Food sources or even plastic food bowls may be causing stains that can be corrected. However, if you remove the tear stains and continue to feed a food that causes them, it will not solve the problem.
Slightly changing the dog’s pH can work wonders in the tear stain war and help remove bacteria, deep stain color, and prevent yeast build-up. A preventative strategy best used once tear stains are removed or nearly removed.
500 mg of calcium carbonate, your basic antacid, twice a day helps change the pH of your dog’s system and helps prevent yeast or infection, thereby treating dog tear stains from the inside out. Vinegar will work much like calcium antacid to change the pH of drinking water. Add a teaspoon of white cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water to control new tear stains. It may take a while for your pet to adjust to this water, so start with a little less and gradually increase the amount of vinegar.
One option you can discuss with your vet is a common eye drop called naphtazoline, which dilates the tear ducts so that more tears flow where they are supposed to rather than on the eyelids and on the face.
Another possibility is to put your dog on a very low dose of antibiotics that will kill bacteria overgrowth. However, this should be a last resort, should not be used for ongoing treatment, and should not be considered for puppies without their adult teeth.
Dog tear staining is often more complex than simple answers provide.
Veterinary consultation is appropriate to determine the source of a dog tear stain problem. Ask your vet to give the dog a complete exam to rule out any serious eye conditions before trying anything.
There are home remedies that use mixtures of milk of magnesia, cornstarch, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, boric acid, and lemon juice. However, strong ingredients can irritate and make tearing worse. A stain remover should not contain alcohol or bleach. If these ingredients are not mixed properly, in the proper concentration, and applied safely, you could harm your dog.
No solution should be allowed to seep through facial hair or splash into the pet’s eye or eye area. For this reason, caution suggests that you look for over-the-counter products and refrain from using these homemade formulas.
Use a quality over-the-counter dog tear stain remover to safely, effectively, and gently minimize the condition for a “good enough” rather than complete removal result. Unless your pet is a show dog, this is not really a serious problem. A sterile protective ophthalmic ointment under the eyes, when applying stain remover, is an excellent idea. It will keep your eyes comfortable because the transparent barrier prevents irritation.