Treating Eye Gunk and Tear Stains in Havanese Dogs

If your pup has white fur, you’ve probably seen some dark reddish-brown streaks or gunk around its eyes. Guess what? Those are tear stains or eye goop as I like to call it. Havanese pups are the most liable to tear stain formation. Their white coat makes it super easy for pigmentation to appear around the inner corners of the eyes. Not only are tear stains unsightly, but they can also be quite irritating to your furry little friend. The good news is that tear stains aren’t that hard to deal with. All you need is a few good homemade remedies and a few tips or tricks. Here’s how you can get rid of your Havanese’s tear stains.

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Filtered Water

Right off the bat, the first thing you should consider is the type of water your pup is drinking. If you’re giving it tap water, then don’t be too surprised if tear stains are starting to develop. Tap water is extremely harmful to your Havanese and it can also cause tears stains to appear or worsen. The idea is that tap water is full of minerals and impurities that are absorbed by your pup’s body and then excreted in tears. These minerals and compounds then accumulate causing tear stains to form around the eyes.

The question remains: if not tap water, what kind of water should I give my Havanese? Well, it’s always better to go with purified or filtered water. As long as it contains a very small amount of minerals, you’re good to go. By swapping out tap water for filtered or purified water, you can lower the chances of tear stains forming and can get rid of them altogether. In fact, you can start noticing changes in a matter of days!


You might not realize this at first, but the cause of your pup’s tear stains could just be an excessive amount of hair around the eyes. Think of it this way. If your Havanese’s hair is unruly, it’s bound to get in its eyes, right? Once that happens, the irritation will cause its eyes to get all watery and teary. With the constant tearing, your pup’s going to develop tear stains sooner or later. That’s why it’s important to always trim and groom your Havanese’s hair. Make sure there’s no source of irritation whatsoever.

White vinegar

One of the easiest home remedies for Havanese tear stains is white vinegar. It’s really simple. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of white vinegar to your pup’s drinking water. The vinegar helps modify the pH levels of your pup’s body as well as the pH level of its tears. The new medium becomes unsuitable for several harmful organisms to grow in. That means your Havanese is less liable to infections and therefore, less liable to tear stain formation.

There is, however, a catch. You have to be careful when adding white vinegar to drinking water. It tastes horrible. Your pup might not like the taste at first and this means it might avoid drinking altogether. Watch out for signs of dehydration and try to monitor your pup’s drinking patterns. After all, staying hydrated is much more important than treating pesky tear stains.


Cornstarch is another quick tool you can use to fight tear stains. The secret behind cornstarch is that tears gather around it instead of collecting on your Havanese’s fur. All you have to do is apply a small amount of cornstarch to the area around the eyes. It’ll soak up all the moisture, leaving your pup’s coat nice and dry. If there aren’t any tears then there most likely won’t be any tear stains.

You can also add boric acid to cornstarch to form a nice, thick, paste-like mixture. Apply this mixture to the tear-stained areas and let it work its magic for a little while. After that, you can wipe away the mixture along with those pesky tear stains using a warm, slightly-wet towel.

Boric Acid

Boric acid can also be used alone. Now, you might be a bit skeptical, especially if you’ve heard that boric acid can also be used as an insecticide. Don’t worry, it’s completely safe as long as it doesn’t get inside your pup’s eyes. The idea behind boric acid is that it can absorb tears and also modify your pup’s pH levels. In other words, it keeps the area around the eyes dry and free from bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections. This is why boric acid works great alone and also in combination with other home remedies.

Blocked Tear Ducts

This one seems pretty odd, doesn’t it? If tears are the cause of tear stains, then how does a blocked tear duct contribute to the problem? Well, the problem is that blocked tear ducts can cause your Havanese’s eyes to dry up making it very uncomfortable. In turn, it starts to constantly scratch its eyes, which results in more and more irritation. Eventually, this leads to excessive tearing and there you have it, tear stains. If you suspect your pup might have blocked tear ducts, take your Havanese to your vet immediately.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Much like boric acid, vitamin C helps modify your pup’s pH levels to create a medium unsuitable for bacterial growth. You can add it to a cotton pad and wipe away the tear stains or you can put a few drops in your Havanese’s drinking water. Either way, make sure to stay away from your pup’s eyes because vitamin C can be very irritating. Vitamin C has also tons of other health benefits besides fighting tear stain, especially when it comes to boosting the immune system.


There are so many things that can cause tear stains, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of them all. The best you can do is improve one factor at a time and hope your Havanese doesn’t develop tear stains very often. However, if they do appear, you now have a few tips and tricks on how to deal with them. Nothing can keep your pup from having a nice, clean, shiny white coat.

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