How to Remove Tear Stains from Your Dog's Fur

HeatherT514 By HeatherT514, 3rd Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Dogs

A dog's tear stains are especially noticeable in light colored dogs. It is not hard to remove the discoloration, but it does require a large measure of safety, as you are working around the dog's eyes. Here are a list of items you can purchase and use at home to remove these stains.

Taking Care of Your Furry Friend

Although many people associate tear stains with only certain breeds of dogs, such as Maltese, Poodles, and Bichon Frise, most dog breeds are affected with the common problem of tear stains. However, tear staining is much more prominent and noticeable in breeds where the dogs have white or lightcolored fur around the eyes.

Just like humans, dogs’ eyes naturally lubricate themselves in the form of tears. They also have tear ducts to drain out the excessive tears, and when one of these ducts becomes blocked, the excess tears run over the eyelid and onto the fur beneath the eye. When the tear then combines with bacteria on the fur, it results in a reddish/brown discoloration known as tear stains.

Excess tears, or the discoloration that results, do not affect the dogs health in anyway. Pet owners are normally more concerned about how to remove the stain, as it generally looks unattractive and takes away from the cuteness of their pet.

There are many products on the market that are available for purchase at local pet stores. Pet owners claim that some work better than others, and some do not work at all. Most pet owners generally agree that the tear stain removing solutions available at pet stores can be rather pricey. However, there are also a number of ways to remove the discoloration using every day, at-home, items.

Regardless of what method is chosen to remove a dog’s stains, caution is always advised when working closely to the eye with any product other than water.

Boric Acid Powder

Boric acid powder is used by many groomers because it is a quick and easy way to lessen, and then remove, the dog’s tear stains. Groomers recommend using lint and not cotton balls, as cotton balls can leave tiny little fibers on and around the dogs eye, which can then lead to a much larger issue with eye irritation. Just after giving the dog a bath, a small amount of boric acid powder is applied to the stained hair, and gently rubbed with a pad of lint. Boric acid powder is said to also help prevent future stain.

If a dog’s tear stains are very bad, using Boric acid once may lessen, but not fully remove the stain form the dog’s fur. However, Boric acid can be used up to three times a day until the stain is completely removed.

Tea and Cod Liver Oil

Pet owners have reported that the use of tea often helps to remove any staining a dog may have. Use a mixture of one teaspoon cold, weak tea and one cup warm water. Dip a pad of lint into the tea mixture and gently squeeze the mixture into the dog’s open eye- the dog’s eyes will have to be held open as they will attempt to close it immediately. Letting the tea wash over the eye and drain onto the fur below will help lessen those stains. Use a tiny drop of cod-liver oil to lubricate the dogs eye after the tea has finished flushing.


Pet owners say a paste of milk of magnesia, peroxide, and cornstarch has very good results in removing tear stains from dogs’ fur. The mixture is made with equal part of each ingredient. The paste is then applied to the tear stain, and given time to dry. When the paste has fully dried, the mixture is rinsed carefully from the fur.

Something to Consider

Tear stains can often be the sign of a bacteria build up in, or around, the eye area. If a dog consistently has a problem with tear stains, a veterinarian should be consulted, as the use of antibiotics is sometimes required.


Dogs, Dogs Coats, Dogs Health, Eye, Eye Care, Fur, Furry, Furry Friend, Fury, Home Remedies, Home Remedy, Pet, Pet Care, Pet Care Tips, Pet Health, Pet Ownership, Pets, Pets Animals

Meet the author

author avatar HeatherT514
I am a single, work from home mom of two. I began writing at a very young age, and now use my love of writing to support myself and my children.

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