Tear stains are common in dogs, especially smaller breeds like the Maltese and shih tzu. Tiny tear ducts are most likely to blame for the stains that accumulate underneath their eyes. If your pooches have tear stains, there are many ways to clean them and prevent new ones from forming.
Clean your dogs' tear stains with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with 10 parts clean water in a cup. Apply the solution with a cotton swab underneath your Maltese and shih tzu's eyes once a day to remove existing stains.
Add a teaspoon of white cider vinegar to your dogs' drinking water to treat their tear stains. White vinegar changes the pH of your dogs' tears, which inhibits bacteria from forming in the fur beneath their eyes. If your dogs do not like the taste at first, give them 1/2 teaspoon and gradually work back up to 1 teaspoon.
Take your Maltese and shih tzu to the groomer for a trim when the hair around their eyes gets too long. Long hair can trap eye secretions that can lead to tear staining. It is best to leave this to a professional so you do not accidentally hurt your pet's delicate eyes.
Purchase some over-the-counter tear stain remover for dogs. Make sure you read and follow the directions on the label carefully before applying underneath your dogs' eyes. There are many brands you can choose from at your local pet store.
Prevent tear stains from forming on your Maltese and shih tzu with some mineral oil. Put a small amount of the oil on a cotton swab and apply it once a day to the fur beneath your dogs' eyes. Mineral oil is safe to use and will keep eye secretions from collecting in your pets' fur that can cause tear staining.
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you are still having trouble removing the tear stains. The veterinarian may prescribe some antibiotics to treat them.
Based in Statesboro, Ga., Emily Jones has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles appear on various websites, specializing in the diverse topics of cleaning and insects. Jones is a graduate student studying education at Georgia Southern University.