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How to Prevent Red Tear Stains on a White or Light-Color Dog

Updated on June 28, 2017

Perry, the Rescued Bichon

Perry is a rescue dog. His full name is Perry White, but most folks just call him Perry.
Perry is a rescue dog. His full name is Perry White, but most folks just call him Perry. | Source

First, Be Careful of Where You Buy Pet Products

A couple of years ago, I bought Angels' Eyes online, and soon the red tear stains returned on our little Maltese. I ordered again from another vendor, and soon the stains were gone again. Remember, though, the stained hair must grow out and be cut off. Angels' Eyes is a preventer, not a remover.

I've had comments from two people about this product not working for them. All I can say is to be careful of where you purchase this and all pet supplies, especially those your dog or cat will take internally.


Unfortunately, Red Tear Stains Don't Simply Wash Off

Everyone has seen little white and blonde dogs with the unsightly red tear stains around their eyes, mouths, and even on their feet. This is a photo I took of my neighbor's dog while his mom was holding him. His name is Perry. He is a rescue dog, so his complete genetic history is unknown, but he is mostly Bichon Frise. He is a real sweetheart, but just like my dog, C.C., Perry prefers people over other dogs. As you can see, he has the same red tear stains that C.C. had in the past. Another neighbor's dog has very dark red stains on his feet where he has licked them. Perry's mom plans to start him on Angels' Eyes very soon. Update: I haven't seen Perry in several months. I will need to check on his progress soon.

You may have read about our little Maltese dog, C.C., in another hub about caring for Maltese dogs. She had the beginnings of these same types of stains when we first got her. She weighed 1.3 pounds, and had light red tear stains under her eyes, as well as all around her mouth from her saliva. She is now almost 9 years old, and looks like a little snowball.

Everywhere we take her, people comment on her beautiful face. So many people have asked me how we keep her face so clean, and how to remove red tear stains on a white dog, that I decided to share what I have learned.

It seems to be the best-kept secret around. I tried not letting C.C. eat red dog biscuits. That didn't help. I tried the liquid tear-stain removers. Again, no luck. I even tried putting a mixture of peroxide and Milk of Magnesia that I read about somewhere, on her stained hair. No luck there, either. Then, one day, I wandered into a new pet supply store that had opened in our neighborhood. That was the day the tear stains began to go away.

Our Sweet Little Maltese, C.C.

Source

He Showed Me A Product Called Angels' Eyes

The owner of a small independent pet store had the answer I had been searching for. He showed me a product called "Angels' Eyes". It worked wonders, and this photo is of C.C. after taking Angels' Eyes for a few weeks. That store has since closed. After the store closed, I went to the big box pet stores. They had never heard of Angels' Eyes. I couldn't find this product anywhere except on the internet.

Angels' Eyes is a food supplement. C.C. prefers the chicken flavor. The label states that it is made of freeze-dried chicken livers. That is the only ingredient listed. It stops tear stains from forming. As long as we add it to her food at least once per week she has no red tear stains at all. It's not cheap, but is well worth the cost. She still gets the dried mucus just below the inside corner of her eyes, as all dogs do, but that easily washes off.

If your pet has red tear stains, you will need to put Angels' Eyes in his/her food every day for a couple of weeks, then no less than once per week from then on. The independent store owner told me to give her about 3/4 teaspoon each time. Once, when I forgot to order it, the staining returned after about 2 weeks without it. I don't forget anymore.

Do you have a white dog?

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Little C.C. After Angels' Eyes

Source

Even Angels' Eyes Doesn't "Remove" the Stains

Instead, It Prevents Further Stains

After your dog begins having Angels' Eyes mixed into his/her food, the dog's body will stop producing the red tears that stain the hair. Angels' Eyes will not remove the red stain from hair that is already stained. The stained hair must be allowed to grow out, and then be cut off. I used to go ahead and cut off as much of it as I could, then there was less stained hair during the growing out time.

This was not much of a problem with our dog, C.C., because her hair grows as fast as mine does. So it wasn't long at all until all the stained hair was gone. Just look at her now!

Does Your Dog or Cat Have Red Tear Stains?

Does your white dog or cat have problems with red tear stains?

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Do You Use Angels' Eyes?

Do you use Angels' Eyes to prevent red tear stains?

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I hope you found the information in this article to be helpful. If you try Angels' Eyes, please consider sending me a before and after photo of your dog. With your permission, I will paste it onto this page, and credit you for the photo.Thank you for your interest. Please let me know you visited.

© 2011 MariaMontgomery

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    • joannalynn lm profile image

      joannalynn lm 5 years ago

      I couldn't figure out what red tear stains are at first, so I had to read the lens! Sometimes I am so dense. I was thinking, what did C.C. get into. My dog-girl is a rat terrier and she doesn't have them, and we've never had a dog with tear stains. I connected before I read the lens, thank goodness. I didn't have to feel totally brainless.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @joannalynn lm: As far as I know, these stains show up only on white or very blonde dogs. I'm not sure what causes them. No need to feel brainless. I'd never noticed them either until we got a white dog.

    • AustriaChick profile image

      AustriaChick 5 years ago

      I have a Maltese and we installed a reverse osmosis water system under the kitchen sink. Great water for humans and our little "Houdini" no longer has tear stains. The vet said that the stains were caused by the tap water.

    • YogaAngel profile image

      YogaAngel 4 years ago

      Thanks mia mia, I have two maltese puppies. One has bad tear stains one doesn't. I was wondering if this worked, because everything else doesn't!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @YogaAngel: The Angels' Eyes works wonders. If the staining is bad, it will take a while for the stained hair to grow out, but any new hair will be snow white. So it will look a bit like a woman who needs to "have her roots done" when bleached or dyed hair grows out. You can just cut off some of the stained hair, though. I tried the chicken flavor this time, & C.C. loves it on canned food -- not so much on dry food. I hope your little puppies like it, too.

    • profile image

      johnsja 4 years ago

      I never knew about red tear stains. Fascinating.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot for this info. Even though my dog is black and white, he sometimes have that situation in the light areas of his face. Thanks for helping me to understand that.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @anonymous: Glad to be of help. Thanks for the squidlike on this lens and for voting in my polls.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @norma-holt: Thank you so much for the angel blessing on this lens. It's one of my favorites. I'll bet your cats have beautiful eyes.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I am in love with your little white doggy and her beautiful snowy face!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @squidoopets: She does have one of those little doggie faces that steal hearts. Thank you for the nice comment, and for the squidlike.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Neat lens. I have a little 7 lb female Maltese/Poodle mix with major red staining around her eyes and face. I'll be looking into this product you're recommending. Thank you!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @TanoCalvenoa: Those little Maltipoos are the cutest dogs. I know you enjoy her. You will like the results you get from Angels' Eyes. Thank you for the thumbs up on this lens, and for your comment. See you around Squidoo.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I had never heard of this product before. One of my dogs isn't white, but she's blond so that's pretty close don't you think ;-) and she does have these tear stains. Not too bad, but it doesn't look nice. So I'll have a look and maybe give it a try! Thank you for the information!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @darkflowers: I do believe it would work for a blond dog, too. If you try it, let me know how it works for you. Thank you for the squidlike and for your comment.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      well, love Squidoo, I always learn something - I'm going to give this product a try - our white/grey dog has this problem, thank you!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @Brite-Ideas: Thanks for visiting, and for the squidlike on this lens. I hope this product works as well on your dog as it has on mine.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thanks for this information. We have never tried Angel's Eyes and our Bruno could use some help with tear stains.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @OhMe: You're very welcome. Please get some for Bruno. He will thank you forever. Thanks for the squidlike, and for your comment. See you around Squidoo.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @RaidaMoon: I do hope she tries Angel's Eyes. I'm sure she will like it. Thanks so much for your comment and squidlike.

    • profile image

      Im2keys 3 years ago

      This is very good to know, we may need this product in the near future!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @Im2keys: You will love it. Thanks for the squidlike and for your comment.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 3 years ago from California

      Wow, that's fantastic! Those red stains are unsightly and your little dog looks so beautiful with snowy white fur.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @Lynda Makara: They really are unsightly. C.C. says thank you for your compliment on her clean white coat. Actually, she needs a bath today... Thank you for the squidlike and for your nice comment.

    • profile image

      Ruth Cox 2 years ago

      I have no need for the tear stain remedy but I will for sure pass your info on to those who may have need of a solution for their dogs. C.C. is adorable, as I'm sure you already know!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 2 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Yeah, we kind of like her. Truth be told, she is the princess around here. She even has her own tiny tiara, but she won't keep it on. Thank you so much for sharing this hub. I truly appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Gigi 15 months ago

      I used Angel Eyes, with great success, a few years ago on my beautiful bichon. Then the FDA made Angel Eyes discontinue the product because it contained an antibiotic. The antibiotic is what stops the tear stains, and my vet said it was perfectly safe. Now they have a "natural" product that does not get good reviews at all, so I am hesitant to try it.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 14 months ago from Central Florida, USA

      That's good information to have. Thank you. Until my most recent purchase of Angels Eyes, I had not noticed any difference. Now, I do see a slight yellowish tinge on C.C.'s feet and beard. Still no stains around her eyes, though. Thank goodness.

    • profile image

      Angie 3 months ago

      I used Angel Eyes for over 10 years for my dog. It worked wonders. All of a sudden the stains starting returning, and I discoverd Angel Eyes removed the antibiotic that stops the staining. It no longer works.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 3 months ago from Central Florida, USA

      Our Malteses is a little over 12 years old, and we have been using it almost that long. She has no red staining at all. Once, I did get what must have been back Angels' Eyes that I ordered online, because the red stains came back. I got a new one, and we've had no stains since then. You may want to consider a different vendor. That's what I did.

    • profile image

      Elizabeth 8 weeks ago

      I found little mites burrowing in my dogs eye lids. I filled a glass of water and put 3 to 4 drops tea tree oil in, mixing it and dipped in a q-tip wet it with the mixture dabbing it on my dogs eye lids. I did not let any escape into the eyes as the q-tip was not dripping wet. No more red tears!!

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