The Best Dog Tear Stain Remover

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: April 13, 2022

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No one likes to see unsightly stains on the pretty pooch faces of our much-loved dogs. Not only does it look bad, but it can also harbor pathogens. But how do you get rid of tear stains? We have put together a list of the top best dog tear stain remover products on the market right now. Every product here will help to reduce or even remove tear staining and stop these unsightly marks from returning.

Tear stains are caused by a chemical in dog tears and some breeds, such as the Poodle, are more prone to getting them. You can try to prevent them by feeding your dog a good diet, regular grooming and keeping the eye area dry. But, if you do need to use some dog tear remover – we have you covered with the best choice of products.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Dog Tear Stain Remover

  1. TropiClean Spa Tear Stain Cleanser for Dogs
  2. TropiClean Spa Tear Stain Cleanser for Dogs
    • Suitable for all breeds
    • Contains only natural ingredients
    • Clean, hydrate and exfoliate the skin
    • Contain no soap
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs
  4. Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs
    • Wipe away tear stain with the wipe
    • Ready to use
    • Contains juniper berry oil
    • Reduce eye irritations
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Cliny Universal Pet Eye Wash Cleaner
  6. Cliny Universal Pet Eye Wash Cleaner
    • Treats irritated or inflamed eyes
    • Developed by vets
    • Contains boric acid to disinfect
    • Contains taurine and panthenol
    Check Amazon
  7. Burt's Bees for Dogs Tear Stain Remover
  8. Burt's Bees for Dogs Tear Stain Remover
    • Highly effective
    • Very affordable option
    • Very easy to use
    • Contains natural ingredients like chamomile
    Check Amazon
  9. Eye Envy NR Tear Stain Remover Kit for Dogs
  10. Eye Envy NR Tear Stain Remover Kit for Dogs
    • Visible results in 7 days
    • Completely natural ingredients
    • For dogs of all ages
    • No chemicals, antibiotics, or bleach
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  11. Angels' Eyes Natural Chicken Flavored Soft Chew
  12. Angels' Eyes Natural Chicken Flavored Soft Chew
    • Comes in chicken taste chew
    • No artificial colors, wheat, corn, or soy
    • See results in 3 to 5 weeks
    • Can be used for both cats and dogs
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

1. Overall Best: TropiClean SPA Tear Stain Remover

Top of our list of fabulous tear stain removers is the TropiClean Spa tear stain remover that cleans and freshens your dog’s coat using only gentle and natural ingredients. We love that it can be used on dogs of all breeds and all ages over 12 weeks. It stands out from other products on the market because it contains only natural ingredients so it is completely safe for your pooch.

It uses a blend of coconut, blueberry, and vanilla to clean, hydrate and exfoliate the skin and coat with a light foaming action. It’s completely free from soap but has a whitening effect that brightens the coat leaving it clean and fresh and ready for doggy kisses! As well as tear stains, use it to remove marks in beards, eye pockets, and wrinkles – you can even use it on your cat.

Overall Best
TropiClean Spa Tear Stain Cleanser for Dogs
  • Suitable for all breeds
  • Contains only natural ingredients
  • Clean, hydrate and exfoliate the skin
  • Contain no soap
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Easiest To Use: Angels’ Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs

For owners who want a quick way to remove tear stains without having to lather up a liquid on their pup’s face, we recommend Angels’ Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs. They are ideal for dogs who don’t enjoy sitting still to be groomed. Each pot has 100 wipes and you use one every day to clean the area around the eyes. This removes the staining and, just as importantly, prevents it from coming back.

These wipes stand out because they are textured and are already moist and ready to use out of the pot. It takes just a few seconds to use them, making them the quickest-to-use product on our list. They are also highly effective thanks to the juniper berry oil which gently removes mucus secretions. There’s no need to rinse!

Easiest To Use
Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs
  • Wipe away tear stain with the wipe
  • Ready to use
  • Contains juniper berry oil
  • Reduce eye irritations
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Soothing Remover: Cliny Universal Pet Eye Wash

For dogs that have irritated or inflamed eyes as well as tear staining, the best product for you is the Universal Eye Wash from Cliny. It contains several ingredients that you do not find in most other tear-stain products. Because it has been developed by vets you can be confident that it will tackle both irritation and staining.

The eyewash contains boric acid to disinfect and relieve inflammation although it has additional disinfection properties provided by silver ions. Sodium chloride gently disinfects the area around the eyes without using antibiotics. Additionally, taurine and panthenol heal and regenerate. You simply wipe the area with the eyewash once or twice a week to maintain eye hygiene and keep staining at bay.

Best Soothing Remover
Cliny Universal Pet Eye Wash Cleaner
  • Treats irritated or inflamed eyes
  • Developed by vets
  • Contains boric acid to disinfect
  • Contains taurine and panthenol
Check Amazon

4. Best Budget: Burt’s Bees Tear Stain Remover

Our choice for a no-frills but highly effective tear stain remover that gets the job done without breaking the bank is the Burt’s Bees Tear Stain remover which is part of a wide range of Burt’s Bees grooming products. This is one for dog owners who are not in too much of a hurry to see results because it takes around 15-30 days of daily use for there to be a noticeable difference.

It is very easy to use – just wipe it on with a cotton ball, there is no need to rinse. The ingredients list features natural ingredients including chamomile to gently soothe and calm and there are no artificial fragrances or sulfates.

Best Budget
Burt's Bees for Dogs Tear Stain Remover
  • Highly effective
  • Very affordable option
  • Very easy to use
  • Contains natural ingredients like chamomile
Check Amazon

5. Best Fast Action: Eye Envy Dog Tear Stain Remover Starter Kit

Are you looking for rapid results from a tear stain remover? Our choice would be Eye Envy Dog Tear Stain Remover Starter kit which delivers visible results in 7 days! It delivers faster results than most other products but you do have to follow several stages every day. So, it is suited to owners who are serious about getting rid of tear stains and are prepared to spend some time every day on the treatment.

In the kit, you get Eye Envy solution, dry application pads, and a jar of application powder. It’s a two-step system – the solution cleans the area and the powder soaks up excess moisture to prevent fresh staining. Completely natural ingredients (including colloidal silver) tackle the bacteria that cause staining without the need to use harsh chemicals, antibiotics, or bleach. You can use this on dogs of all ages.

Best Fast Action
Eye Envy NR Tear Stain Remover Kit for Dogs
  • Visible results in 7 days
  • Completely natural ingredients
  • For dogs of all ages
  • No chemicals, antibiotics, or bleach
Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best Oral Remover: Angel Eyes Tear Stain Soft Chews

Oral tear stain removers are the easiest to administer and require the least input from you as a dog owner. If this sounds good to you, we recommend you check out the Angel Eyes Tear Stain Soft Chews. However, if your dog is pregnant or nursing or if they are taking other medication you should always check with your vet.

Dogs love the chicken taste of the chews so taking one every day will not be an issue. Larger dogs can take up to 3 chews a day and it takes between 3 to 5 weeks for you to see a difference. The ingredients include Cranberry Powder, Oregon Grape Root, Marshmallow Root, and Colostrum Powder. What’s more, you won’t find any artificial colors, wheat, corn, or soy.

Best Oral Remover
Angels' Eyes Natural Chicken Flavored Soft Chew
  • Comes in chicken taste chew
  • No artificial colors, wheat, corn, or soy
  • See results in 3 to 5 weeks
  • Can be used for both cats and dogs
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Tear Stain Remover: What to Look For

When choosing the best tear stain remover for your gorgeous dog, there are a number of things that you should look out for. We have done the research for you and compiled a list of the five most important features. We have listed these as ingredients, method of application, how often it is applied, how fast it works, and price. We’ve studied all of these in more detail below.

Ingredients

Tear stain removers are either ingested or applied to a super-sensitive part of the body – the eye area of the face. This means that they should only contain ingredients that will not cause harm or irritation. Natural ingredients are always the best choice – look for things like coconut, colloidal silver, and chamomile. Avoid artificial colors, fragrances, wheat, soy, and harsh chemicals.

Method of application

This is a matter of personal preference. Some owners prefer a wash that lathers up and is rinsed off, some like a solution that you leave on and others prefer wipes. Your other options are a powder and an oral treatment. It all depends on how much time you have and how compliant your dog is.

How often it is applied

Again, you have several options here. Many of the products have to be administered every day so it is something you will need to add to your daily grooming routine – if you have one. Others are used every 3 to 5 days and you may find this easier to cope with.

How fast it works

With the fast-acting products, you can expect to see a difference within a week. The slowest-acting can take up to 5 weeks. If your pooch has a special event coming up and they need to look their best in a hurry, the fast-acting products are your best choice and we have highlighted these above.

The Different Tear Stain Removers: Pros and Cons Compared

There are several types of tear stain removers to choose from. Each is better suited to different dogs and different lifestyles. Here’s what we discovered about the different types of tear stain removers on the market.

Tear stain remover wash/shampoo

Pros!Cons!
Used as part of bath timeMost need to stay in contact with the skin for several minutes
Washed off so nothing stays in contact with the skinNot all dogs like frequent baths
InexpensiveNot as effective as most other types of products
Sold in large quantities
Usually has a nice fragrance

Tear stain remover solution

Pros!Cons!
Easy to apply with a cotton padYou also need to buy cotton pads
Most do not need to be rinsedTakes weeks to see an effect
Most are made with natural ingredientsNeed to be applied every day
May also soothe irritated skin

Tear stain removing wipes

Pros!Cons!
Convenient to store and useMore expensive than a solution
No rinse neededCreates more waste
Easy to applyCan take a long time to work
Pads are textured to help with the application

Tear staining removing kits

Pros!Cons!
Most effective of all the productsRequires several steps including the application of powder
Starts to work in just days Time-consuming every day
Most contain anti-bacterial ingredientsMost expensive option

Tear stain removing chews

Pros!Cons!
Easiest for the dog ownerVery slow acting
Contains natural ingredientsCan cause an upset stomach
Not the most effective

Verified Tear Stain Remover Review: User Experience

Two issues dominate the reviews of tear stain removers they are effective and how easy it is to use. The experience of users is very variable. Some users are delighted with the results, “the results are amazing.” But others are not so sure “I have been using it every single day on my nearly white Shih Tzu and her tearstains are terrible.” The issue often centers around users’ expectations about how long the product will take to work. Many tear stain removers on the market are not quick fixes and take weeks to work. As one user puts it “I guess for some dogs it just takes a little longer to see results!”

On the whole, wipes were the easiest to use. Comments like “The product is very easy to use, and within less than a month, her tear stains were gone.” are typical. One drawback was “The only con is that they can stick together in the tub, but if you just take a moment they come right apart.” but this was not a major issue.

Dogs that suffer from tear stains

Dogs that are most likely to get tear stains can be divided into four categories. All of these dogs have some characteristics that make them have more tears, stop the tears from draining correctly or have a coat that makes staining show up more.

Flat-faced breeds

Dogs with a flat face have a short distance between their eyes and their nose and often have narrow and crooked tear ducts so tears do not drain correctly. These breeds also have very round and bulging eyes which is super cute but it also means that they cannot shut their eyelids properly which makes their eyes water. This group includes the Bulldogs and Boxers, the Pugs and the Pekingese, and the Maltese.

Breeds with congenital tear-duct abnormalities

Some breeds are more likely to have a genetic defect that causes the tear ducts to be under-developed. The medical name is imperforate punctum. Within this group, you will find some of the most popular pet dog breeds including the Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers.

Breeds with long facial hair

Long hair around the eyes can make them water more than normal. The Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are also in this group as are the Schnauzers and Dachshunds. However, you will also find the Cairn and West Highland Terriers whose coarse hair is more likely to grow inwards and this makes eye-watering and tear staining even more likely.

White-coated dog breeds

Any dog breed that can have a white face (and that covers a whole lot of breeds) can have an issue with tear straining. Their coat shows it up more readily than darker coated dogs.

You may have noticed that some dogs, including a white Poodle, would fall into three of these categories. Therefore, as a white Poodle owner, tear staining is an issue that you will probably encounter at some stage.

How can you prevent dog tear stains?

Prevention is better than cure! Here are our top tips for preventing your pooch from getting tear stains:

  • General health checks. Get any infections promptly treated and take your dog for regular check-ups.
  • Diet. A high-quality diet reduces porphyrin production (the chemical that causes staining) so transition your dog to nutritionally rich and balanced dog food.
  • Water. Tap water is better than puddles which could introduce bacteria to the face. If you have a high mineral content in your water consider giving your dog bottled water as minerals can make staining worse.
  • Facial grooming. Regular appointments at the groomers to keep hair clipped around the face and eyes.
  • Facial hygiene. Clean the area around the eyes every day with an appropriate cleaner.
  • Replace plastic food bowls. The tiny scratches in plastic food bowls can harbor bacteria that make staining worse. Replace them with porcelain or stainless steel.
About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

The Best Dog Tear Stain Remover FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are tear stains on dogs?

Tear stains are the dark reddy-brown marks that you see around the eyes of some dogs. All color dogs can have tear stains but they are most noticeable in dogs that have a light-colored coat. Tear stains are also more likely in dogs that have blocked or shallow tear ducts, excessive tear production, repeated ear infections, and allergies. They are also more common in teething pups, dogs that live in areas where the mineral content of water is high, and in dogs that get too many treats containing artificial additives.

What causes tear stains?

Tear stains are visible when a dog produces too many tears. Dog’s tears contain a chemical called porphyrins and when they land on white fur they cause it to turn reddy-brown. The color comes from the iron in the porphyrins and it gets darker when sunlight shines on it.

Additionally, excessive bacterial and yeast growth in the moist conditions caused by excessive tears are also thought to play a role.

How does dog tear stain remover work?

Tear stain removers work in a number of ways. One product could have several ingredients that work in different ways. Some contain antioxidants that help to stop the porphyrins from breaking down. Some are anti-bacterial and kill the bacteria that make staining worse.

Why are my dog’s tear stains not going away?

It can be very frustrating when a tear stain treatment does not seem to be working. There are a number of reasons behind this. Perhaps, you have previously used a product (such as bleach) that has made the hair shafts very porous so the hair has absorbed the stain. This can happen with blueberry and other antioxidants. You just have to wait for the regrowth which will be white.

Also, you may need to try another product that has better antibacterial properties for stubborn stains. If you suspect that your dog has an eye infection, you should see your vet.

Why have my dog’s tear stains turned pink?

This can happen when stains are set into the hair follicle. Tear stain products will only be able to lighten the stain and not remove it altogether.