Dog Eye Stains
What Causes Them?

Why does my dog have brownish dog eye stains below his eyes?

On many light colored dogs, especially miniature and toy breeds, we may see a brown or pink stain on the skin and hair below the inside corner of the eye.

This is a common cosmetic dog eye problem caused by an overflow of tears onto the cheeks.

The color change of the hair and skin occurs when the normal bacteria on the hair and skin react with the clear tears.

We know these as tear stains,or 'angels tears'. As the name “tear stains” suggests, they are caused by an overflow of tears that react with normal bacteria found on the skin which produces the darkened color.

A common culprit that produces the aesthetically unpleasing tearstain is an organism known as Ptyrosporin or Red Yeast.

Some Things That Can Cause Dog Eye Stains Are:

  • Genetics
  • Health
  • Allergies
  • Water
  • Diet
  • Fleas
  • Bacterial
  • and Ear Infections

Low-grade bacterial infections in the tear ducts can be the cause of excess tearing and staining along with other possibilities related to genetics, health, allergies, diet, fleas, and even ear infections.

In small dogs, it isn’t altogether rare that the lower tear ducts are closed off. A surgical procedure to have them opened could possibly be needed.

Veterinary consultation is appropriate in determining the source of a dog eye staining problem. Have your vet give the dog a complete exam to rule out any serious eye conditions before trying anything.

Hair Falling Into the Eyes Causes Irritation and Infection

Pay special attention to make sure the hair around your dog’s face is not falling into its eyes, which can cause irritation and infection. Equal attention should be paid to be sure soap does not become an irritation when bathing.


Water in many areas has high mineral levels. On light-colored fur this can be evidenced by an entire beard and face being stained. Purified or bottled water can help to remedy this.


Diet is another area that plays a role in tear staining. Not only for tear stains but also for the health of your dog, you should be feeding a natural diet with no additives, preservatives or food coloring.

Fleas, Ear Mites and Infection

Fleas can also be a source of tear stains. Fleas require moisture to survive and the tears are a perfect source of that moisture. This can cause irritation along with staining from the flea dirt which is flea feces consisting of digested blood.

Along with the fleas comes the associated problem of ear mites that are carried by the fleas. Ear mites can cause painful ear infections, besides the tears stains, and should be addressed immediately by your veterinarian.

Caution Suggests You Refrain From Using Home Formulas

Dog eye stains home remedies do exist, using mixtures of milk of magnesia, corn starch, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, boric acid and lemon juice.

However, harsh ingredients can irritate and make tearing worse. A dog eye stain remover should be free of alcohol or bleach. If such ingredients aren’t mixed properly, using precisely the right strength, and applied safely, you could potentially harm your dog.

No solution should be allowed to wick through the facial hair or splash into the dog's eyes, or into the eye area. For this reason, caution suggests you look to over-the-counter products, and refrain from using these home formulas.

An all-natural cleansing solution is readily available

PetAlive i-Clenz for Pet Tear Stains in an herbal tincture are readily available and will effectively cleanse unsightly tear stains in pets as well as support general eye and visual health by controlling bacterial and fungal growth, reducing inflammation and soothing the eyes.

What are the Ingredients?

This is what it says on the label;

Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright) has been used since the Middle Ages to support eye health and soothe the eyes, helping to keep eyes bright and healthy. Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) is a well-known and effective herbal cleanser found all over the world.

Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile) was regarded as one of the nine sacred herbs given to the world by ancient Anglo-Saxons. In modern times, it is widely used as a gentle cleansing and soothing herb. Chamomile is also an effective tonic for the eye and surrounding area.

No animal products, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Individual ingredients are laboratory-tested, well-researched and are natural, safe and effective, guaranteeing you a product of the highest quality, backed by a One Year Unconditional Money Back Guarantee.

Genetics I believe that genetics plays a significant role in excessive tearing and staining.

Many veterinary eye specialists believe that the actual structure around the eye area plays a significant role in excessive tearing.

I feel there is a genetic predisposition toward tear staining. Being selective in breeding stock can play a significant role in tear staining.

Dog Eye Stains to Dog Eye Infection