Does your dog have permanent red or brown stains and crusty fur around their eyes? These are known as tear stains, and they can make an otherwise well-groomed, happy dog look a little sad and sorry!

Stains can also appear around the mouth, or on your pet’s legs or belly if they chew their fur often.

What causes tear and red stains?

There are many things that can cause these stains, and once they appear they tend to be an ongoing maintenance issue.

Veterinary specialists believe that the main cause of tear stains is excess tearing.

  • Yeast Infections: When the fur around the eyes or mouth is constantly damp it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. One of the most common yeast infections is Ptyrosporin, which is also known as Red Yeast. This causes a deep reddish-brown stain and slight odour.
    Bacteria: Minor bacterial infections in the tear ducts, or blocked tear ducts are also common and may cause excess tearing and staining.
    Allergens: Dogs are susceptible to similar allergens as humans, such as certain plants, food preservatives, ingredients in shampoos and other environmental factors.
  • Fleas & Ticks – A reaction to fleas and ear mites, which can be controlled with wash and topical products such as Rufus & Coco Bug Off and Rufus & Coco Flee Flea.
  • Genetics: – Some dogs are genetically predisposed to excessive tearing due to the shape of their skull, particularly Maltese.

How to help manage tear stains

Keeping the fur around your dog’s eyes short and combed out will reduce the likelihood of staining, along with a topical application of a mild antiseptic and cleanser like Rufus & Coco Tear Stain Away. This will help to manage the bacteria and fungus, as well as gently removing the stains and crusts.

You should never use products containing peroxide, milk of magnesia or tooth whitening gel which some pet owners may suggest! These tend to be harsh and irritating, especially if inadvertently placed in the eye.

There is no need to wait until bath time to treat your pet’s tear stains. The sooner you treat them, the better. Simply take a cotton ball, soak it in Rufus & Coco Tear Stain Away, and dab onto the stained fur. Leave it on to work it’s magic. For heavy stains, you may need to treat the area over several days.


About the Author: Lorren Godfrey – Lorren has the lucky job of developing new and innovative Rufus & Coco products that help pets look and feel great, and make life easier for pet owners!
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