How to Clean Puppy's Tear Stains

10 - 15 Minutes
1 Day


Nothing looks worse than a dog with a light-colored coat that has dark tear stains under his eyes. These stains appear for a number of reasons, such as poor nutrition, excess over-breeding, and irritation caused by overgrown facial hair. The good news is that there are a few ways you can go about removing these unsightly stains. Cleaning them on a regular basis is not only aesthetically pleasing but can reduce the risk of a yeast infection that can result from the hair in this area being damp all the time. 

Dog's Perspective

Chances are good that your pup doesn't care what color the hair under his eyes is or what it looks like. At least, that is, until the cause of the stains start to affect his vision or his eyes become infected. However, he does count on you to take care of this problem as he can't do it for himself. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Never get vinegar or hydrogen peroxide in your pup's eyes, it can cause painful irritation, resulting in more tears and stains.
  • Keep the hair around your pup's eyes trimmed. This will help reduce irritation and staining.
  • Use round-tipped safety shears to trim back the hair around his eyes if necessary. Be sure the shears are sharp so they don't snag your pup's hair and cause pain.
  • Keep an eye on your pup's food. Some bargain brands contain ingredients that make the staining worse.
  • Tap water that is high in mineral content can also cause staining. Giving your pup bottled water may eliminate this problem.
  • If the problem doesn't go away, be sure to take your pup in to see the vet. 


In most cases, the tear stains are more of a cosmetic problem than anything serious. But there is always the risk of an infection setting in if you don’t keep it under control. Cleaning the stains is a simple task using everyday household supplies. Do your pup a favor and keep the hair under his eyes clean, it only takes a few minutes out of your day. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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