Removing Tear Stains from Pet Fur

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)

It is normal for pets with light-colored fur to, over time, develop dark-colored stains under their eyes. These stains are caused by the iron content in the animal's tears, which causes a "rusting" effect as the tears dry. Even those animals with darker fur get these stains; it is just simply easier to see the stains on the lighter-colored fur. This purely cosmetic problem has a very easy solution, though it does require a little work on your part.

First, you need to ensure that your pet does not actually have an eye infection. There are a number of signs that may indicate that your pet may have an eye infection. The main ones that you want to keep an eye out for (no pun intended) are if there is a thick, cloudy discharge, eyes that are frequently bloodshot, a growth on the eyelid, or a strong odor being emitted from the area of the stains. If you notice any of these warning signs, be sure to take your pet in for a check up as quickly as possible. Once any medical condition has been ruled out as a cause for the stains, you may proceed to the next step in removing the stains.

Removing the stains simply requires that there be a little haircut given to your pet. Trim around the eyes to remove the stained hair. Unless you are a very skilled pet groomer, you may want to take your pet into a trained professional. Working near Fluffy's eyes with sharp objects can be dangerous; one slip and your next stop would be to purchase a poochie pirate patch.

Once the hair has been trimmed, there are a couple of options you can use to keep the stains from returning. The first option is that you can keep the hair trimmed from that point on. This would allow time for the tears to dry without getting into the fur surrounding the eyes and thus staining them. The second option is that you can simply wipe around the eyes of your pet with a wash cloth that has been moistened with clean water. While this makes the fur wet, it does remove the tears and their iron content before they can dry and stain the fur.

One method that you may hear suggested is to apply antibiotic ointments around the eyes to avoid the stains. This really isn't a good idea and should be avoided. The reason is simple: As with most medicines, those ointments are problem-specific. If used incorrectly they could lead to eye damage for your pet.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

MORE FROM DORIS

Reducing Fat in Your Foods

We're all worried about fat. There are simple ways to reduce the amount you eat. Just a few tips will help you keep your ...

Discover More

Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is highly intelligent and easily trained. His physical expressions are known to closely resemble humans.

Discover More

Eye Makeup for Work

You may have mastered the art of beautiful, dramatic makeup. However, more natural-looking makeup is more appropriate for ...

Discover More
More Pet Tips

Does Your Dog Shed Hair?

Many dogs shed hair, and I believe it is one of the burdens of pet ownership. If stray dog hair everywhere drives you up ...

Discover More

Learn the Best Way to Wash a Dog

Washing a dog can definitely be an adventure, and a messy and wet one at that. You need to wash your dog, but if you want ...

Discover More

Clean Your Dog's Teeth with Baking Soda

Dog oral hygiene is important, but not always fun to maintain. You can try baking soda to deep clean your dog's teeth, ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)