You see those dark red or brown streaks around your pup eyes? Yes, the ones ruining its perfect coat. Those are tear stains. No matter what kind of pup or dog you have, it’s bound to develop tear stains at some point. The stains become more evident if you have a light-fur pup like a Bichon Frise, for instance. Now, tear stains aren’t necessarily a health issue. Nevertheless, they look pretty frustrating, so you should definitely treat them. If you have a young pup, however, you might be a bit concerned about what to do and what’s safe and what isn’t. Not to worry, you’ll find everything you need to know about treating your puppy’s tear stains right here.
What causes Tear Stain in Puppies?
Before we get into treating your puppy’s tear stains, we need to focus on what causes them in the first place. As you can obviously guess from the name, tear stains are caused by excessive tearing. While this can happen all on its own sometimes, excessive tearing is often the result of things like infections, irritation, or health problems.
Are Tear Stains in Puppies Dangerous?
Not really. Tear stains aren’t really that dangerous. It’s more of an aesthetic issue. That being said, tear stains can indicate an underlying health problem. You should always pay attention to the reason your puppy is developing tear stains. If they’re persistent, it might even warrant a visit to the vet.
How to Treat Tear Stains in Puppies
When it comes to treating tear stains in puppies, the most important thing to do is identify what’s causing them. There are tons of homemade remedies and even chemical products on the market, but if you don’t eliminate the causes, they’ll keep coming back. Once you’ve done that, here are a few good solutions to your problem.
Cornflour and Bleach
Right off the bat, let’s start with a homemade remedy. While this remedy is pretty effective, it’s not so recommended for really young pups. We’ll get to why in a bit.
First, you’ll need about 2 teaspoons of cornflour. Next, boil a very small amount of water. You only need a few drops. After that, you’ll need just one drop of bleach. Mix all of these together and let it settle for a few minutes. Don’t use the mixture before it reaches room temperature. Once you’ve applied it to the tear stains, give it an hour to work its magic. Using a damp cloth, wipe away any residual solution.
Like we mentioned earlier, this mixture isn’t the most ideal for puppies, but it works. The reason we’re not so excited about it is that it contains bleach, which can be quite irritating. That’s why you have to make sure you stay away from your pup’s eyes when treating the tear stains. In fact, bleach can even irritate your puppy’s skin. With prolonged use, it can result in allergic reactions and unnecessary irritation. That being said, keep in mind you’re only using one drop of bleach to make this remedy and you probably won’t use it that often so don’t worry too much.
If you’re not quite sold on the last remedy, here’s another easy solution for your puppy’s tear stains: white vinegar. There are two ways you can use white vinegar to get rid of tears stain: topically and orally. Let’s start with a topical solution.
It’s pretty simple. All you need is a small amount of white vinegar added to a small cloth or cotton pad. Use it to wipe away the streaks surrounding your pup’s eyes. Make sure to use just a small amount of vinegar because it can be a bit irritating if it gets in its eyes.
The other way you can use white vinegar to treat your puppy’s tear stains is by adding it to its drinking water. What’s that have to do with anything? Well, here’s a secret: tear stains are often caused by a pH imbalance in your pup’s body. When your pup’s tears are too acidic or too basic, it gives bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms a chance to grow around the eyes. This, of course, causes irritation and leads to tear stains.
That’s where white vinegar comes in. By modifying and regulating your pup’s pH levels, it creates a medium that is unsuitable for bacterial growth. Your pup stays infection-free and more importantly, stain-free.
There is one thing you should think about, however. How do you like the taste of vinegar? Not so great, is it? Your puppy probably won’t like it that much, either. If you find that adding a teaspoon of white vinegar makes your pup drink less water, you might want to start off even smaller. Build your way up using minute amounts until your puppy gets used to the taste. After all, staying hydrated is much more important than treating tear stains.
Here’s our favorite treatment of all when it comes to puppy tear stains: chamomile. The reason chamomile is so great is that it’s completely natural. We’re talking about a remedy that gets rid of tear stains without involving any harsh chemicals, irritation, or side effects. It almost sounds too good to be true. Here’s how chamomile treats your puppy’s tear stains.
First, chamomile has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This comes in handy for one reason: tear stains are often caused by irritation and inflammation. By soothing away the cause of the tear stain problem, chamomile essentially treats and prevents tear stains.
The second reason chamomile is so effective is that it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It works similarly to white vinegar, getting rid of the harmful microorganisms that contribute to your puppy’s tear stain problem.
Using chamomile is as easy as making a cup of tea. Literally. You just need to make a cup of chamomile tea and let it settle for a bit. Once it reaches room temperature, soak up a small amount of the solution using a cotton ball. Use it to clean the tear stains around your puppy’s eyes.
Here’s another awesome natural product you can use to treat your puppy’s tear stains. Coconut oil has several unique features. For starters, it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This helps combat microorganisms that cause infections and therefore, eliminates tear stains.
Another great thing about coconut oil is that it’s hydrophobic. That means it doesn’t mix well with water. What does that have to do with anything? Well, tears are watery, right? That means if you apply a layer of coconut oil to the area around the eyes, it’ll prevent tears from getting absorbed into your puppy’s fur. No tears mean no tear stains. Simple, huh?
In addition to all of this, coconut oil is soothing and anti-inflammatory. It helps treat and prevent irritation and therefore, prevents excessive tearing. Coconut oil works in several ways but overall, it’s an excellent treatment for your puppy’s tear stains.
If your puppy’s hair is growing pretty fast, it could be the cause of its tear stains. When the area around the eyes gets too furry, it could result in some minor irritation. How do your puppy’s eyes respond to irritation? With tears. And there you go, you’ve got tear stains. By regularly grooming your puppy, you can easily get rid of the tear stain problem.
Tear Stain Wipes
This may seem like a pretty obvious solution, but some dog owners have never heard of tear stain wipes. They’re pretty handy when you’re out with your puppy and you need to get rid of those tear stains quickly. Some tear stain wipes even contain ingredients that prevent tear stains from recurring. It might be a good idea to keep a pack of tear stain wipes in your bag or car. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
Sometimes the type of food your puppy is eating contributes to its tear stain problem. If you’re giving it mineral-rich foods that are full of additives, colorants, and synthetic ingredients, you might be making the problem worse. You should always opt for high-quality, nutritious foods that benefit your puppy’s overall health.
Beef-based diets, in particular, are known to make tear stains worse. In fact, by changing to chicken-based protein sources, you can get rid of your puppy’s tear stains in a matter of days. Pay attention to what you’re feeding your pup if you can’t find a reason behind those tear stains. After all, you are what you eat.
Tear stains might not be a health-related issue, but they’re definitely frustrating. They take away from your little one’s natural beauty. Luckily, you can get rid of them easily and quickly. You’ve got a plethora of choices. There are natural remedies like chamomile and coconut oil and there are even synthetic ones like cornflour and bleach. Whichever formula you decide to go with, keep in mind that young puppies are small and delicate. Stay away from the eyes and don’t leave the treatment on for too long. And don’t worry, you’ll have that beautiful, shiny coat back in no time!