with small dog breeds or the Brachycephalic breeds which again are aggravated from poor diet, hard water etc.

Red stains typically indicate the type from porphyrins, minerals and colorants, whereas a dark brown stain may indicate a yeast infection has been produced due to constant moisture and bacteria from the moisture draining.

Stained eyes typically are just annoying to the owner and not a huge problem, but sometimes tear stains can be an indication of some underlying health concern.


The best way to eliminate tear stains from pets’ eyes is by cleaning the area promptly and frequently, before the stain has a chance to set in. Giving colloidal silver in the water and cleaning the eyes with colloidal silver regularing is a good start to prevention. 

Consistent Grooming

The most important aspect is to keep the hair around the eyes short and clean. Keep the face clean and wash around the eyes with colloidal silver, which is one of the only solutions being offered out there that is completely safe to get into the eyes.

Some breeds of dogs (probably more difficult with cats) need their eye region trimmed every two weeks.

Routine Cleaning

Another important part of reducing tear staining is to clean the area below the eyes every day, or even a few times a day. Using warm water solution or colloidal silver on a clean, soft cloth, cotton ball or a quality q-tip.

After cleaning gently pat the area clean with a soft, dry cloth as moisture can be a culprit to contributing to the staining and even the odor that sometimes comes along with it. Moisture itself is a big cause of the irritation.

Guard Against Allergies

If allergies are a factor also use colloidal silver during the day dropped into the eyes and placing a lubricating drop of castor oil in your dog’s eyes before going to bed, which is very soothing to irritated eyes. Wash the eyes after an outing with warm water or colloidal silver on a cotton ball or wash cloth.

DO NOT use hydrogen peroxide around dog’s eyes. No don’t use salt or vinegar around dog’s eyes, unless very, very dilated. (some apple cider vinegar in the drinking water is fine) Do not use anything around the dogs eyes that you would not want to go inside the eyes safely.

Diet Considerations:

Many of the kibble dog food brands contains fillers, additives and preservatives that some dogs react badly to.

Dietary changes may make a big difference. A species appropriate raw diet can help prevent tear stains. Plus, a raw diet supports a strong immune system, to help prevent other health issues from starting up which may make tear stains worse.

Water that contains contaminants or high amounts of iron and other minerals can lead to increased staining.

For the water, consider using filtered water, reverse osmosis or preferably distilled water. Tap water contains many minerals that can cause the tear stains to develop. Another recommended change is to use stainless steel bowls for your dog's food and water.

Plastic bowls can hold bacteria that cause fur discoloration.

Providing exclusively distilled water, which is our recommendation, can help if you have tap water or a well with high iron and mineral concentration (hard water) at home.

Some dogs will benefit greatly with from the addition of regular probiotics to the diet.

Important! A high-quality raw diet and switching to filtered or distilled water may decrease the porphyrin concentration in tears, which could eliminate tear staining completely.

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