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13 Ways To Remove Your Chihuahua’s Tear Stains + 7 Causes

Remove Chihuahua's Tear Stains

Are your Chihuahua’s eyes watering?

And do you want to remove those ugly (brown) tear stains under your Chihuahua’s eyes?

If so, good news:

In this guide you’ll discover:

  • What you should know about plastic bowls and tear stains (I was mindblown when I found out).
  • Which environmental irritants could lead to your Chi having tear stains.
  • Several things to consider when it comes to home remedies.
  • And more…

What are tear stains?

What are tear stains?

Tear stains are brown-reddish marks left under your dog’s eyes when your Chi has excessive tearing. If the dog’s fur has a light color, they are very noticeable. 

The reason for the coloring beneath the eyes is a pigment called porphyrin. When the tears are not cleaned, the porphyrin contained in them builds up under the eyes and you start noticing the tear stains more.

Here’s an example of my Chihuahua mix that has tear stains:

According to Vetinfo, 20 to 25 percent of small dog breeds have excessive tear staining. As you can imagine, Chihuahuas fall into this group.

Long story short:

Excessive tear staining is more common than most people think.

Luckily, there are some ways to get rid of those ugly brown tear stains. But before I tell you how you can remove tear stains, let’s first talk about:

What causes tear stains on a Chihuahua?

There can be a lot of reasons why your Chihuahua’s eyes are watering.

For example:

  1. Allergies.
  2. Conjunctivitis.
  3. Puppy teething.
  4. Airborne irritants.
  5. Blocked tear duct.
  6. Eyelash disorders.
  7. Small and shallow eye sockets.

And this is just the start. There are more reasons why your Chihuahua can have tear stains. For more information about the causes, check out:

Reading tip: Why Do Chihuahuas Cry Tears? 15 Reasons For Watery Eyes

13 ways to remove your Chihuahuas tear stains

#1: Rule out any underlying medical conditions

The most important step is to determine whether your pet has seasonal allergies, blocked tear ducts, an ear infection, glaucoma, or entropion (inverted eyelid). Or, maybe what you’re seeing is the result of the brachycephalic syndrome.

If you’re curious about which one it could be, check out this article that reveals more and specific information on each cause.

Note: This process might take you a bit longer before you manage to figure out the exact cause. Don’t skip this step because if you’re just treating the stains they won’t go away.

#2: Wipe the tear stains away

Chihuahua Tear Stains

It’s good to clean the area around your Chihuahua’s eyes during puppyhood. Especially during teething.

Most Chihuahua puppies have their teething period between 4 and 8 months. It’s not at all uncommon for a Chihuahua puppy to have tear stains during that time.

As the teething decreases, so should the tear stains.

In the meantime, you could get eye tear cleansers and wipe the tear stains gently so they don’t build up.

Do not apply pressure when cleaning and be careful not to touch your Chihuahua’s eyeball in the process.

Or, you could use a clean towel, soaked in warm water, and wipe the tear stains away.

Caution: Don’t leave the tear stains as they are because this can lead to a yeast infection.

#3: Clean your Chihuahua’s face regularly

Even when puppyhood is over, it’s still a good idea to clean the face and eyes of your Chihuahua.

Daily hygiene is recommended regardless of the fact whether your Chihuahua has ever had tear stains or not.

Hygiene should come first. This will help prevent any bacteria from getting into your Chihuahua’s eyes and causing problems. And you won’t have to worry about removing the tear stains as they won’t appear there in the first place.

How to do it?

You can simply get a cotton ball or a face tampon and put several drops of canine eyewash on it. Then, you should simply wipe under and around the eyes.

Wipe the tear stains whenever you notice that new ones have formed under your Chihuahua’s eyes.

Caution: Don’t wait with cleaning the tear stains because they will dry, get crusty, and build up in the corner of the eye. If this happens, they’re best cleaned with a warm tampon. Soak the hardened tear stains until they soften and remove with the help of your fingers.

If your Chihuahua is a long-haired one, it’s advisable to also clean the muzzle hair as well. You can do that with a wet towel.

You might also like: 101 Chihuahua Memes (I Challenge You Not To Laugh)

#4: Give filtered water

You would probably be surprised to know that tap water in some cities and towns in the U.S. contains contaminants, parasites, minerals (such as fluoride and chlorine), toxins, and also agents that cause cancer.

Any of these could cause tear stains.

The fluoride and chlorine contained in tap water are toxic to dogs.

Even though you’re careful and the tap water where you live is considered safe, it’s best to be on the safe side and get filtered or distilled water.

Warning: Don’t let your Chihuahua drink water from puddles in the park or places with stagnant water.

#5: Avoid plastic food bowls

Why is it important to not give your Chihuahua food and water in a plastic bowl? They sell them in pet stores after all, don’t they?

That much is true but getting your Chihuahua plastic bowls bears certain health dangers for your dog. Very often after a certain time of use, plastic bowls develop miniature cracks that begin harboring bacteria.

Plus, these bowls have been colored and this could lead to your Chihuahua having reddish tear stains.

It might seem like a small change but it can have a big difference.

The usage of plastic bowls can also cause depigmentation of the nose.

You can choose a bowl made of:

  • Glass.
  • Ceramic.
  • Stainless steel.

Replace plastic bowls and see how this will influence the production of tears which leave tear-stain marks.

#6: Change diet

If the diet your Chihuahua has isn’t appropriate for them, it could lead to tear stains.

Or, the case could be that they’re allergic to some of the ingredients. This applies to quality food as well.

You could check out the ingredients and pick some food with different ones to see if it will reduce the tear stains.

#7: Remove any environmental irritants

If possible do not expose your Chihuahua to second-hand smoke or any detergents that have a strong odor that lasts for days after cleaning the house.

Same goes for any perfumes, deodorants, sprays, air fresheners, bug repellents.

If removing any of these helps and the tear stains decrease, you could check what happens if you start using some of them again. In case your Chihuahua’s eyes get teary again, stop the usage of whatever it causes it.

After using deodorants or any type of sprays, open the windows so the air in the room could be renewed by the time the Chihuahua enters.

Last but not least, speak to your vet about anything abnormal you’ve noticed and give as many details as possible.

Note: An air purifier at home can benefit both you and your Chihuahua. Using one excludes lighting candles, aroma sticks, cigarettes, and captures dust mites which could be bothering your beloved pet. Ensure the quality of air by getting one with a HEPA filter.

#8: Handle inward-growing hairs

If your Chihuahua has inward-growing hairs around their eyes, you’ll see excessive tearing. This is due to irritation of the cornea. What happens is that every time the dog blinks, the eyes experience discomfort.

This is similar to when a foreign particle gets in your eyes while it’s very windy outside.

Note: Hairs growing inward are not visible to the naked eye. That’s when you should ten to the vet. They can tell you if that’s the case after they check with their specialized equipment.

If so, they can remove the hairs through a process called electrolysis. The goal is that the hairs won’t go back after this procedure.

#9: Colloidal silver

Colloidal silver is totally safe to apply around the eyes. You can get some from a health food store. They sell them as a spray and in liquid droppers.

How to apply it?

Put several drops of colloidal silver or spray it on a face-cleaning tampon or a cotton ball. Gently wipe the affected areas.

Using colloidal silver will reduce the risk of a yeast infection. It can also prevent moist dermatitis.

Home remedies that might help with removing your Chihuahuas tear stains

Although there are some home remedies that are popular on the Internet, you should be careful when following such advice. Otherwise, you could expose your Chihuahua’s health to risk.

If it’s your first time doing this or if the information you’re referring to is outdated or not properly checked, you could hurt your Chihuahua.

While some steps sound easy and logical to follow on paper, it could be tricky applying them without mistakes in real life.

While I do not recommend these methods, here are some other ways people use to treat tear stains:

#10: Apple cider vinegar

It’s okay to add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, provided it’s organic, to your Chihuahua’s drinking water. The apple cider vinegar will then get rid of toxins from your Chihuahua’s system. It will also stabilize the pH in the body.

#11: Cornstarch

  • Caution: If cornstarch enters your Chihuahua’s eyes it can cause irritation.

#12: Hydrogen peroxide

  • Caution: Apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide could burn your dog’s eyes. Applying cornstarch under the eyes can block the tear ducts even more. Do not under any circumstances apply these directly over the eyes and on the Chihuahua’s skin.

#13: Milk of magnesia

Magnesia milk is usually mixed with hydrogen peroxide and cornstarch.

It’s best to consult your veterinarian before attempting to try any of these methods.

Disclaimer: If you decide for any of the home remedy methods, you’re doing so at your own risk.