Best Dog Food For Tear Stains: According to Vets (Reviews & Picks)

best dog food for tear stains

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This content was reviewed and fact-checked by veterinarian Dr. Sandra Tashkovska, DVM.

This is the most comprehensive guide to finding the best dog food for tear stains. If your dog has tear stains and you have tried everything to treat them with no luck, their diet may be the culprit. Did you know fillers and preservatives in kibble cause chemical waste buildup in dog eyes, ultimately leading to excessive tearing and tear stains? This is just one of many dietary and underlying health reasons these pesky marks appear.

In this review, our research team recommends ten of the best dog foods to prevent tear stains, each thoroughly reviewed. We have you covered if you seek a breed-specific solution, like the best food for Maltese to prevent tear stains. We’ve listed the best dog foods to get rid of tear stains, catering to different dog needs.

We’ve also included a buyer’s guide covering dog nutrition’s importance and impact on tear stains, foods that cause tear stains, diet prevention tips, risks and everything in between. Read it before you select one of the best dog foods that won’t cause tear stains. Let’s dive right in!

Best Dog Food For Tear Stains — At A Glance

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What Are Dog Tear Stains?

Tear stains are dark brown or reddish marks that can appear beneath a dog’s eyes, around their muzzles, between their toes, or in other places on the body. However, it most commonly manifests under the eyes. Sometimes, a discharge may accompany this condition. Tear stains can affect any dog, but they are typically more visible on dogs with white or lightly-colored fur, like the Maltese. It may not be noticeable in dogs with darker fur colors. 

What Causes Tear Stain In Dogs?

Tear stains are caused by a pigmented molecule that a dog’s body excretes as waste. This waste product, known as porphyrins, results from the breakdown of red blood cells.[1] Porphyrins, which contain iron, are responsible for the reddish-brown color of tear stains. The iron in porphyrins carries oxygenated blood, explaining the reddish color of the tear stains.

Porphyrin is usually excreted through the digestive system, but it may also be expelled via urine, saliva, and tears when there is a buildup of porphyrin in the dog’s system. Internal or external factors can cause a buildup of porphyrins and drive the over-stimulation of excessive tear production, also known as Epiphora.[2]

Tear stains develop when dogs’ tears accumulate under the eyes, creating the perfect environment for bacteria or yeast to grow. Additionally, the overproduction of tears can cause the chemical waste (porphyrins) in their tears to soak into their fur, leading to tear stains. Constant watery discharge and moisture in the eyes or other body parts can contribute to this condition.

According to Mercola Healthy Pets, the most common medical causes of tear staining in dogs include but are not limited to:

  • Ingrown eyelashes
  • Infection of the eye
  • Unusually large tear glands
  • Unusually small tear duct openings
  • Inverted eyelid
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Ear infection
  • Medications
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Poor-quality diet
  • Plastic food bowls
  • Stress
  • Teething

Beware, tear stains will intensify/darken in the presence of sunlight. Dogs can also experience tear stains due to food sensitivities, genetic predispositions and exposure to irritants like dust. If you notice tear staining in your dog, take him to a veterinary ophthalmologist to rule out any health concerns. Tear stains in dogs are usually harmless but may indicate a serious underlying health problem. Eye infections, such as glaucoma, conjunctivitis, ingrown eyelashes, and entropion, can all lead to tear staining.

Top Dog Breeds Prone to Tear Stains

Tear stains are more common in certain dog breeds, typically small ones with long facial hair and white dogs.

Breeds prone to congenital tear duct abnormalities are also at higher risk of tear stains. Brachycephalic (short-nosed and flat-faced) dogs can also be prone to tear stains. Brachycephalic dogs don’t have a normal tear drainage function due to their cranial structure. “The shape of the head and the way the eyes fit into the socket will affect whether a dog is prone to tear stains,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, Illinois resident and AKC Chief Veterinary Officer.[3]

Common breeds that are more prone to tear stains include:

  • Poodles
  • Maltese
  • West Highland White Terriers
  • Shih Tzu
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Bichons Frises
  • Pug
  • Pekingese
  • Cocker spaniel
  • Boxer
  • Bull Terriers
  • Beagles
  • French Bulldogs
  • Schnauzer
  • Cairn Terrier

Dog Food & The Connection With Tear Stains

Porphyrins are substances that can cause tear stains in dogs. They’re waste products from the breakdown of red blood cells and are usually excreted from the body through the liver (bile, intestinal tract and poop). However, a poor diet or fasting can lead to a buildup of porphyrins, as the Mayo Clinic notes.[4]

When your dog eats a bad diet, especially one that contains too many nutrients like iron, it can overwork the liver, trying to get rid of these toxins. This overworking can lead to porphyrin buildup. In dogs, when porphyrin is produced in excess amounts, it gets removed through tears, saliva, and urine, which can cause noticeable tear stains.

What Is The Best Dog Food to Prevent Tear Stains?

The best dog food to prevent stains consists of a balanced, species-appropriate diet along with fresh, filtered drinking water. This approach prevents your dog from consuming excess iron (porphyrins) or impurities that could contribute to tear staining. Many dog food brands only meet the minimum nutrient requirements set by the AAFCO, but it’s beneficial to choose a dog food that surpasses these standards.

The best dog food to prevent tear stains should enhance your dog’s overall health, digestion, and ability to filter out toxins. You want your dog to eat as cleanly and healthily as possible to avoid overburdening the liver. Creating a toxin-free environment in your dog’s digestive system may eliminate or reduce tear stains. According to the American Kennel Club, a high-quality, grain-free diet is the best preventative against these persistent stains in dogs. It’s also wise to avoid tap water, which is high in mineral content, including iron and other impurities like chlorine and fluoride, which are toxic to dogs. Consider using a dog water dispenser with a filter to remove chlorine, sediments, and odor from your pet’s drinking water as an additional measure to remove tear-stain.

Since tear stains are often linked to excess toxins from hard-to-digest diets and highly processed kibble, feeding your dog a fresh diet can help. This diet minimizes the indigestible ingredients your dog needs to detoxify, potentially reducing tear stains.

Be mindful when feeding animal proteins to your dog. Chicken, beef, or any meat are among the most common allergens in dogs. Food allergies can cause eye discharge in dogs, increasing the risk of those pesky dark marks.mV-Dog, a vegan dog food company, reports that dogs have become tear-stain-free on a vegan diet.[5] Similarly, customers say Wild Earth (our top vegan dog food formula) has helped dogs with brown stains under their eyes.

Here are two testimonials on how a vegan diet helped dogs with tear stains.

Testimonial #1

Dotty W.

Testimonial #2

5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
Sue had prominent tear stains and actually fur loss under his tee-shirt because he had developed a protein allergy that we were not sure how to treat. Until v-dog came along! After a year of feeding him V-Dog, vegan treats, and raw veggies, his fur has grown back shiny and healthy, and his tear stains have fully disappeared. He is 3 years old and never been healthier! We are proud parents, and we get compliments on how gorgeous Sue’s coat is all the time! We are sure to tell everyone he meets about V-dog because it has made such a difference in his life!
Morgan

Product Reviews
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Best Dog Food For Tear Stains

Now that you understand the relationship between dog food and tear stains, let’s discuss the best dog foods to prevent tear staining in dogs. We based our rankings on several factors, including quality of ingredients, customer reviews, pricing, and more.

Here is a list of dog food that won’t cause tear stains.

Best Overall Dog Food For Tear Stains

4.9

The Farmer’s Dog

Who It’s For: For those seeking the most optimal nutrition that avoids preservatives and other chemicals that could trigger tear stains.

Flavors: Turkey, beef, pork & chicken

Life stage: For all ages

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Human-grade, USDA sourced

Manufactured: USA 

Why we recommended it: Cooking homemade food for your dog offers the highest quality and natural ingredients. A home-cooked meal is one of the best options to fight tear stains because it skips cheap fillers, additives and is not processed. Making your pet’s food from scratch provides the healthiest, cleanest diet and ensures ingredients keep all their nutritional integrity, unlike traditional kibble. Furthermore, toxin levels in freshly cooked food are non-existent, so you can be sure your dog’s liver won’t have to work as hard to filter out toxins with homemade meals. But what if you don’t have the time to cook for your dog? Or don’t know anything about dog nutrition. Enters fresh dog food companies like The Farmer’s Dog.

What sets it apart from competitors: Companies like The Farmer’s Dog deliver vet-designed, fresh-prepared homemade dog food tailored to your dog’s dietary and health needs straight to your door. They cater to your dog’s unique nutritional profile so you can tell them about your dog’s food allergies, nutritional goals, and tear stain issues, and they will cook a personalized meal plan to meet your pet’s requirements.

When ordering The Farmer’s Dog, select “tear stains” so they can customize your dog’s meals to those needs.

Key Features

  • Fresh ingredients. Everything is made from real, human-grade, all-natural ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.), cooked in human-grade kitchens, and packaged as daily portions for easy serving.
  • Balanced. All recipes are made by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that comply with AAFCO standards. They only source from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.
  • Non-processed food. Never uses feed-grade ingredients or processes ingredients to be shelf-stable. This ensures your dog is getting the most balanced and nutritious meal possible.

Get 50% off your dog’s first box. No code is needed. Just use this link, and the discount will be applied!


Best Dry Dog Food For Tear Stains

4.7

The Honest Kitchen

Who It’s For: Ideal for those looking for the highest quality dry dog food to fight those tear stains.

Flavors: Chicken

Life stage: Adult

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Human-grade

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: The Honest Kitchen formula is made free of chemically synthesized vitamins, minerals, or amino acids. It has no problematic ingredients that could trigger toxin buildup in your dog’s tummy. Recipes are highly palatable, nutrient-dense, and meat-based, with concentrates on select fruits and vegetables. The formula is boosted with superfood functional ingredients that support and boost gut, skin and coat, immunity, heart, weight management and more.

What sets it apart from competitors: It’s the cleanest dry kibble formula we’ve found. Unlike traditional dry dog food, this recipe is minimally processed. The Honest Kitchen recipes are roasted and dehydrated to preserve nutrients and flavor and maximize nutritional integrity.

Pros

  • All nutrients are derived only from whole foods and natural ingredients
  • Free of common allergens such as wheat, corn, rice, soy, potato, peas, or sweet potatoes
  • Specially coated with probiotics and digestive enzymes to increase nutrient absorption and aid in digestion
  • No harmful grains

Cons

  • Comes with a high price tag, but this is common with higher-quality foods

Get 15% OFF your The Honest Kitchen order with the code 15CJ — Use this link to get started.

Best Dog Food For Small Dogs With Tear Stains

4.5

CORE

Who It’s For: Great for small dogs with tear stains.

Flavors: Turkey & chicken

Life stage: Adult small breeds

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Natural & non-GMO

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: This formula is crafted into a smaller kibble size for small dog breeds, and it has optimal protein levels and calorie content to help support the higher energy needs of small dog breeds. If your Maltese, Shih Tzu, Maltipoo, or small dog struggles with those troublesome tear stains, Wellness CORE for small dog breeds is your best alternative. It includes a fish and flax omega fatty acid blend for healthy skin and coat, which may help clear up those pesky stains under the eyes.

What sets it apart from competitors: It offers the perfect blend of antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals carefully selected by veterinarian nutritionists to support immune system health, digestive health, healthy oxidative balance, and a healthy heart. It’s a protein-focused formula with several lean meat options like chicken, turkey, salmon, and fruits and vegetables.

Pros

  • Great for small dogs with tear stains
  • No meat by-products, fillers and preservatives
  • No grain, corn, or soy
  • Flaxseed-rich in Omega-3 that supports healthy skin & coat
  • Best dog food for Maltese tear stains
  • Non-GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits
  • Minimizes food sensitivities and aids digestion
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • The quality of packaging needs improvement to keep it closed and food fresh. 
  • Includes turkey and chicken meal

Best Grain-Free Kibble For Tear Stains

4.8

Merrick

Who It’s For: Ideal for dogs with tear stains that have sensitivities to grains.

Flavors: Texas beef

Life stage: For all ages

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Locally sourced & USDA certified meats

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: Merrick Grain-Free Dog Food is your best grain-free kibble for dogs with tear stains. This dog food is great for repelling tear stains because they use whole and easier-to-digest ingredients like sweet potatoes, blueberries, and peas to reduce the strain on your dog’s digestive system.

What sets it apart from competitors: It uses deboned meat as the first ingredient in its recipes. This dog food only sources high-quality proteins and includes various formulas like salmon, beef & bison, chicken, lamb, and more. Each formula features up to 84% of protein from animal sources.

Pros

  • No Grains, zero preservatives, no fillers, corn, wheat, soy, or gluten
  • Food composition: 70% of meat sources, 30% fresh produce (with ingredients like apples and blueberries)
  • Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids support vibrant skin and coat
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain hip and joint function
  • Specially coated with probiotics and digestive enzymes to increase nutrient absorption and aid in digestion

Cons

  • Comes with a high price tag, but this is common with higher-quality foods
  • Bag not resealable

Best Affordable Dog Food For Tear Stains

4.4

Blue Buffalo

Who It’s For: For those looking for budget-friendly dog food for tear stains.

Flavors: Turkey & potato

Life stage: Adult dogs

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Limited

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited offers a limited ingredient (grain-free formulated) to minimize food sensitivities while maximizing nutritional value. It’s made with LifeSource bits or specially formulated dog food containing a blend of the healthiest ingredients, with whole grains, antioxidants, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals blended precisely to create a healthy food option for dogs. This recipe uses real turkey as the first ingredient and adds peas and pumpkin to support gentle digestion in your dog without the grains that contain gluten. Thanks to the minimal and carefully selected nonallergic ingredient list, it may be a great option to fight off dog tear stains.  

What sets it apart from competitors: It contains no chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • No grains that contain gluten, making it a good option for dogs with a sensitive stomach
  • Essential proteins and carbohydrates
  • Limited ingredient list to prevent tear stains and other food allergies
  • Other flavor options, including duck, lamb, and salmon

Cons

  • Uses turkey meal (source of glucosamine)

Best Vegan Dog Food For Tear Stains

4.6

Wild Earth

Who It’s For: Great for those who want a sustainably and responsibly sourced tear stain recipe solution.

Flavors: Umami (meaty, savory)

Life stage: For all ages

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Cruelty-free

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: Wild Earth vegan dog food can help remove tear stains, as seen in the V-Dog food case above. Vegan dog food contains monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for the health of the digestive tract. Furthermore, plant-based dog food is generally more easily digested by dogs’ digestive systems than regular kibble, vital in lessening toxin secretion.

What sets it apart from competitors: It uses only clean, sustainable, and tasty plant proteins that offer more protein by weight than traditional dog foods. It’s boosted with superfood ingredients, including chickpeas, sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin, oats, and more. It’s a clean, nutrient-rich, and all-cruelty-free recipe.

Pros

  • Balanced recipe
  • Has the same essential nutrients found in diets with meat as the primary protein source
  • High-quality brown rice, oatmeal, and highly digestible potatoes
  • Balanced omega fatty acids help support healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Highly digestible, energizing, and rejuvenatingBacked by science
  • Backed by science

Cons

  • One flavor is available. We wish they had more options for picky eaters
  • A bit pricey but offers discounts with a subscription

Our readers have access to 50% off the first order. Just use this link to get this offer.


Best Puppy Food For Tear Stains

4.5

Zignature

Who It’s For: For those with a puppy with tear stains at home.

Flavors: Duck

Life stage: For all ages

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Limited

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: Puppy tear staining is usually caused by teething. Puppies tend to produce more tears during this stage, and tear stains may become apparent. You should check with your vet first so no other issues are causing the tears. When teething is over (assuming teething is the root cause of the stains), the problem often goes away. However, you can help your puppy by feeding him a limited diet that’s easier on his digestive system. Zignature Duck Limited Ingredient Formula is our pick for puppies with tear stains. They throw out troublesome ingredients, offering nutritious formulas with no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. This grain-free hypoallergenic dog food uses low-glycemic nutrition, such as whole chickpeas and peas, which promote stable blood sugar and provide valuable dietary fiber. They use real, farm-raised ducks as a single protein source.

What sets it apart from competitors: Zignature Formulas are “Physiologically Tuned,” meaning they’re made to meet your pup’s nutritional needs and satisfy their instinctual cravings. It’s made with one protein source, key antioxidants, fiber, essential fatty acids, and a complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals for a well-rounded meal for growing puppies.

Pros

  • Made with duck from Western France
  • High in essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Selenium
  • No corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and chicken
  • Ideal for pups with sensitivities and picky eaters
  • Gluten-Free
  • Low-glycemic carbohydrates

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side

Best Tear Stain Food For Dogs With Sensitivities & Allergies

4.4

Rachael Ray Nutrish

Who It’s For: If your tear-stained dog has food sensitivities or is allergic to certain ingredients, this formula is a good choice.

Flavors: Turkey enhanced with pork flavor

Life stage: Adult dogs

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Limited

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: Rachael Ray NutrishJust 6 limited-ingredient formula is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs who suffer from tear stains. With just six main ingredients, this formula has all the essential nutrients and vitamins to help maintain lean muscles and healthy organs. No poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors, colors, or artificial preservatives are used in this formula. Only wholesome food here.

Pros

  • U.S.-sourced turkey provides essential amino acids and vitamins
  • No dairy, egg, beef, or potato ingredients
  • No grain, gluten, or filler ingredients
  • Limited ingredient diet may help dogs avoid food sensitivities

Cons

  • Might be hard for some pups
  • Turkey meal is the first ingredient
  • Made with turkey, but the taste is enhanced with pork flavor, which might confuse some parents

Best Wet Dog Food For Tear Stains

4.7

Blue Basics

Who It’s For: Wet food has higher moisture content, beneficial for dogs needing more hydration, which can, in turn, help with tear stain issues.

Flavors: Turkey

Life stage: Adult dogs

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: Limited

Manufactured: USA

Why we recommended it: Wet dog food usually provides an irresistibly tasty experience for dogs. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient grain-free wet dog food is an excellent alternative that won’t prompt allergic reactions that cause tear stains. It will also help dogs with digestion issues. This recipe uses a single animal protein (turkey) and only the finest naturally grain-free ingredients. It’s packed with garden fruits and veggies such as pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries and enhanced with vitamins and minerals. Blue Buffalo wet limited is formulated with healthy carbohydrates to promote an active lifestyle. This limited-ingredient formula avoids fillers and artificial additives, keeping your dog’s tail wagging during mealtime by providing reduced eye stains.

What sets it apart from competitors: It can be served as a delicious treat, add interest mixed into your dog’s favorite dry foods, or be fed as a meal.

Pros

  • Real turkey
  • Doesn’t contain any chicken, beef, dairy, or eggs
  • No grains, corn, wheat or soy-free
  • No by-product meals
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Vitamins A, B12, D3, and B9

Cons

  • Some users report cans arrived dented due to shipping

Best Dog Food For White Dogs

4.5

Royal Canin

Who It’s For: Perfect for those looking for the best food for Maltese to prevent tear stains. It’s also great for other white dogs.

Flavors: 1 flavor

Life stage: Adult dogs

Nutrition: AAFCO

Ingredients: High quality

Manufactured: USA

Regarding dog food for white dogs and Maltese specifically, Royal Canin’s Maltese food stands out from the crowd. This food is formulated to maintain the beautiful white, silky coats of the Bichon Maltese and other white-coated dogs.

But can Royal Canin help with tear stains?

We noticed some of the ingredients in this formula include brewers rice, corn, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, and wheat gluten. These ingredients are not necessarily bad for dogs, but they are certainly not nutritious, either. While some dogs may respond great to this formula, other pups with more sensitive tummies may react adversely, resulting in more tear stains.

As discussed previously, white dogs are more susceptible to developing noticeable tear stains under their eyes or other body parts—some breed more than others. If you are looking for dog food for your Maltese or white dog, our top picks, The Farmer’s Dog or The Honest Kitchen, are better and safer alternatives. Like Royal Canin’s, their recipes contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote a healthy white coat, which is particularly important for the skin.

Additional Information
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Red Tear Stains vs. brown Tear Stains

What’s the difference between red vs. brown tear stains?

Tearstains that have a reddish or rusted-colored appearance result from porphyrins. This reddish coloration occurs when iron-containing waste products are exerted from the dog’s body. If the stains are more of a brown color, it may indicate your pup has developed a yeast infection on the face. Yeast infections smell, so give it a quick sniff. If you sense an unpleasant odor, think yeast. Brown stains happen due to the constant moisture in your dog’s eyes.

It’s essential you know this! You want to treat the right stain with the right products. Sometimes, both can be present. Always consult with your vet!

What Foods Cause Tear Stains In Dogs?

What ingredients can cause tear stains in dogs?

According to the AKC, cheap fillers found in inferior-quality foods such as corn, wheat, and meat meals can cause allergic reactions, resulting in excess tearing, leading to tear stains. Generally, cheap dog food doesn’t ensure long-term good health and is more likely to produce tear stains than high-quality options because cheap kibble usually contains excess chemicals, cheap fillers, artificial flavors/colors, and preservatives in their food,

Chemicals and allergens typically cause food-related tear stains in dogs in your dog’s food. We recommend performing an at-home dog food allergy test to avoid giving Fido food that could trigger allergies. This test should help you discover the ingredients your pup is allergic to and give you the insight you need to create an allergy-free nutritional plan. Any allergic reaction could lead to tear stains, says the AKC.

Here is a list of ingredients in dog food to avoid tear stains.

  • Corn and wheat gluten
  • Food allergens
  • Meat and grain meals and by-products
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
  • P.G. (Propylene Glycol)
  • Rendered fat
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • Animal digest
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • Soy
  • Nitrites or Nitrates
  • Xylitol and Other Sugar Alcohols
  • Corn Syrup
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate) 
  • Meat meal
  • Flour
  • Artificial colors 

Sources: Pet Safe & Homes Alive

Can Dog Food Cause Tear Stains?

Yes. Feeding your dog a diet high in fillers, preservatives, artificial flavors, additives, and ingredients that may trigger allergies may cause food-related tear stains in dogs. Remember, a bad diet contributes to the buildup of porphyrins (the chemical responsible for the stains). The more stress you put on your dog’s digestive system/liver, the more chances your pup will secret porphyrins through their eyes and turn into those pesky stains.

Cheap commercial dog food contains harmful ingredients, such as meat by-products, leading to systemic overload that can worsen tear stains. Avoid high sugar content, low-grade ingredients, canned foods, synthetic vitamins, and things of that nature at all costs.

Best Dog Food To Prevent Tear Stains

The best dog food to prevent tear stains should have the following characteristics.

  • A limited number of all-natural ingredients
  • No fillers or artificial preservatives
  • Pure protein sources
  • Homemade dog food
  • Plant-based
  • Grain-free

Switching your pup to a premium, balanced, whole-food, grain-free diet rich in real meat protein is advised. Our top picks for the best dog food for tear staining are excellent places to start. Using a dog probiotic or adding one to your dog’s daily meals has yielded positive results. Probiotics promote friendly bacteria in a dog’s gut microbiome and assist his gastrointestinal tract function.

Remember to gradually transition your dog into his new food to avoid digestive upset or tummy trouble. Mix your dog’s current food with his new food. Over seven days, gradually decrease the amount of the old food while increasing the amount of new food. Contact your veterinarian for professional advice.

Dog Treats For Tear Stains

You’ve secured the right food to prevent tear stains, but it won’t be effective if you continue giving your pup unhealthy treats.

Several options exist, but our favorite all-natural treat is Full Moon’s Kitchen-Crafted Natural Dog Treats. They are made using human-grade limited ingredients that meet strict USDA standards for human consumption. These tasty treats are free of grains, glycerin, or artificial preservatives and flavors.

A more practical option is to get tear-stain-specific treats. Treats like PetPost’s Tear Stain Remover Soft Chews or NaturVet Tear Stain Soft Chews have the necessary ingredients to combat the root of tear stains effectively and provide additional immune support to prevent them from returning. They are packed with the highest quality extracts from Eyebright Herb, Lutein, Oregon Grape Root, Marshmallow Root, and Cranberry. It’s advised only to feed your pet until the stains resolve, then switch to a more natural option.

Other Ways to Treat Tear Stains In Dogs Safely

We have covered how a proper diet can help with tear stains in dogs, but other alternatives and natural options might mitigate your dog’s tear stains. Stain removal is another chapter (and we will cover it in another post), but here is a quick list of some of the most popular products people report to have worked.

At-Home Remedies For Dog Tear Stains

These ingredients, foods, and over-the-counter medicines work well to eliminate tear stains naturally.

  • Adding one teaspoon of either organic apple cider vinegar or buttermilk powder to meals seems to help
  • I-Stain, a probiotic enzyme
  • Vetericyn ophthalmic gel is available over the counter
  • Soak a cotton pad in a water-diluted hydrogen peroxide dried into the muzzle (avoid eyes)
  • Applying Visine to the fur, not the eyes, can lighten the color enough to live with it until it grows
  • Add a daily teaspoon of white vinegar to your dog’s water bowl to suppress the frequency and severity of tear stains. Doing this changes the pH (alkalinity levels) of a dog’s tears, making it difficult for yeast and bacteria to thrive.
  • Cleaning your dog’s face with colloidal silver is a great way to brighten stained fur (use a cotton ball)

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dog food for tear stains.

Does Chicken Cause Tear Stains In Dogs?

Chicken is among the most common allergens in dogs. Excessive eye discharge can result from food allergies, which compromise the immune system and cause uncomfortable symptoms, including tear stains. If your dog is allergic to chicken, it could develop tear stains.

What Is The Best Dog Food For Maltese Tear Stains?

Maltese dogs are among those most commonly affected by tear stains. Look for recipes with whole meats and produce in their recipes that never include any “meal” or meat by-products or highly processed ingredients. The best food for Maltese is fresh and low in toxins. The Farmer’s Dog, Nature’s Logic, and Wellness CORE for small dog breeds are excellent choices.

What Is The Best Food For Maltipoo Tear Stains?

Maltipoos with tear stains can benefit from clean, fresh formulas that avoid highly processed ingredients. The Farmer’s Dog and Nature’s Logic are excellent choices. Wellness CORE for small dog breeds is a great option as well.

Does Royal Canin Cause Tear Stains?

It’s not certain Royal Canin Bichon Frise Adult dry dog food causes tear stains. However, we noticed some of the ingredients in this formula include four questionable ingredients (brewer rice, corn, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, and wheat gluten). While not necessarily bad for dogs, these ingredients are not beneficial either.

Best Dog Food For Tear Stains — Conclusion

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one solution to getting rid of this condition. Each dog will respond differently, so it often takes experimenting, patience, and finding a product that works. Above all, we think having that precious little white face smiling at you again is worth the effort! Plus, taking care of anything that could jeopardize your pup’s health is crucial.


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Sources

Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process and product review methodology to learn more about how we fact-check, test products, and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Porphyrin.
  2. Healthy Pets Mercola
  3. Koehler, R. (2023, April 11). Dog Tear Stains: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention. PetMD.
  4. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Porphyria – Symptoms and causes.
  5. V-Dog
Editorial Team at Canine Bible

Canine Bible authorship represents the unified voice of our entire editorial team and our in-house veterinarians rather than a single author. Each article, blog post, and review published under the Canine Bible name undergoes a rigorous review process, involving all team members to guarantee accuracy and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research. This collaborative effort is an integral part of our editorial process and aligns with our four pillars of content creation. This approach ensures our content is backed by expert knowledge and factual information, offering our readers reliable, actionable, and trustworthy content.

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