Grooming, Health

Shih Tzu Tear Stain Removal – Complete Guide

shih tzu tear stains



petpost tear stain remover for shih tzu
Best Choice Tear Stain Remover – Petpost

If you are lucky enough to own a black or brown Shih Tzu then you’ve probably had no concerns about tears stains around your dog’s eyes. But if like most Shih Tzu owners your dog is white or a lighter color then you have more than likely had to deal with this problem.


In this article, we’ll talk about how to identify tear stains, what causes the discoloration around the eyes of your dog, how to remove the stains, and finally, we’ll recommend some products that can help you keep on top of this problem including wipes and combs.


Our best choice award for a tear stain remover goes to Petpost. We like this product as it has a powerful solution made from natural ingredients. You can read our extended review below.

Below is a table of the options we would recommend to help remove your dog’s tear stains. Please read the rest of the article so you can make an informed decision about how best to approach this issue.


Jump straight to recommended wipes and combs…



Article Contents:




How To Identify Tear Stains From Natural Hair


shih tzu tear stainsBefore we get into talking about tear stains it’s worth mentioning that what might appear to be discoloration around your dog’s eyes may actually be the natural color of the hair.


If the color of the hair around the eyes closely matches the color on other patches around the face and on other places on your Shih Tzu’s coat then it could simply be your dog’s natural hair.


Also, if the coloring around the eyes was there when your Shih Tzu was born or developed in the first 6 months then this will also be the natural hair color around your dog’s eyes.


However, in most cases, it won’t be too difficult to see that the stains are not the natural color of your dog’s hair. You’ll notice the hairs around the eyes will start to develop a quite clear discoloration of a pink, red, brown, rusty kind of color.


The exact color of your dog’s tear stains will depend on what has caused the eyes to run and also the original color of your Shih Tzu’s coat.


Lets now move on to talk about what causes this discoloration in the first place.



Causes Of Tear Stains

Essentially, your dog’s tear stains are caused by watery discharge from its eyes. When this watery discharge accumulates on your dog’s fur it provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.

The molecules in the watery discharge that cause the discoloration are known as porphyrins. Porphyrins are produced with the breakdown of red blood cells and are excreted not only through the tear duct but also in urine and saliva.


This is why the discoloration is usually a reddish color and can also occur if a dog excessively licks itself in a certain area.

So what are the causes of your dog experiencing excessive watery eye discharge? There are a variety of reasons including:

  • Genetics – It’s possible that your Shih Tzu has a genetic predisposition to eye discharge.
  • Allergies – An environmental or food allergy could be causing eye discharge.
  • Reaction to feeding and drinking utensils – Sometimes a dog will have an allergic reaction to certain plastics that the food or water bowl is made of.
  • High mineral content from tap water – If this is the case then some dog owners will filter their tap water.
  • Eye irritants – Possible irritants include cigarette smoke or persistent use of cleaning products.
  • Tear duck malformation – In some cases, your dog’s tear duck may be malformed, and both larger or smaller than usual tear ducks can lead to excessive discharge.
  • Eye disease – This would include infections, glaucoma, and other related eye conditions.
  • Fleas – Regardless of eye discharge you should always keep an eye on a flea infestation.
  • Adverse reaction to medication – If your Shih Tzu suddenly starts to get discoloration around the eyes after they have started a course of medication then a reaction to that medication could be a possible reason.

It’s also worth mentioning that teething in puppies can also cause watery eyes. This will usually start around 4 to 5 months and will end in around 9 months. If the stains are not properly cleaned at the time they may stay for a considerable time after your Shih Tzu has stopped teething.


How To Prevent Tear Stains On Your Shih Tzu


Light-coated breeds like the Shih Tzu will usually develop tear stains at some point in their life. They can be very unsightly for many owners and a common question from Shih Tzu owners is how do I prevent them from occurring?


You should always speak to your vet first about your dog’s tear stains as they could be a symptom of an underlying illness. You would preferably like to have a consultation with a veterinary ophthalmologist.


Once you are sure that the stains are not caused by illness then you can look into the following tips to prevent the stains from developing in the first place.


  1. Are You Feeding Them Quality Dog Food? – poor food full of fillers, additives, and preservatives is more likely to cause allergic reactions and excessive tearing. Please see the end of this post for further articles about the best food for you Shih Tzu.
  2. Check Your Water – Excess minerals can cause tear staining so try using distilled or filtered water for a while and see if there is an improvement.
  3. Daily Eye Hygiene – Clean your dog’s eyes every day with a suitable dog eye wipe or tear stain remover. Please see below for our suggested options.
  4. Keep Your Dog’s Eyes Dry – Try to keep the moist areas around your dog’s eyes dry – especially after drinking. You can simply use a paper towel but there are other options such as a corn starch powder or even a different kind of water dispenser.
  5. Medication – Antibiotics are sometimes used to prevent tear stains but only give your dog medication if it has been recommended by your vet.


tear stain remover infogrpahic



How To Remove Tear Stains




Wipes & Combs For Tear Stain Removal


Below we will recommend options for all the stuff you will need to help with preventing and removing tear stains. All the products contain only natural products and have received excellent customer reviews.


Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for Dogs


nutri vet dog eye rinse


Nutri-Vet Eye rinse is a good choice to help keep your dog’s eyes clean and healthy and to prevent tear stains. It has a gentle formula and contains no chemicals so you don’t have to worry about it irritating your dog’s eyes.


It’s great at removing debris from the eyes and also helps to fight against infection by creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow.


And by helping to keep the eyes clean it will help with the build-up of tear stains.


Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon and you can read the reviews for yourself here.




  • Non-irritating ophthalmic solution.
  • Removes debris.
  • Helps remove tear stains.
  • Slows down the formation of tear stains.
  • Chemical-free.
  • Helps against eye infections.


Check the price of Nutri-Vet on Amazon



Petpost Tear Stain Remover


petpost tear stain remover for shih tzu


best choice

Our best choice award goes to the Petpost Tear Stain Remover. We like this product as it contains natural plant-based ingredients but still has a powerful solution that gets the job done.


You can use this product to remove or lighten existing stains as well as mucus and crust without fear of irritating your Shih Tzu’s eyes or causing them any pain.


It also contains coconut oil that helps to soothe the skin and area surrounding the eyes. It has a convenient nozzle which make the solution easy to apply.






  • Plant-based natural ingredients.
  • Powerful solution.
  • Does not irritate your dog’s eyes or skin.
  • Removes or lightens stains without chemicals or bleach.
  • Contain coconut oil that soothes the skin around the eyes.
  • Easy to apply with a convenient nozzle.


Check the price of Petpost Tear Stain Remover on Amazon



Arava Pet Eye Wipes


eye wipes shih tzu tear stain removal


Arava Pet Wipes are another excellent choice to help with the removal of your Shih Tzu tears stains. They are specially formulated for dogs with sensitive skin so will help to remove those unsightly stains without causing your Shih Tzu any discomfort. 


The main reason why we recommend these wipes is that they are free of any chemicals and bleach and only contain natural ingredients including vitamins and Dead Sea minerals. These added vitamins and minerals not only help to remove the stains but are also good for your dog’s fur and skin.


As well as being made with only natural ingredients they are also allergy-free making them perfect for dogs that have any issues with allergies and also making them suitable for puppies. 


eye wipes shih tzu tear stain removal


Pros Of Arava Pet Wipes:


  • Chemical-free.
  • Bleach free.
  • Enriched with natural ingredients.
  • Includes vitamins and Dead Sea minerals.
  • Allergy-free.
  • Suitable for puppies.
  • Formulated for sensitive eyes.


Check the price of Arava Pet Eye Wipes on Amazon



Petpost Tear Stain Removal Comb


shih tzu tear stain removal comb


The Petpost Tear Stain Remover Comb is a good choice of comb for cleaning around your Shih Tzu’s eyes. It has a simple but sturdy design with stainless steel pins. It’s a fine-tooth comb with 65 pins making it perfect for a Shih Tzu. The pins are also rounded which reduces the chances of pulling or tearing your dog’s fur.


We have recommended this comb for you as it’s a simple but effective design to get the job done, it’s good value for money, and has excellent reviews from many satisfied dog owners.


One of the reasons dog owners like to use a comb to help with tear stains is that they remove the problem at the source. With a comb, you can remove the crusty build-up of mucus that eventually leads to discoloration.


Pros Of The Petpost Tear Stain Remover Comb:


  • Sturdy design with stainless steel pins.
  • Extra fine comb with 65 pins.
  • Rounds pins to reduce pulling and tearing of the fur.
  • Prevents tears stain at the source.


Check the price of the Petpost Tear Stain Remover Comb on Amazon

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