How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: August 3, 2023
How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle

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Removing tear stains from a Poodle requires ensuring the safety and comfort of the dog. As with other white or very light-colored breeds, Poodles are susceptible to ugly rust-colored stains around their eyes. These spots are caused by tears. They occur due to minerals such as iron and magnesium contained in the chemical makeup of the tears. When the fluid leaks from the dog's tear ducts, these minerals can oxidize and give the dog a rather unpleasant reddish brown color around the eye.

If you want to find out the causes of this problem and possible solutions, keep reading Animal Wised. Not only do we explain how to remove tear stains from a Poodle, we explain how to do it naturally and how to prevent tear stains in the future.

You may also be interested in: How to Get Rid of Tear Stains on Maltese Dogs

Why do poodles have tear stains around their eyes?

The reason why these stains appear in any dog is due to the presence of iron and magnesium in the lacrimal composition, i.e. the dog's tears. These elements fall around the eyes and oxidize when they reach contact with the air, becoming rust in color. In principle, they don't cause any problem for the dog which may be considered serious, but it is a sign warning that the dog's body has an initial problem.

In the stained hairs surrounding the eyes, fungi and bacteria are more likely to spread. If nothing is done this can cause infections over time. It is often a symptom of a nutritional deficiency, allergies or it may be that their lacrimal duct is blocked. That's why it is important that the veterinarian checks the Poodle and unblocks the tear duct. In addition, if you notice your dog has bloodshot eyes, it is very important that you see a professional.

Below are some tips on removing tear stains from a Poodle. It does not prevent the causes of a a Poodle's initial stains, but it will help clean up the area and reduce potential infections.

Poodle tear stain removal safety

Before we clean the tear stains from a Poodle, we need to ensure their safety. This will largely be determined by their reactions, so it is important that any dog is well trained, especially for procedures such as this. Consider the following before removing tear stains from a Poodle:

  • Always approach your Poodle calmly and gently during grooming to ensure their comfort and cooperation.

  • Avoid getting water or cleaning solutions directly into your Poodle's eyes, as this can cause irritation and discomfort.

  • Do not use force or apply pressure when wiping the eye area to avoid causing pain or injury.

  • If your Poodle resists or becomes stressed during the grooming process, take breaks and resume when they are more relaxed.

  • It might be helpful to have someone else help you by comforting and restraining the Poodle during the cleaning.

It's essential to make the grooming experience positive and stress-free for your Poodle. If you are unsure about removing tear stains or notice any concerning symptoms around your Poodle's eyes, consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance and assistance.

Learn more about the types of Poodle in our related article.

How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle - Poodle tear stain removal safety

How to remove Poodle tear stains - step-by-step guide

As stated above, removing tear stains from a Poodle requires a gentle and safe approach to ensure the dog's comfort and safety. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to physically remove tear stains from a Poodle:

Step 1: Gather supplies

Collect the necessary supplies before you start. You will need a soft, clean cloth or cotton balls, warm water or a saline solution, and a towel or dry cloth for drying the area.

Step 2: Prepare the Poodle

Choose a calm and comfortable area for grooming. Make sure your Poodle is relaxed and at ease before you begin.

Step 3: Wet the cloth or cotton ball

Dampen the soft cloth or cotton ball with warm water or a saline solution. The solution can be made by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water. Ensure the solution is not too hot to avoid discomfort for your Poodle.

Step 4: Gently wipe the eye area

With the damp cloth or cotton ball, gently wipe the area around your Poodle's eyes. Be very gentle and avoid applying pressure to the eyes. Wipe away any tear residue or buildup.

Step 5: Dry the area

Use a dry, clean cloth or towel to gently pat the eye area dry. Ensure the area is completely dry to prevent moisture buildup, which can contribute to tear staining.

Step 6: Trim the hair

If your Poodle has long hair around the eyes, consider trimming it to prevent tear stains. Use blunt-tipped scissors and be cautious not to cut too close to the eyes.

Step 7: Monitor for irritation

Keep an eye on your Poodle's eye area during and after cleaning. Watch for any signs of irritation, redness, or discomfort. If you notice any adverse reactions, stop immediately and consult your veterinarian.

When you are removing tear stains from your Poodle, you will need to ensure the products are safe for the animal. Only use pet-friendly products specifically designed for pet grooming. Avoid using harsh chemicals or human eye care products, as they can be harmful to your Poodle.

How to remove a Poodle's tear stains naturally

There are several natural products you can use to remove tear stains from a Poodle's fur. These products are generally safe and gentle on your dog's sensitive eye area. Here are some natural options:

  • Saline solution: a saline solution made by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water can be used to gently clean the area around your Poodle's eyes. The solution helps dissolve tear stains and keeps the area clean.

  • Coconut oil: coconut oil has natural antibacterial and moisturizing properties. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to a soft cloth and gently wipe away tear stains.

  • Witch hazel: witch hazel is a natural astringent with soothing properties. Dilute witch hazel with an equal amount of water and use it to clean the tear-stained area.

  • Chamomile tea: brew a cup of chamomile tea, allow it to cool, and use it to clean the area around your Poodle's eyes. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe the skin.

  • Apple cider vinegar: mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, and use it as a gentle cleaning solution for tear stains. Apple cider vinegar has natural cleansing properties.

  • Aloe vera gel: aloe vera gel is gentle on the skin and can help soothe any irritation caused by tear stains. Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to the stained area.

Remember to always use a soft cloth or cotton ball when applying any solution near your Poodle's eyes to avoid causing discomfort or irritation. Also, be cautious not to get the solution directly into your dog's eyes.

Before trying any new product on your Poodle, it's a good idea to do a patch test on a small area to ensure they don't have any allergic reactions. If you notice any adverse reactions or if tear staining persists despite using natural remedies, consult with your veterinarian for further guidance and to rule out any underlying health issues.

How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle - How to remove a Poodle's tear stains naturally

How to prevent a Poodle's eyes from staining

Preventing tear stains around a Poodle's eyes involves a combination of regular grooming, maintaining good eye hygiene, and addressing any underlying health issues. Here are some tips to help prevent tear stains in Poodles:

  • Regular eye cleaning: gently clean the area around your Poodle's eyes daily using a soft, damp cloth or cotton ball. Cleaning a dog's eyes regularly helps remove tear residue, preventing the buildup of tear stains in doing so.

  • Keep the face dry: after cleaning, use a dry, clean cloth to gently pat the area around your Poodle's eyes dry. Keeping the face dry can help minimize moisture that contributes to tear staining.

  • Trim the hair: keep the hair around your Poodle's eyes trimmed to prevent it from getting into the eyes and collecting tear stains. Use blunt-tipped scissors and be cautious not to cut too close to the eyes. You can learn about cutting a dog's hair in our related article.

  • High-quality diet: feed your Poodle a balanced and high-quality diet that supports overall eye health and reduces the likelihood of excessive tearing.

  • Food and water bowls: use elevated food and water bowls to reduce strain on your Poodle's neck and prevent any food or water from getting into the eyes. Learn more about how to do this correctly with our article on elevated food bowls for dogs.

  • Allergen management: if your Poodle is prone to allergies, identify and manage allergens to reduce excessive tearing. This may involve changing their diet or addressing environmental allergens.

  • Regular grooming: regularly groom your Poodle to keep their fur clean and free from debris. This can prevent staining caused by tear runoff.

  • Regular veterinary check-ups: schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your Poodle's eye health and detect any potential issues early.

  • Avoid irritants: avoid using any products, such as shampoos or eye care solutions, that may irritate your Poodle's eyes or skin. Opt for natural and gentle alternatives when grooming or cleaning.

  • Reduce stress: minimize stress in your Poodle's environment, as stress can contribute to excessive tearing. Provide a calm and comfortable living space for your dog.

Remember that tear staining can have various causes, including genetics, breed characteristics and health issues. Some dogs may naturally have more tearing and complete prevention may not always be possible. If tear staining persists or worsens, or if you notice any other concerning symptoms around your Poodle's eyes, consult with a veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying health issues and provide appropriate guidance for managing tear stains effectively.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle, we recommend you visit our Beauty tips category.

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Lovely Cavapoo
The cavapoo AKA Cavoodle is a cross of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, also known as Cavoodle. The size of this crossbreed depends on the Poodle size, the standard size is about 9 to 14 inches, weighing between 9 to 25 pounds. The lifespan of the Cavapoo is around 10 to 15 years.

They’ve seemed to have attained their loyal, devoted nature from the Poodle, and their social, affectionate persona from the King Charles Spaniel. So, because I’ve fallen in love with these pups– I have decided to devote an entire article to the prestigious Cavoodle.
I used regular zinc oxide and would put a tad on my the tip of my little finger and out it down the area where the stains are made. This kept the tearing from staining white or cream colored Poodles as it prevented the wet to get on their fur plus it covered it up if there was a little stain. I would call it their “make up”! 🤩. This usually would do the trick and frequent grooming would keep the stained fur removed. baby bottom Desitin worked too, it it had other ingredients in it, I preferred plain zinc oxide, such as Life guards would put on their noses in the olden days to keep from getting sunburned. This is also much more cost effective than the stuff they try and sell that does no good.

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How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle

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