If your boxer looks like her mascara is running, leaving dark streaks under her eyes, don't despair. Stains of this kind are common among short-faced breeds, and are most obvious on light-colored dogs. Cleaning up the mess can be a challenge, so persistence and consistency are key.
Find the Culprit
Visit your vet to determine the cause of your boxer's runny eyes. Your dog's tears contain pigments that will stain her fur over time. If you can find the cause of her abnormal tearing, you can use an appropriate approach to clean up the stains. If her eyes are watering because of an allergy, you will need your vet's help to identify and deal with the allergen. If the problem is an eye infection such as conjunctivitis, your vet may prescribe an antibiotic. Clogged tear ducts may need flushing or surgery to clear them. If physical characteristics such as shallow eye sockets are causing tears to rain on your pup's face, a daily cleaning routine may be the only answer.
Hydrogen peroxide can safely be used to lighten tear stains under your boxer's eyes, according to WebMD. Consult with your own vet before you use any method, however. Soak a cotton ball, gauze or a soft towel in hydrogen peroxide. Hold your pal's head steady so you don't poke her in the eye. Wrap the gauze or towel around your finger, and gently dab under her eyes and anywhere else you notice staining.
Remove stains before they settle in. Wipe your boxer's face after breakfast and dinner each day to make stain removal part of her routine. Daily attention to the problem area can help keep bacteria at bay if that is the issue, or it can simply keep the offensive stain from worsening over time.
Choose Your Weapons Carefully
Consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary ophthalmologist before you try any suggested home remedy to clean the sensitive area around your boxer's eyes. A friend may use a laundry stain stick to remove the brown on her dog's mug, but that doesn't mean you should try it. Other home remedies include kitchen cupboard pastes concocted of milk of magnesia, cornstarch or corn flour; using a wet tea bag, or putting some white or apple cider vinegar into your dog's water to change the pH balance in her tears. Commercial pet stores might sell special solutions and eye wipes that can be effective for some dogs, but they also may contain antibiotics your pooch doesn't need, or other ingredients that will not solve her problem. Don't use any health remedy on your boxer without checking with an expert first.
Based in Los Angeles, Mary Helen Berg has been writing about pets, travel, families and parenting since 1989. Her work has appeared in publications such as "The Los Angeles Times" and "Newsweek." Berg holds a Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.