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Being a dog owner, everyone wants the best for their beloved pet. Therefore, it is important to know everything that is causing discomfort to your dog. 

One of those things can be tear stains. If your dog has brown, pink, or red stains running from the inner corners of its eyes, it is suffering from a condition called tear staining. 

Top 7 Best Dog Food for Tear Stains and How to Prevent Them

Especially if it has a lighter hair color like white, beige, or brown, it can be quite visible. It is mainly caused by excessive tears clogged in their tear duct, unable to drain them. 

Now, don’t worry, as it’s not some deadly disease but can lead to severe ailments if you don’t get your dog treated in time

Giving a nutritious diet to your dog is the key to preventing tear staining. So, if you want to know exactly how to prevent tear stains and what is the best dog food for tear stains, then keep on reading! 

Four Reasons That Cause Tear Staining in Dogs

Tear staining in pets is not a good sign. There are several reasons for this symptom, and it is essential to beware of the root cause. Here are the four main reasons that cause dog tear stains: 

1. Genetic

Some breeds of dogs are more prone to having tear stains than others. It is possible because of the different genes that react differently to unique foods and environments. 

Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC Chief Veterinary Officer, explained why he gets certain breeds of dogs for tear-stain treatment more than others because of their genetics

2. Environment

The kind of environment your pet is living in also plays a major role in causing tear stains. For example, if the water in your house has more iron content, then it might be the reason behind tear staining in your dog’s eyes. 

Keep an eye out for what your dog is allergic to. It can be allergic to plastic, fabrics, and many other things that cause tear stains. 

3. Health Issues 

Serious health issues like conjunctivitis, glaucoma, eye infection, ingrown eyelashes, and ear infection can cause dog eye stains. 

When you see a brown spot on your dog’s eye, make sure to visit a vet to understand the root cause. These eye problems might lead to severe optical impairment.  

4. Poor Dietary Intake

Another major reason your dog has tear stains could be a poor diet. Your pet needs a balanced diet with ample nutrients to live a healthy life. If you are feeding sub-par quality food, then the chances for your dog to get stains are higher. 

Invest in the best dog food for tear stains and delicious dog treats that are packed full of nutrients to prevent any reactions. 

Best Dog Food for Tear Stains – Buying Guide

Providing your pet with food that has the right nutrients is important. There are a few things you need to keep in mind while buying dog food. Here is how to get the best dog food for tear stains: 

Digestive Issues

The first and foremost thing you have to be careful about is any digestive issues that your pet may have. If the ingredients in your dog’s food react adversely with their digestive system, it can cause inflammation in their body parts, including tear ducts. 


Closely observe the physical changes in your dog when you introduce them to new food. Steer clear of any ingredient that is causing allergic reactions. In addition to that, avoid cheap dog food as there is no guarantee about the quality of ingredients used in its making. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Ensure that the dog food you are selecting is rich in fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The best dog food for tear stains should also contain sufficient carbohydrates, proteins, macro minerals, and trace minerals. Your dog will stay healthier and away from infections that cause tear stains with a balanced diet. 

Filler Ingredients

Even though dogs can rely on simple proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals, some manufacturers like to add a few filler ingredients. For example, grains like corn, wheat, etc., are added to dog food to increase the weight without increasing its cost. 

Artificial Flavors and Colors 

Most cheap dog foods add artificial flavors and colors to their formulas to make the product more attractive to your pet. However, these chemical-based flavors and colors can cause digestive disruptions and allergic reactions in your dog’s body. 

Artificial Preservatives

Chemical preservatives are bad for your pet’s health. Thoroughly go through the ingredient lists and see if there are any artificial preservatives in the dog food. These artificial preservatives can cause an allergic reaction which results in excessive tears from your dog’s eyes. 

All-Natural Diet

Lastly, make sure the dog food you are purchasing comprises all-natural ingredients. Artificial ingredients can harm the health of your pet. Look for the best dog food for tear stains to prevent any infections. 

Five Best Dog Food for Tear Stains

1. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Easy to Digest Dry Dog Food

Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

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The Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Easy to Digest Dry Dog Food is a no-nonsense meal for your pet at all its life stages. It contains real salmon with a combination of pumpkin and sweet potato. Salmon is one of the best protein sources for dogs which is easy on the stomach, making it perfect for them. 

It is free from any traces of wheat, corn, artificial flavors, and colors which keeps its stomach safe. The lightweight formula ensures hunger is satisfied, yet the digestion is easy. 

Nature’s Recipe has more than 30 years of experience in making easily digestible foods for dogs. They also have the best dog food for eye health, based on natural ingredients, sufficient vitamins, and added minerals. 

2. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Real Salmon and Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Keeping the dietary needs of dogs in mind, Diamond naturals has come up with the best dog food for tear stains the name of Skin & Coat Real Salmon and Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

It consists of high-quality proteins produced with wild salmon and has zero grains in it to make it easily digestible for your pet.  The best part about it is that it is rich in minerals and vitamins and has amino acids to promote strong muscles and fatty acids for healthier skin. 

It has highly nutritious properties and hypoallergenic ingredients, along with probiotics that make it one best dog food for tear stains. This dog food has no artificial preservatives or wheat and corn fillers. It can be one of the safest foods to make part of your dog’s diet to prevent tear stains.

3. Dogs for the Earth Organic Dehydrated Beggin’ For Beef

The world is moving towards more organic options for diet, and they think the same for their pets. Dogs for the Earth Organic Dehydrated Beggin’ For Beef can be a trustworthy option for people who want to feed their pets organic food. 

This food contains 23% protein, 7.8% fat, 7% fiber, and 9% moisture, making it a sufficiently nutritious meal for your dog. In addition, it is USDA-approved and trusted by many dog owners in the country. 

What makes it the best dog food for tear stains is the fact that it contains no traces of wheat, soy, or corn that can cause inflammation and allergic reactions in some dogs. It also has no chemical preservatives or additives, which qualifies this as reliable dog food that won’t cause tear stains. 

4. Lucy Pet Formulas for Life – Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

Most dog foods are designed specifically for a certain breed or age group. The Lucy Pet Formulas for Life – Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food is made for all dog breeds in all stages of their life. Whether you have a cute little puppy or an adult dog, this can be the perfect meal for them. 

The limited ingredient formula is based on duck meat and potatoes, which provide ample proteins and carbs for your dog. Not only does this meal aid proper digestion, but it also keeps the skin and coat of your dog healthy and shiny. 

It is trusted by many dog owners because of its simple yet high-quality ingredients. This dog food is also recommended by experienced vets, professional dog trainers, and military dog institutions. 

5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

For all the environment-friendly folks, this is the best dog food for tear stains that is worth checking. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food is based on four main ingredients only and comes with a variety of meat options to choose from. 

You can choose from duck, lamb, chicken, salmon, venison, beef, and bison according to your dog’s preference and diet requirements. In addition, their dog food comes with a “Buy with confidence” guarantee which means you will get the finest quality, safe, and nutrition-rich food for your dog. 

With such a wide selection of tastes and proteins, your dog would wait for its mealtime. It will also help with dog tears stains. 

6. Hill’s Science Diet For Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult, Chicken Recipe

Are you looking for the best dog food for tear stains that also suits a sensitive stomach? Well, your hunt is over! The Hill’s Science Diet For Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Chicken Recipe is what fits about any dog’s needs. 

This dog food is specially designed to fit the needs of pets who have sensitive stomachs. It promotes good gut health as well as improves their skin. All thanks to the prebiotic fiber infused in the formula that balances the gut microbiome, resulting in easy digestion. 

It is also packed full of Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E, which helps keep the hair and skin of your pet in optimal condition. So even though it is a bit on the pricier side, the rich and high-quality ingredients can easily justify the cost. 

7. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Dog Food

If your dog is allergic to grains, then the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Dog Food is what you need to get them. This nutritious dog food is based on real turkey proteins, combined with potatoes, pumpkins, and peas to aid digestion. 

All these simple ingredients combine to create a delicious meal for your dog. Their limited ingredient formula is light yet fulfilling for dogs. Apart from promoting good gut health, it also improves the skin and coat health of your dog. 

It is considered the best food for dogs with tear stains and those who have an intolerance for common meats like chicken, beef, or salmon. The best part about this dog food is that it is free from any by-products, soy, preservatives, and artificial flavors. 

Ingredients to Avoid

Now that you know what your dog needs in order to stay healthy, you also need to be aware of the ingredients you need to avoid. 

Meat By-Products

Dogs are carnivores by nature, but that does not mean they can consume anything that comes off of an animal. So avoid getting any dog food that contains animal hooves, hair, bones, fat tissues, and low-quality organ meat.

Even though consuming by-products is not bad for your pet’s health, according to Pet Nutrition Alliance, it is only beneficial if they are used in an adequate amount. 

Corn and Wheat

Some of the most common filler ingredients that you can find in dog food are wheat and corn. Unfortunately, these might be the main reason behind several allergic reactions in your dog’s body. 

Food Dyes

Feeding your dog food or treats that contain food dye can also cause an allergic reaction. In fact, there is no need to make the food visually pleasing for dogs as they don’t have any set aesthetics. Instead, opt for only the best dog food for tear stains with no dyes. 

Three Tips To Prevent Dog Tear Staining 

If you want to prevent tear staining in your dog, you not only have to be aware of what causes tear stains in dogs, you also need to learn how to prevent it from happening. Here is how you can try to keep your dog’s eyes perfectly healthy: 

1. Practice Daily Grooming

Daily grooming can keep your dog safe from excessive tearing. Wet an eyewash wipe with a dog eyewash solution and gently rub under and around the eye. 

Mix one-tablespoon boric acid in one cup of water for a homemade solution. Furthermore, make sure to regularly trim the hair from around the eyes to avoid irritation.

2. Regular Vet Visits

Regular visits to the vet can help keep your dog’s health up top. If tear staining is the result of an eye infection, then a vet can prescribe medication. It’s not always serious, but it might need surgery sometimes to prevent the infection from spreading. 

3. Check on the Quality of Dog Food

You might not know, but your dog may be allergic to certain foods, as we have explained before. In addition, some foods do not fulfill the qualitative needs of the nutrition that your dog’s body requires. 

Opt for grain-free and high-quality dog food brands with richer ingredients for a healthier and longer life. Other than that, make sure not to choose cheap and low-quality food for your pet to save a few bucks. You’ll be spending a lot more at the vet’s clinic later on. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What dog food gets rid of tear stains?

Dog foods with a higher chemical ratio can cause allergic reactions and watery eyes.  Lucy pet, Blue Buffalo, Halo Holistic, Diamond Naturals, and Hill Science are some of the high-quality brands that you can feed your pet to steer clear from teary stains.

Does grain in dog food cause tear stains?

Grains can cause indigestion for some dogs and can cause an allergic reaction which can result in excessive tearing. If your dog is sensitive towards certain grains, it’s better to switch to a grain-free dog food brand. 

How do I get rid of my dog’s tear stains naturally?

Making a dog tear stain remover at home is easy. Start by mixing a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide or boric acid into one cup of water. Then carefully dab it under their eye and rinse later with warm water. This will help ease the inflammation and help them get rid of the stains. 

Can food cause tear stains?

Yes, food can be a cause of tear staining in your dog. It’s actually the excessive amounts of iron that can cause tear staining in your pet. Add minimal carbohydrates, single protein sources, and high moisture foods to their diet.

Are tear stains painful for dogs? 

Generally, the tear stains themselves aren’t painful or harmful to your dog. But they can very well be an indicator of an underlying medical condition that might need to be treated. In some cases, they can cause slight irritation around the eyes.


Now that you are aware, you can be attentive to the food that your dog consumes. However, be careful about giving your dog a fresh and balanced diet. The preservatives and additives in their diet can cause several health issues.

Believe it or not, frozen raw food can actually cure it. It helps reduce the amount of inflammation in their bodies, hence reducing the risk of inflamed tear ducts. 

Preventing tear stains is easier than curing them. Removing stains can take up to several weeks or months to go away.


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