Your ivory-furred puppy turns heads with her glistening white coat, but she might also exhibit ugly tear stains. Stroll through your pet supply store and you'll see products that promise to eliminate the tracks of your dog's tears, but you can handle them at home with a natural approach.
The term for your puppy's tear stains is epiphora, and it is a common sign of a problem relating to drainage, irritation or inflammation. Matted hair around the dog's eye is a sure way to allow discharge to accumulate and possibly cause infection. Eliminate the possibility of matting by carefully trimming the hair around the eyes with a pair of child safety scissors. Until you can take your pup to the vet, wash the area around her eyes with a piece of gauze soaked in warm water, salt water or dilute lemon juice. Take caution not to get anything in her eyes.
Milk of Magnesia, Peroxide and Cornstarch
A homemade paste created from items with lightening properties can help reduce or eliminate tear stains on your white pooch's coat. Add together equal amounts of milk of magnesia and peroxide, then mix with cornstarch to create a paste-like consistency. Dab it carefully onto the stain and let it dry. Take care not to get any of the mixture into her eyes and watch her constantly while the paste is drying so she doesn't have a chance to wipe it away with her paws. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and repeat every other day as necessary to remove the stain.
Corn Flour, Water and Bleach
Another paste that might eliminate your pup's tear stains can be made straight from your kitchen. Add a drop or two of boiling water to two teaspoons of corn flour to make a paste. Then add one drop bleach and mix again. Carefully apply the paste well below the eye on the stain and leave it for up to 10 minutes. When the paste has done its magic, flush it away with plenty of warm water.
Visit your veterinarian to determine the cause of your puppy's tear stains. (Always consult with a certified veterinarian about the health and treatment of your pet.) If the staining is caused by bacteria or yeast, add white vinegar to her drinking water to keep new tear stains in check. White vinegar changes the pH balance of the water, which can help eliminate yeast, bacteria and that ugly dark, rust color staining your puppy's face.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.