Tear Stains

"..ugly, brownish-pink tear stains.. There are two ways to deal with the problem: from the inside, and from the outside...

"..from the inside involves the food and water... Is there added color in his food or treats? ..Stick to the light tan pale-colored treats. Better-quality foods and treats usually don't have added color.

"Speaking of bowls, use a stainless-steel feeding dish. It can be safely put through the dishwasher, doesn't crack, and doesn't absorb odors. Some plastic dishes have been blamed for coat discoloration and in a few cases they've cause "plastic dish dermatitis," which results in a loss of nose pigmentation.

"There are some areas where the water has a high mineral content. If you don't have a water purification system to correct the problem, you should switch to bottled water...

"Adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water can be beneficial, particularly for dogs whose urine has a strong odor or dark color. In time, the vinegar eliminates both problems.

"Dealing directly with stains from the outside starts with checking your [dog's] eyes on a regular basis and gently removing any goo that may collect. If there's any sort of inflammation, check with your vet for proper medication.

"Blocked tear ducts are another cause of eye stain. If you gently massage the bridge of the nose just under the eyes with your thumb and forefinger, you may notice a difference in a few weeks.

"Cornstarch can be a dog owner's best friend, and it's cheap. Work a little into the beard and under the eyes with a baby toothbrush. It dries and lightens...

"..manufacturers of pet-grooming supplies have an eye-stain remover..." (Bixler, Alice. "Lowchen." Breed Column. AKC Gazette, Sep. 2003, 78).

Colby Glass, MLIS