What Foods Cause Tear Stains In Dogs? Food to Avoid

By amelia 7 Min Read

Looking into your pet dog’s puppy eyes could melt your heart away within no time, but you must have noticed your cute pet has tear stains in his eyes too. No matter how often you wipe them out, they are always there until you know the cause and act accordingly. Do you know that the food you feed your dog causes dog tear stains? Knowing What Foods Cause Tear Stains In Dogs? It would help if you were concerned about this as a priority to keep your pet dog happy and hearty.

What are tear stains and their causes?

To know the remedy, we must first understand what tear stains are on dogs. They are classified as reddish or brown marks under a dog’s eyes running in their inner corners, known as porphyrins. The first case could be the overproduction of tears and the inadequacy to drain them, known as epiphora. Lifestyle or diet can cause epiphora in dogs. When the dog is allergic to some food, using the bowl he eats or drinks water from can cause epiphora. Although tear stains are not usually harmful, they could cause serious infections and health problems.

Which Foods Can Cause Tear Stains in Dogs?

Tear stains in dogs can be allergies from the food or water bowl or the food or water itself. Food that contains low-quality grains and artificial ingredients can be a major cause of tear stains. Fillers of low quality, such as the use of corn and wheat, can also be the cause of tear stains. In the same way, artificial coloring and flavors can also cause epiphora, upsetting the dog’s stomach and making its eyes produce tear stains. Preservatives can also cause chemical reactions creating tear stains.

Foods to avoid prevent tear stains in dogs:

What Foods Cause Tear Stains In Dogs? Protein is a major part of a pet dog’s diet, but it can contribute to tear stains greatly. Red meat is always rich in iron, intensifying the tear staining. Along with protein, red meat has magnesium, which could put extra pressure on the liver to work. The excessive use of iron and magnesium can cause the overproduction of tear stains in dogs. To get rid of it or to control it to a greater extent, you can eliminate the use of red meat from a dog’s diet.

As has been mentioned already, excessive use of iron and magnesium causes tear staining in dogs; you need to avoid using them for the betterment of your dog. Tap water also contains iron and magnesium, making way for porphyrins. You need to use filtered and clean water to prevent tear stains.

In taking supplements to avoid tear stains in dogs:

Most pet dogs suffer from not having supplements in their diet, which cause tear staining. You can provide your dog with these supplements using high-quality fish oil that can reduce inflammation. Fatty acids, like fish oil, can be a rich source of supplements addressing eye issues. It would be best if you consider top brands for fatty acids to avoid any risks involving your dog’s health.

Some other steps to take to avoid tear staining:

  • There are some other steps to take to prevent tear staining in dogs.
  • One could use a shampoo that won’t cause tear stains in dogs‘ eyes.
  • A neat and clean bowl for letting the dog eat and drink from will prevent it.
  • Avoid using low-quality plastic bowls for feeding your dog.
  • Take vitamins and minerals necessary for the dog’s diet to improve to eliminate tear stains.

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What if the tear staining persists?

Removing from adding something to your dog’s diet can reduce tear staining, but if the problem continues, the reasons could be ear or eye infections, longer lashes, medication, or larger tear glands.

It would be best if you saw a vet to prescribe medication for the eye or ear infection to go away. Cut the long lashes or hair around the dog’s eyes to stop the tear stain. You should know that the dog is not allergic to the drug you use for the tear staining. To treat these, you must first understand the root cause of the tear stains.


Here are some FAQs regarding tear staining in dogs that each dog owner must know. They are:

What is tear staining in dogs?

Tear staining is the reddish or brown liquid produced in the dogs’ eyes from the corners.

What foods cause tear staining in dogs?

Like red meat, food containing high iron and magnesium can cause tear stains in dogs.

Is tear staining dangerous?

Tear staining is common in dogs, and it is not that harmful, but it can cause health problems if not taken care of properly.

How to remove the existing tear stains from a dog’s eyes?

You can wipe the dog’s eyes with an article of wet and neat and clean soft clothing to remove the existing stains and tears in the dog’s eyes.

What foods can stop tear staining in the dog’s eyes?

High minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids like fish oil can help you save your dog from tear stains.


Tear stains in dogs are a common problem that dog owners are concerned about. What Foods Cause Tear Stains In Dogs? Poor diet, allergies to artificial food, or many fillers containing magnesium and iron can cause this problem to a greater extent. Some other causes, like long lashes, larger tear glands, or eye infections; that can also cause tear staining. You need to take some measures, consult a vet and solve your dog’s eye-staining problem.

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