How to Eliminate Tear Stains in Dogs

Tear stains are more noticeable on white dogs.

Tear stains are more noticeable on white dogs.

Tear stains are most common in small dogs with light-colored hair. The stains make clumping hair and keep the skin damp, which can lead to infections. Cleaning and treating your pet's face properly eliminates the brownish-red discoloration from common tear stains.

Pour hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball. Squeeze out the excess moisture. Hold your dog’s snout with one hand to keep him from moving. Gently wipe the cotton ball on the tear stains from the inside to the outside under his eye.

Dip a cotton swab into a gel-whitening product or pour a liquid whitener onto a cotton swab. Hold your dog’s snout or head so he does not move. Gently apply the whitener onto the tear stain under one eye. Use a clean cotton swab to apply the solution under the other eye. Follow the package directions for the amount of time to allow the product to remain on the fur. Some products stay on the fur and others remain for a few minutes then need rinsing with a damp cloth.

Secure tear stain tablets for internal control. Follow the dosing directions on the package. Most tablets are beef-flavored and tasty to serve as a treat; usually dosage is one tablet per day. Many tablets have extra vitamins included in them.

Cut excess hair away from your dog’s eyes with blunt scissors. Extra hair can curl backward and touch the eyeball, causing your pet’s eyes to water constantly. Cut the tear-stained fur short. As new non-discolored fur grows out with a regimen of tablets or whiteners, the fur will be free of stains.

Do not allow your dog to ride in a vehicle with his head out the window. Excessive wind in his eyes causes them to water. Any environmental allergens can cause tearing. Roll the window down only a few inches for him to enjoy some fresh air without putting his head out of the car window.

Items you will need

  • Cotton balls
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Whitening product
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tear stain tablets
  • Blunt scissors


  • Read the label on tear stain tablets to determine the ingredients. Some tablets contain an antibiotic, which if given to your pooch daily can cause antibiotic resistance.
  • Talk to your vet before using tear stain products on your dog. Not all products may be suitable for all pets.

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About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

Photo Credits

  • a portrait of a white dog image by Lombok from