Excessive Tearing In Dogs – Causes And Dogs Tear Stains Treatment

Are you concerned about excessive tearing in dogs? What exactly does it mean when your dog has tears? You might automatically assume that your dog is sad or misses you, but it might be an indicator of eye irritation or some stress. Excess tearing (or Epiphora) is usually a response to an environmental irritant and may be a sign that your dog has allergies. The discoloration is caused by bacterial and yeast growth.

In this article, you will learn the causes of excessive tearing in dogs and their solutions.

Excessive Tearing In Dogs Causes

Many potential factors cause excessive tearing in dogs.

Below are the most common reasons for excessive tearing in dogs.


A genetic factor is one of the foremost common causes of excessive tearing in dogs. Your dog may have a facial bone structure or predominantly large eyes that cause excess tearing. The anatomy of the many dog breeds is only more conducive to excess tearing. It is just a fact of life for many breeds, and according to my vet, it is nothing to be alarmed about. 

Environmental Factors 

It is the primary cause of excessive tearing in dogs. If your dog faces a lot of dust or things that cause allergic reactions, it can cause your dog to have excessive tearing.  It would be very beneficial if you kept your dog clean with frequent baths so that shedding hair, dust, and other debris do not make their way into your dog’s eyes and cause irritation.

Smoky Area

Smoke is also a common cause of excessive tearing in dogs. Dogs that live in smokers’ homes seem to tear more. Dogs that stay outside area generally tear more than dogs that live in the home. Wind and dirt can irritate the eyes and make excessive tearing.

Emotional Factors

Emotional disturbance is the primary cause of excessive tearing in dogs. Dogs that are free of stress and live in a happy, loving home,  tearless than an anxious, lonely, or badly treated dog. Because the causes of tearing are so varied, it cannot be claimed clearly that there is a special connection between your dog’s emotional state and tear staining – but you can be confident that a happy dog with less stress will be in better health overall.


Pain in the teeth is also one of the most common causes of excessive tearing in dogs.  A teething puppy will sometimes have excess tearing. In my puppy’s case, the tearing was way more extreme than just from teething.

Clogged Tear Ducts

Some dogs have tiny tear ducts that clog up, and this causes additional tearing.

Excessive Tearing In Dogs Treatment

You can decrease excessive tearing in dogs by following some tips below.

Keep your dog’s eye area clean. 

 You should check your dog’s eyes regularly for dust, stray hairs, and dried-up tears or debris. Any foreign matter in or around your dog’s eyes can irritate and lead to more tearing.

Keep your dog healthy. 

 Check your dog at least twice yearly for ear mites and ear infections, yeast or bacterial infections of the eye, and clogged tear ducts.

Doggy Hygiene 

 Bathing your dog often will remove debris and dust from your dog’s fur and reduce the chance of fleas. Use non-irritating shampoos and cleansers. Make sure to dry the dog’s ears thoroughly after each bath to help reduce the chance of ear infections.

Eliminate the cause of excessive tearing in dogs 

Some causes cannot be stopped, for instance, it is impossible to stop your dog’s excessive watery eyes if it is caused by conditions such as shallow eye sockets, but some causes can be reduced or can be eliminated. If an eye discharge infection is a reason, this should be treated with the help of a vet to eliminate the eye infection. 

Check for physical causes.

 Excessive tears and staining in dogs may be due to irritation in the eyes. Examine is there an eyelash or a hair continually rubbing against the eye? Comb the fur on the face away from the eye area, and if necessary, trim the skin, so it doesn’t contact the sensitive eyes.

Does your dog have tear-stain problems?

These eye stains are an ugly, red, or brown scar that stains itself in the coat. They also have a low odor and can be very irritating to dogs. Tear staining is more than just an unpleasant eye stain, but an unhealthy condition to dogs. When left untreated, these spots are pools of bacteria and infection, that if left alone can be harmful to dogs and incredibly hard to remove.

 Dog tear stains will typically occur in smaller dogs and can be an issue to handle. Different breeds of dogs will suffer from a variety of similar yet unique problems which are mainly caused by an excessive build-up of tears that block the tear ducts. This build-up causes dark colors under the eyes. Maltese tear staining is very common in dogs, as are poodle tear stains.

Use a Tear Stain Remover that Works 

 I tried almost every tear stain remover I could get my hands on (after of course checking with my vet for approval!) and I was frustrated because I could not find one that worked. FINALLY, I came across what I now call a “miracle” tear stain remover that was easy to use and worked like a charm. It was one easy step, and now my precious Maltese has a beautifully clean face.

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Dog owners have been known to treat dog eye stains at home. Mixing a teaspoon of white cider vinegar into your dog’s water bowl or giving your dog TUMS are some common homemade remedies. 

Another very effective remedy is an equal quantity of magnesia milk, corn starch, and hydrogen peroxide mix and made into a paste and applied to the tear-stained area. 

Before a portrait, dog owners and masters have been known to whiten up a coat by rubbing corn starch into the coat.

The eye area is extremely sensitive. Use caution when applying any chemical near your pets’ eyes. Don’t rub anything into the eye and be careful that nothing splashes into the eye. Discussing the tear-staining solutions with your Veterinarian and Groomer will ensure an effective and safe outcome.