The best dog tear stain remover

Cleaning Tools & Supplies

It’s best to start treating tear stains as soon as you begin to notice them. The longer they build up, the harder they are to remove.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Dog tear stain removers

Everybody wants their dog to look their very best. Unfortunately, some are prone to unsightly tear stains that can give them a disheveled appearance. This is often most noticeable on dogs with light-colored fur, but all breeds can experience it.

If your dog has excessive tearing, the first step should be a consultation with your veterinarian to see if there’s an underlying health issue. Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to get rid of those marks. 

This buying guide covers everything you need to know about tear stain removers, but if you’re pressed for time, you can jump right to the top recommendations, including Burt’s Bees For Dogs Tear-Stain Remover. It’s made with chamomile and other natural ingredients for gentle cleansing.

What to know before you buy a dog tear stain remover

Types of dog tear stain removers

Paste: The thick consistency of pastes is both a boon and a disadvantage. They’re easy to apply without making a mess; however, they can be difficult to spread evenly. Many contain moisturizing ingredients that make them well-suited for dogs that suffer from irritated skin around their eyes.

Liquid: Liquids are the most common and perhaps the most versatile. Though they can be a bit messy, they’re effective at removing stubborn stains that other kinds can’t. They’re great for saturating long fur where a paste or powder might be difficult to spread.

Powder: Powders aren’t super effective on their own but are great when used in conjunction with a liquid or paste. They absorb moisture, which makes them useful for preventing future stains. 

Wipes: One of the easiest options, wipes are quick and mess-free. They’re usually made from a natural material like cotton and come pre-soaked with enough liquid to be effective, but not so much that they drip during use. A single wipe may be enough for light stains, but if you’re dealing with stubborn stains, you’ll probably have to use two or three. 

Ingredients

When choosing a dog tear stain remover, you want the ingredients to be effective, but they also need to be gentle on your dog’s skin. This means they should be free from alcohol and other harsh cleansers that are prone to causing irritation. Here are some common ingredients you can expect to find in tear stain removers:

  • Boric acid: Though this may sound scary, boric acid is commonly used in eyewashes and skincare products. It can help with yeast and bacterial infections and soothe irritated skin.
  • Glycerin: Glycerin serves two purposes — it helps make the stain remover easier to spread and it loosens dried residue.
  • Sodium chloride: Sodium chloride is used to make saline solution and helps for washing out irritants.
  • Natural oils: These may include coconut, avocado, castor and other oils that have beneficial properties. Most often, these are included to help fight bacteria and soothe inflammation or dryness. 
  • Plant-based extracts: As with the natural oils, extracts are also included for therapeutic purposes.

What to look for in a quality dog tear stain remover

Application

When choosing a tear stain remover, think about how easy your dog is to work with as well as your application preference. Both liquids and wipes are applied by using a cloth pad, while pastes and powders can be rubbed in with your fingers.

Volume of staining

In addition to the application method, consider how much staining your dog experiences. If they only have mild staining, wipes may be enough. However, if they have heavy, stubborn stains, you should opt for a paste or liquid. If the stains tend to build up very quickly, you should buy a powder to apply as a preventative after you’ve used one of the other types of removers to get rid of the initial stains.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog tear stain remover

Dog tear stain removers usually cost $5-$20. Powders and wipes are the least expensive, with liquids and pastes being slightly more costly. The more soothing oils and plant-based extracts that are added, the more you can expect to spend.

Dog tear stain remover FAQs

What causes tear stains on dogs?

A. There are many causes of tear stains. They may include underlying health issues like clogged tear ducts and infections, minor irritations like allergies and debris or physical issues like ingrown eyelashes and shallow eye sockets. It can also be the result of stress or nutrient deficiencies. If your dog has excessive tearing, it’s recommended to consult your veterinarian to see if there’s a way to remedy the underlying cause. 

How often should I use a tear stain remover?

A. Most tear stain removers are formulated to be gentle enough for regular use. However, you should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and never apply them more frequently than recommended. For some, this may be multiple times daily, while others are only intended to be used once per day.

Best tear stain removers for dogs

Top dog tear stain remover

Burt's Bees For Dogs Tear-Stain Remover

Burt’s Bees For Dogs Tear-Stain Remover

What you need to know: Owners will appreciate Burt’s Bees for its low cost and ease of application, while dogs will appreciate it for its gentleness and soothing properties.

What you’ll love: It’s composed of 99.9% natural ingredients and doesn’t require any rinsing.

What you should consider: You have to use it regularly for 15-30 days to see results.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top dog tear stain remover for the money

Miracle Care Eye Wash Pads

Miracle Care Eye Wash Pads

What you need to know: These pads offer a simple and mess-free way to get rid of light stains. 

What you’ll love: The non-stinging formula won’t cause irritation if it gets into the eyes.

What you should consider: Pads tend to stick together when removing them from the container.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy and Amazon

Worth checking out

Squishface Wrinkle Paste

Squishface Wrinkle Paste

What you need to know: This fast-acting formula shows results in just a couple of days and is packed full of beneficial natural oils.

What you’ll love: It acts as a water-repellent barrier to keep future stains from forming.

What you should consider: The thick consistency makes it difficult to spread.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.