This is a disease of the eye that can cause increased tear production, as well as pain, says Klein. “It is due to an eye having an increase in intraocular pressure.”
The pupils may change size compared to one another, and your dog will appear uncomfortable in the eye. While you may notice tear staining in dogs with glaucoma, you’ll also see a lot of active discharge.
How to Clean Dark Tear Stains on Dogs
The best way to minimize tear staining is to keep the eye area clean and dry, says Meekins. “This can be accomplished with dry cotton balls or makeup remover pads. Preventing contact time between the hair and the tears is most helpful.”
Another option, says Klein, is to clean the eye area with a washcloth or cotton ball dampened with warm water or saline solution.
“The aim of cleaning is to remove the accumulation of the excessive tears, then allowing the area to dry afterwards to prevent the build-up of moisture.”
There are several over-the-counter wipe products you can use to keep the eye area clean, but they vary in effectiveness. Just make sure the product is safe to use around a dog’s eyes.
“Each dog is different and not all dogs may react in the same way to every product,” says Klein.
Experts stress the importance of reading the label’s directions and getting your veterinarian’s approval before using any eye product on your dog.
Be careful to avoid getting any of the product in a dog’s eye. Klein says that placing a dog on a grooming table or getting a friend to gently hold your dog in place can help.
According to Monk, safe products you can use to clean the skin around the eye include:
“Optixcare Eye Cleaner is a great liquid wash that is safe around the eye,” adds Monk
How to Prevent Tear Stains on Dogs
Preventing tear stains is easier than trying to remove them once they’ve formed. Prevention starts with good hygiene practices.
Here are some tips for preventing tear stains on dogs:
How To Naturally Treat Dog Tear Staining
If your dog has a light coat, he might have noticeable dark tear stains around his eyes. Often times, it’s simply an aesthetic issue, but tearing and tear stains on dogs can also indicate a more serious underlying health condition. Initiating contact with your veterinarian when you notice tear stains is important.
If your dog is prone to tear stains (even dogs with dark coats can get them) the following primer will help you understand more about them and show you the best ways to remove tear stains on dogs.