The best dog tear stain remover
Dogs, just like people, can experience teary eyes when their eyes are irritated or there are allergens in the air. Tears usually aren't a cause for concern with your dog, but they can cause stains below his eyes. While the stains don't affect your dog, they can be unsightly -- and they can't be washed away with water alone. That's why you need an effective dog tear stain remover. It contains ingredients that can remove the stains without irritating your dog's eyes or skin. Using a remover regularly can prevent future stains, too.
Use our buying guide to pick up all the tips you need to find the best dog tear stain remover for your pooch. We've also included some specific product recommendations, including our top choice, Arava Dead Sea Pet Spa's Bio Tear Stain Cleaner, which features 26 natural minerals that nourish the skin while effectively penetrating your dog's fur to lift tear and saliva stains.
Considerations when choosing dog tear stain removers
The most common formula is liquid removers. They're easy to use but can make a mess. You have to apply the remover to a cloth, tissue, or cotton pad to smooth it over the tear stains. Liquid removers are usually the most concentrated, so you don't have to apply much to see results.
These aren't as messy to apply as liquid formulas because the paste doesn't drip. However, they can be difficult to spread, which can make applying them on a squirming dog a challenge. Paste removers are ideal for dogs with sensitive or irritated skin, and they work well if your pooch has facial folds like a shar-pei or bulldog.
Powders usually aren't as effective as liquid or paste formulas. Though, they can boost the performance of other stain removers when they're used together. Powder tear stain removers are especially good at preventing future stains because they help reduce moisture around your dog's eyes.
Wipes are by far the easiest type of stain remover to use. They're disposable cotton squares or pads that are saturated with a liquid formula. Wipes may not be as effective as liquid or paste removers, so you often need to use two or more wipes to effectively remove stains.
You always want to check the ingredient list for a dog tear stain remover to be sure that it includes effective stain-removing ingredients that won't irritate your dog's eyes or skin. There are some ideal ingredients to look for:
Water: Water is often used as a base for dog tear stain removers.
Minerals: Minerals are a gentle natural ingredient that can remove stains.
Boric acid: Boric acid is an antiseptic that won't irritate your dog's eyes.
Plant-based oils: Plant-based oils help soothe your dog's skin and condition his coat.
Glycerin: Glycerin can make the remover easier to apply and loosen any dried residue beneath your dog's eyes.
Some dog tear stain removers are easier to apply than others. A liquid formula requires a separate cloth or cotton pad to apply the remover to your dog. You can apply pastes and powders with clean fingers or a cotton swab. Some paste or powder products even come with a special brush to apply the remover.
The easiest stain remover to apply is a wipe formula. You don't need any separate tool or material to apply the remover to your dog because you just rub the wipe itself over the affected area.
Dog tear stain removers typically cost between $4 and $50. You can expect to pay $4 to $15 for a basic liquid formula, $7 to $10 for powders and wipes, $15 to $25 for a paste, and $20 to $50 for a high-quality liquid remover.
Q. Do tear stains mean that my dog has a health issue?
A. In most cases, dog tear stains aren't a serious problem. But there are some medical causes that might require treatment, such as clogged tear ducts, environmental allergies, and bacterial or yeast infections. If your dog has had recurring issues with tear stains, it's a good idea to see a vet before using a remover product.
Q. How often should I use a dog tear stain remover?
A. It depends on the formula and how severe the stains are. Always read the manufacturer's guidelines for safe application. Some formulas are meant to be used just once per day, while others can be used three to four times per day.
Dog tear stain removers we recommend
Best of the best: Arava Dead Sea Pet Spa's Bio Tear Stain Cleaner
Our take: A highly effective tear stain remover that uses excellent natural ingredients to remove stains, kill bacteria, and soothe the skin. Gentle enough for sensitive skin and eyes, too.
What we like: Stands out as an all-natural hypoallergenic formula that features 26 nourishing Dead Sea minerals, which clean both tear and saliva stains. Effectively kills bacteria to reduce the risk of future stains. Can also treat stains caused by yeast infections. Works for both cats and dogs.
What we dislike: More expensive than other similar removers. Requires consistent use for full stain removal.
Best bang for your buck: Burt's Bees' Dog Tear Stain Remover
Our take: A particularly effective product for stains with dried residue. Like other products from the brand, it's a high-quality formula with natural ingredients like chamomile to soothe and clean.
What we like: Contains 99.9% natural ingredients that are good for your dog's coat and skin. Features a formula that's specifically pH-balanced for a dog's skin and fur. Effectively penetrates to remove stain-causing debris. Doesn't require rinsing after application. Has a narrow nozzle and squeeze bottle design to allow for one-handed use. Offers a fresh natural scent.
What we dislike: Bottle is somewhat small; though, you don't need much of the product. Must use it regularly to see results.
Our take: An easy way to clean stains around your pet's eyes because the pads are already saturated with a gentle stain-removing solution.
What we like: Pads make tear stain removal much easier and less messy. Boasts a nonirritating formula that won't sting your dog's eyes. Removes dirt and bacteria. Can be used on cats, too. Tight-fitting twist-off cap keeps pads moist and fresh.
What we dislike: Pads can be difficult to take out of the tub. Some users also find them to be a little smaller and thinner than they'd prefer.
Jennifer Blair 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. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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