Stains around eyes and mouth may affect dogs of all breeds; however, they are more noticeable in white-colored dogs such as bichons, Malteses, white poodles or Westies. Stains around the mouth are typically brown or red and are due to constant salivation and the oxidation of the dog's saliva, as well as the artificial colorants in food or food bowls. The stains may also be due to an accumulation of bacteria or yeast cells, which also contribute to the formation of tear stains.
Wipe the area around the dog's mouth after each meal or after it drinks water. If the area around the mouth remains humid, this facilitates the accumulation and buildup of yeast cells or bacteria, leading to the unsightly coloration around its mouth. Use a clean towel and change the towel daily.
Use whitening shampoo on your dog and apply it on the area around the mouth. Rinse well.
Prepare a solution using equal amounts of boric acid powder, baby powder and milk of magnesia to remove stains. Mix well and apply to the area around the mouth. Allow the hair to dry and brush off. Boric acid acts as an antiseptic and inhibits the growth of yeast cells and bacteria. Another recipe involves mixing one part boric acid powder with one part cornstarch and add water, so you get a paste. Apply the paste to the stained hair and allow to dry. Brush off and wipe the face with a clean towel.
Filter the dog's water or give it only distilled water. The minerals in the water may color the hair around the mouth.
Consult your veterinarian about the food you give your pet. If it has artificial colorants, these may contribute to the discoloration of the hair around your dog's mouth. While wiping your dog's mouth after each meal may help reduce these stains, you may also switch to a food that has no artificial additives or prepare homemade food with natural ingredients for your pet.
Invest in ceramic food and water bowls if you are currently using metal bowls. Certain metals may get rusty and the rust can transfer to the dog's hair, leaving the nasty brown stains. If you still want to use metal bowls, make sure to choose stainless steel products.