PoodlePleasure ~ Mini Poodles

Traditional & Merle Poodle Puppies for Sale in GA. Occasionally Merle YorkiePoo & DwarfDoodle Puppies Available.

Tear Stains in Light Colored Poodles

While not all light colored poodles get them [and those furkids are a treasure and so easy to maintain and keep looking nice], if you have one that does get tearstains - it can be a losing battle or require constant maintenance and upkeep to keep him/her looking good.

Tearstains are caused by a number of things - sometimes genetic [shallow eye sockets, large round eyes, short noses], actual eye abnormalities or problems,  bacteria or yeast infections, but also environmental, and you can try some simple changes that may effect the appearance of your pet.


#1. Keeping the face trimmed short around the eyes goes a long way in preventing eye irritations from hair that constantly gets into the dogs eyes.


#2. On a light colored dog wash the face once a day with - for some dogs it is as simple as that. Use plain water, no soap or shampoo, but you can also use witch hazel which is non irritating when it gets into the eye. Remove dust and grit from the eyes, wipe the nose and muzzle, massage the gums and rub over the teeth - this alone can make a considerable difference in the appearance of your dog.


#3. Use a paper towel or cut up an old t-shirt - use something that does no longer produce fibers and "fuzzies". Do not use cotton balls or pads, as they often leave tiny fibers behind that irritate the eye and make the problem worse.


#4. Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls, discard any plastic food bowls. Plastic bowls often harbor bacteria and crud in fine cracks, especially if they are well worn or chewed on by your dog. Using ceramic, porcelan or stainless steel can make a difference with that.


Environmental Irritants and/or Pollution

If you have a pup or dog that is prone to severe tear-staining, in addition to it having to do with how the face is build, you should also look at a number of other things to see if you can minimize eye irritation that causes excess tearing.  Any single or combination of the below points can lead to tearstains, especially when your pup didn't have any when it first came to you, but developed them over the first week or two in your home. Sometimes it is that you may not know how to maintain your pup to its best appearance,  sometimes it is something in your home environment that causes this problem.


I think most often the #1+2 culprits are food and water, followed by mold/mildew in old carpeting, dog shampoos and other houshold cleaning products that you use, pretty much in that order.



                                Specifically  For White Dogs


Dog food Quality:

There is so much junk in most commercial dog food today - from crappy poor quality meats, fillers + preservatives, food coloring and on and on - that upgrading to a better quality grain free puppy food can often make the difference between tear stains or none, as well as improve the overall coat quality and development of your pup. 

A lot of the nutrition poodles require, goes into making hair. Crappy hair + coat usually comes from a combination of poor quality dog food, internal parasites and/or fleas, and poor hygiene/ bathing and/or using the wrong type of shampoos. We feed our puppies and dogs Taste of the Wild and they are doing nicely on this.
Drinking Water Quality: 

Try filtered or bottled water to see if tear stains might be caused by your local water supply [a dead give away if the hair around your dogs muzzle is discolored as well].  You need to shave the face to observe the new growth - and this may take several days to several weeks until the residue is flushed out of the dog's system.

Regularly adding a spoon full of vinegar into the drinking water can often help as well as it slightly changes the ph value of the body and therefor makes the body less hospitable to certain bacteria.   [Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother is best, but any will do to get started] 

Dog Shampoo, Perfumes + Spritzes: 


Pretty much any shampoo - even tear friendly or oatmeal - will generate some irritation when they get it in the eyes when you shampoo them. If you have a dog that is prone to tear stains, using a top quality all natural or holistic shampoo is really, really recommended. It helps on so many levels, not only with the tear stains but improving overall coat appearance and skin, shedding, etc 


My go-to recommendation is the Quadruped Pet Line - all of their products work well, but for a furkid with tearstain issues I would recommend the Yucca Tearless - it's great. 


My Suggestion:

 Build your coat care routine around their product line and you will sidestep a lot of the trial and error care issues that many new dog owners experience. 


Refrain from using perfume or spritzes on your dog - it hurts their noses that work hundreds times better than ours. Give him/her a bath instead to freshen him/her up.

Other irritants:


* Household Cleaners used on flooring, carpet powders, detergent used for washing dog bedding.


* Mold, dust, sand, pollen etc in carpeting [especially seriously old w-2-w carpeting]


* Occasionally a dog has seasonal allergies if it gets relocated from one area in the country to another. I have seen this on occasions with spring puppies that move from the southeast where we are, to the northern or western states but this is usually a temporary issue until the dog gets used to the new plants etc in the area.

Prana Pets
Occasionally I'll send a puppy home that has been tear stain free here with us, but is starting to get tear stains at the new home. This is always an indicator for me that there some reagent in the environment, that triggers the tear staining in the pup. 

In a case like this I encourage the new owners to do a process of elimination, beginning with the food [if they changed brands or varieties] and drinking water, shampoos used for bathing and go down the above list to see what may cause this allergic reaction. There is just no easy way around this, if you do not want to stuff your dog full of antibiotics day in and day out.