If you are the owner of light-colored dogs or small breeds, one of the struggles you need to deal with are tear stains. They stand out and make your dog look sad and neglected so you want to immediately know how to remove dog tear stains effectively. Before finding the solution, you first need to know more about the problem and what causes it.
Understanding Dog Tear Stains
Tear stains are different from human tears, in which the latter is clear in color. Dog tears are actually colored rusty-brown because of the naturally occurring iron molecules they contain called porphyrins. These dye molecules are produced when the body metabolizes the red blood cells. Porphyrins exit from your dog’s body via tears, saliva and urine. Aside from the tear stains, this is the reason you may observe your dog’s hair turn rusty-brown whenever he or she licks a part of its leg or body.
Of course, all dogs produce porphyrin but the stain is more noticeable when you have light colored dogs – more if you have white-colored pooches.
Causes of Dog Tear Stains
It’s important to understand that tear stains on dogs are caused by different factors. Some of them require veterinary intervention while others can be prevented with natural solutions. There are dogs that produce too much tears due to seasonal allergies. Some also have plugged tear ducts. Other causes include infections and injuries.
If you suspect something’s off with your dog, take him or her to the vet immediately. Once you have established that your dog is perfectly fine and the excessive tears are nothing serious, it’s time to think of some natural solutions to remove dog tear stains fast. Note that these tear stains can be stubborn and hard to clean despite using products that somehow promise success. There are, however, steps you can take to prevent dog tear stains. The first one of which is to address the factors that may be causing your dogs to shed some tears.
Remove Dog Tear Stains Effectively By Addressing Root Causes of Tear Stains
- Is your dog food causing tear stains? Food can be a factor in causing excessive tears in dogs. Many commercial dog food brands contain fillers, chemical additives to enhance flavor and artificial coloring, all of which can worsen the problem. You can remove dog tear stains effectively by switching to a whole-food diet with real meat for your dog.
- Are you giving hard water to your dog? You may not have control over the quality of water in your area but hard water is advised against by some veterinarians. Try going for pure filtered water instead.
- Dog tear stains can be remedied by altering your dog’s body chemistry. You can do this by adding apple cider vinegar (ACV)to your dog’s water. If you need to use ACV, consult your veterinarian as they are contraindicated in pets with health problems like oral ulcers, injury in the esophagus and gall bladder stones.
- How hairy is your pooch? Enlist the help of a professional groomer in trimming hair around the eyes to remove darker tear stains. If you’re confident with grooming your own dog, you can do it yourself.
- Are you using plastic food bowls for your dog? According to PetMD, some dogs react to plastic food bowls, resulting in irritation, which produces symptoms that can be mistaken for tear stains.
Bottomline on Removing Tear Stains Effectively
- You might want to step up with your daily grooming if you want to effectively remove dog tear stains. Clean your dog’s face twice a day to keep tears at bay. You will also need to meet with your groomer regularly.
- Replace plastic bowls with stainless steel bowls or glass ones.
- Wipe your dog’s face using a mild boric acid solution, like the ones in contact lens cleaning solution. The boric acid can oxidize porphyrin and lighten them.