If your dog has markings near its eyes, it may need treatment for tear stains. Tear stains, the reddish-brown marks found around and under your pet's eyes, are most common in lighter-colored dogs and are caused by a reaction between excess tears and your pet's normal skin bacteria. Thankfully, there are simple ways to prevent or remove tear stains using natural ingredients that won't irritate or harm your furry friend.
White Cider Vinegar
Although your dog may turn up his nose at a water bowl containing white cider vinegar, it can help combat tear stains. By adding up to 1 tsp. of vinegar to his water bowl, it will change the pH of the water and help diminish the appearance of the stains. Just be sure to start off small with a few drops and gradually increase to a full 1 tsp. of white cider vinegar so your pet will drink his water.
According to the Manataka American Indian Council, herbal remedies for tear stain removal are quite common and can be successful when used properly. The over-the-counter product PetAlive i-Clenz contains eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), which helps remove tear stains while soothing the eyes.
Angel Eyes is a popular at-home treatment for tear stains that removes stains "from the inside-out" using natural ingredients, including 100 percent pure beef or chicken liver and the natural antibody tylosin. The flavored powder is sprinkled on your dog's food and can produce favorable results in about a month.
Calcium carbonate is the main ingredient in the popular antacid Tums and can be used as a tear stain treatment for dogs because it can help alter the pH balance of the excess tears, according to Bobbie Linden, a breeder of Maltese dogs on the Bhe-Jei Maltese website. In doing so, the tears will no longer have the adverse reaction to the normal bacteria on the skin, thus resulting in less staining. Treat your dog to 250 mg of the fruity flavor of Tums twice a day to help put an end to the stains.