6 Ways To Get Rid Of Tear Stains On Chihuahuas

Do you think it is fair enough to say that tear stains on Chihuahuas make them look as if they are about to burst into tears having just watched a sad film trilogy? Before we get into the guide of tear stain removal, remember this: it’s more often than finding a Chihuahua that doesn’t consider itself the master of the house!

Understanding Tear Stains on Chihuahuas

You’re probably wondering why do Chihuahuas develop tear stains, right? Well, thanks to their protruding eyes, Chihuahuas are prone to not only to tear stains but also to cherry eye issue

We can describe tear stains as brownish-red spots which  are usually found below your Chihuahua’s eyes. They are the “mascara streaks” of the dog world. Those stains generally appear as two reddish-brown marks found just beneath the eyes.

tear stains on chihuahuas

The Science Behind the Stains

The tear stains in Chihuahuas are caused by porphyrin, which is a substance. The body breaks down red blood cells to form porphyrins, which are iron-filled compounds. They are passed out through tears and saliva. Porphyrin tears leave marks on your Chihuahua’s coat and we call them tear stains.

How Do Tear Stains Occur in Chihuahuas?

Now, onto the main act: how does it manage to manifest these mysterious signs? Do not take it for granted because leaving it untreated can grow into a bigger problem.

1. Excessive Tearing

  • The Main Culprit: Tearing too much is just like the tap that doesn’t stop running. Chis have huge protruding eyes that can sometimes produce more tears than required.
  • Why the Drama?: Several factors can cause this tear overproduction, such as irritants in the air, allergies, or even just their cute little facial structure.

2. Blocked Tear Ducts

  • Plumbing Issues: Sometimes, the tear ducts in Chihuahuas can get blocked, causing tears to spill out onto their face instead of draining properly.
  • Possible Causes: Infection, inflammation, or just being born with teeny-tiny tear ducts.

3. Diet and Water

  • You Are What You Eat (And Drink): Sometimes, what your pup eats and drinks can contribute to tear staining. High mineral content in water, or certain ingredients in your Chihuahua’s diet, can be the secret agents behind those stains.

4. Health Issues

  • Medical Mystery: Some health issues like teething in puppies, eye infections, or even common conditions like ear infections can lead to increased tearing.
tear stains on chihuahuas

Step-by-Step Guide to Banishing Those Tear Stains on Chihuahua Eyes

Daily Cleaning Routine

Materials Needed:

  • Soft cloth or cotton ball
  • Warm water or vet-approved eye cleaning solution


  • Gently Does It: Wet the cloth or cotton ball with warm water or the cleaning solution. At the Chihuahuas Shop, you can find one of the best tear stain removers. It features only natural ingredients that won’t cause allergic reactions in your pet. 
tear stain on chihuahuas
  • Wipe Away the Sorrows: Carefully wipe the stained area, taking care not to get into your Chihuahua’s eyes. It’s like you’re removing their tiny mascara.
  • Dry and Cuddle: Pat the area dry with a soft towel and reward your little amigo with a cuddle or treat.

Diet and Water Quality


  • Filtered Water: Sometimes tap water’s high mineral content can contribute to tear stains. Consider using filtered water, like you’re serving them a fancy bottled water at a doggy spa.
  • Quality Dog Food: High-quality dog food can make a difference. Look for brands that don’t use fillers or additives, kind of like choosing a salad over fast food for yourself.

Regular Grooming of your Chihuahua


  • Trimming the Hair: Keep the hair around their eyes trimmed. Imagine giving them a tiny eyebrow trim.
  • Regular Baths: A clean and bathed Chihuahua is less likely to have tear stains. It’s like a spa day, but at home.

Vet-Approved Supplements and Treatments


  • Chewable Supplements: There are supplements specifically designed to help with tear staining. It’s like a vitamin but for beauty.
  • Medicated Solutions: In some cases, your vet might recommend special solutions or medications.

Special tip: Removing Tear Stains on Chihuahuas with Cornstarch

What You’ll Need: 

  • Cornstarch (just the regular kind, nothing fancy)
  • Water (tap, filtered, bottled – your dog probably doesn’t mind)
  • A soft brush (like that toothbrush your dentist told you to replace)
  • A soft cloth or cotton ball (for the gentle touch)
  • Treats (and no, not for you, but for your pampered pup)

Cornstarch Magic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Tear Stain Transformation

Prep Your Pup

  • Start by spending some quality cuddle time with your furry friend. It’s like the calm before the (very gentle) storm. This step is crucial for setting a relaxed vibe and reminding your dog that you’re the coolest owner ever.

Mix It Up

  • Whip up a paste that would make any amateur chef proud. Mix a bit of cornstarch with water until you get a consistency that’s not too runny, not too thick. Think toothpaste, but without the minty freshness.

Gentle Application

  • Time for the main event! Using either your fingers or the soft brush, carefully apply the paste to the tear-stained areas. Remember, we’re aiming for a spa experience, not a cornstarch eye mask, so steer clear of those puppy dog eyes.

Let It Sit

  • Patience is a virtue, especially in the world of dog grooming. Let the paste sit for a few minutes while you engage in some quality petting or play a quick game of fetch. Keep your pup entertained and oblivious to the fact they’re in the middle of a beauty treatment.

Brushing Time

  • Once the paste has dried, it’s time to gently brush it away. This step is like the grand reveal in a makeover show, but with less drama and more fur.

The Final Wipe

  • Gently wipe away any remaining cornstarch with a soft cloth or cotton ball. It’s like the gentle breeze after a mild storm – soothing and refreshing.

Reward Time!

  • And now, the moment your dog has been waiting for – treats and praise! Let them know they’ve been an absolute superstar.

A Few Canine Care Tips to Remember

  • Gentle Does It: When you’re near those precious eyes, gentle is the name of the game.
  • Avoid the Eyes: Just to reiterate, keep the paste out of their eyes. Safety first!
  • Consistency Is Key: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and tear stains don’t disappear in one go. Be patient and repeat if necessary.
  • Vet Check: Always a good idea to run things by your vet, especially if your Chihuahua has sensitive skin or existing eye conditions.

Special Tip: Removing Tear Stains with Apple Cider Vinegar

What You’ll Need: 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (organic, if possible)
  • Filtered Water (because your pup deserves the best)
  • A Soft Cloth or Cotton Ball (gentleness is key)
  • A dash of Patience (essential for any pet grooming)
  • Treats (because who doesn’t love a good treat?)

Step-by-Step to Stain-Free Chic

Dilute the Vinegar

  • In a small bowl, mix one part apple cider vinegar with ten parts filtered water. The vinegar is the star here, but we don’t want it too strong. It’s like making a cocktail, but for your dog’s face.

Test a Small Area

  • Before going full Picasso on your pup, test the solution on a small area. We’re aiming for happy tails, not irritated eyes.

Gentle Application

  • Dip your soft cloth or cotton ball into the solution. Gently wipe around the tear-stained area, avoiding direct contact with the eyes. It’s like giving your Chihuahua a mini facial.

Repeat if Necessary

  • Consistency is key. Repeat the process daily for a few days to see the best results. Think of it as your pup’s daily spa ritual.

Reward Time!

  • After each session, reward your four-legged friend with their favorite treat. It’s a great way to end on a high note!

When to See the Vet?

Persistent Stains: If the stains persist despite your efforts, it’s time to call in the pros.

Signs of Infection: Redness, swelling, or discharge?

1. Change in Color or Odor

  • Unusual Colors: If the tear stains turn into a weird color party – like green or yellow – it’s time to call the vet.
  • Smelly Business: A not-so-pleasant odor coming from the tear stains is also a sign that a vet should take a look.

2. Discomfort or Behavioral Changes

  • Rubbing Their Eyes: If your Chihuahua suddenly starts acting like they’re trying to solve a complex math problem by rubbing their eyes, it could indicate discomfort.
  • Changes in Behavior: Less playtime, more naptime, or just not being their usual bossy selves can be a sign something’s bothering them.

3. Excessive Tearing or Discharge

  • Waterworks: Sure, Chihuahuas can be a bit dramatic with their tears, but if it’s like a constant waterfall, it’s worth a vet check.
  • Gunky Eyes: If the tears are more like a thick or gunky discharge, that’s a cue for a professional opinion.

4. Redness or Swelling

  • Eye Redness: Think of it as their eyes being a little too rosy. If the eyes or the skin around them look irritated or red, it’s time for a vet visit.
  • Puffy Eyes: If their eyes or the surrounding area get puffy, like they partied too hard, it’s a signal to get them checked out.

5. Recurring Stains Despite Good Hygiene

  • Clean but Stained: If you’re doing all the right things – cleaning, diet, grooming – and those stains still stick around like a bad sitcom, a vet might need to investigate further.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Remember, you know your Chihuahua best. If something seems off, even if it’s not on this list, trust your instincts. Your vet is like a detective for doggy health, and sometimes, it takes a pro to figure out what’s going on behind those tear stains.

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