How do I Get Rid of Tear Stains on my Golden Retriever?

If you’re lucky enough to have a Golden Retriever for a friend, then you probably can’t stand the sight of tear stains on that beautiful coat. It seems like no matter what you do, you can’t get rid of them, can you? Well, there’s a silver lining. Tear stains aren’t dangerous, they’re just unsightly. And guess what? They’re both treatable and preventable. You just need a few good tips and tricks. Here are a few secrets.  

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Milk of Magnesia 

One of the most popular homemade remedies for Golden Retriever tear stains is milk of magnesia. It works along with a couple of other ingredients to help treat and prevent tear stains in dogs. Here’s how it works. First, you’ll need equal parts milk of magnesia and hydrogen peroxide. A tablespoon of each should be enough. Mix those together thoroughly. Now, I know you might be worried about using hydrogen peroxide since it can be a bit strong. Don’t be. As long as you’re careful and stay clear of your Golden Retriever’s eyes, you’re good to go. Besides, the peroxide is necessary because it takes away the color and reverses the pigmentation. 

Second, start adding small amounts of cornstarch to the mixture. The exact amount you need is variable, but you’ll know it’s enough once you’ve reached a nice, thick consistency. The formula should look like paste. Take this paste-like mixture and spread it through the tear-stained areas around the eyes. Give the mixture a few hours to work its magic. After that, grab a warm, damp towel and wipe it off.  

Make sure to comb your Golden Retriever’s hair afterward. It’ll help scoop up any residual paste hidden beneath the fur. You can repeat this remedy once a day to completely eliminate your dog’s tear stains.  

Dog Food  

The kind of food you’re feeding your Golden Retriever could be the reason it has tear stains. Some foods are full of preservatives, chemicals, additives, coloring agents, and all kinds of harmful ingredients. All of these can be bad for your Golden Retriever’s health and can cause things much worse than tear stains. You also want to avoid products that are soy, grain, or carbohydrate-based. They usually aren’t very nutritious and can make your tear stain problem worse.  

Instead, you should look for high-quality foods that contain balanced, whole-diet nutrients. It might be a bit more expensive, but if you think your Golden Retriever’s diet is the cause of its tear stain problem, it could be necessary. Premium-quality foods can help keep tear stains away. You should also avoid beef-based protein sources for some time and see if the tear stains get any better. Usually, when you switch your pup to a chicken-based protein source, you’ll notice improvements in the staining within a couple of weeks.  


Right off the bat, if you’re giving your Golden Retriever tap water, then tear stains are no surprise. Tap water practically screams tear stains, along with a bunch of other health issues. It contains more minerals than any other kind of drinking water. And guess what? These minerals accumulate in your Golden Retriever’s tears, eventually oxidizing and turning into tear stains around the eyes. 

Instead of tap water, you want to give your Golden Retriever bottled, filtered, or purified water. It’s not really as much of a hassle as one might think. All you need is a small filter attached to your kitchen sink or even inside your water pitcher. By swapping out tap water for a bottled, purified, or filtered alternative, you can easily eliminate and prevent your Golden Retriever’s tear stains.  

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil is amazing. It has anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect for soothing away anything irritating your pup. By applying it to the area around your Golden Retriever’s eyes, you can help prevent inflammation-induced tear stains. Coconut oil also acts as a barrier that prevents tears from being absorbed into your dog’s fur. That means tears can’t accumulate and therefore, no more tear stains.  

White Cider Vinegar 

White cider vinegar is another great quick-fix for Golden Retriever tear stains. Just add a small teaspoon of vinegar to your dog’s drinking water. The vinegar acts by modifying your pup’s pH levels which is perfect since acid imbalance is one of the things that causes tear stains. The pH level also inhibits bacterial and fungal growth, therefore preventing infections. And guess what? Infections are another top cause of tear stains. In other words, apple cider vinegar helps treat tear stains and also prevents them.  

As magical as apple cider vinegar seems, there’s one thing you might need to worry about. Its taste. If you’ve ever tasted vinegar, you know it’s pretty much unbearable. If you notice your Golden Retriever is starting to avoid its water bowl, the reason might be the pungent taste. If that happens, cut back on the vinegar a bit and add small, gradual amounts every now and then. After all, dehydration is a much more important problem than tear stains.  


This last one might seem a bit off, but you should consider it. Is your Golden Retriever’s fur getting too big? Is all that fluff finding its way into your dog’s eyes? Well, that could very well be the reason it’s developing tear stains. You know who your eyes get watery if something gets inside it? The same happens to dogs. Having their fur constantly get in their eyes leads to irritation and tearing. Eventually, tear stains develop.  

Make it a habit of trimming your Golden Retriever’s excessive hair regularly. Even better, take it to a professional every now and then and have them pamper your pup. It might just go a long way in preventing tear stains.  


Tear stains might be annoying, but they’re not the end of the world. You can easily eliminate them and have your Golden Retriever’s beautiful, shiny coat back in no time. Just stick to these remedies and tricks, be consistent, and before you know it, you’ll forget all about those pesky brown streaks.          

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