If your dog has noticeable red or brown streaks around or coming down from his or her eyes, then your dog is experiencing tear stains. Though tear stains look bad, they are actually part of a natural process. Most dogs have tear stains, but excessive or stubborn stains may be due to a health problem. Here are some of the reasons why dogs get tear stains and what you can do to limit them.
What Causes Tear Stains?
Tear stains are caused by chemicals in the tears and saliva that cause discoloration. These chemicals include natural pigments as well as iron in the water and food coloring. Often, these stains are also visible around the mouth and even the paws as well, especially if your dog licks his or her paws often. You will most likely notice these stains in white dogs, but if you look closely, you can see them on dark-colored dogs as well.
Which Dogs Are Prone to Tear Stains?
Most dogs have some sort of eye discharge. However, dogs with certain health conditions will have more tears and staining than others. For example, dogs that have allergies may produce more tears. Dogs with eye or sinus infections could also experience excessive tearing. Brachycephalic, or short-faced dogs with shallow eyes and sinuses are also prone to having more tears than usual. Dogs with unusual eyelashes or eyelid problems may have drainage issues that lead to more tear staining.
What Can Be Done About Tear Stains?
One natural way of controlling tear stains is with a regular grooming regimen that involves cleaning around the eyes. The best way to do this is with dog-safe cleanser, plain water, and a soft cloth. You can also ask your dog's groomer to trim the hair more closely around the eyes. Supplements, such as dog tear stain remover chews, may help reduce some of the natural causes of tear stains in some dogs. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics if an infection is suspected.
If your dog's tear stains have suddenly worsened, then see your veterinarian to rule out any illness or injury. If you think your dog's diet may be to blame, then your dog may benefit from tear stain remover chews. These chews are designed to give your dog extra nutrients that may be missing in most commercial dog foods. These chews help round out your dog's nutrition and promote good health. Contact a dog ear stain remover chews vendor for more information about what is available.