Remove Tear Stains Shih Tzu: Expert Tips for Removing Tear Stains in Shih Tzu Dogs

Shih Tzus are adorable and affectionate little dogs that make wonderful companions. However, one common issue that Shih Tzu owners often face is tear stains. These unsightly reddish-brown streaks under a Shih Tzu’s eyes can detract from their natural beauty. Fortunately, there are several methods and products available to help remove tear stains from your beloved Shih Tzu and keep them looking fresh and clean.

Understanding Tear Stains in Shih Tzus

Tear stains are a common problem in many dog breeds, including Shih Tzus. These stains are caused by the overflow of tears onto the fur around the eyes, which can lead to a build-up of bacteria and yeast. The moisture from the tears creates the perfect environment for these microorganisms to thrive, resulting in the reddish-brown discoloration that we see as tear stains.

Causes of Tear Stains in Shih Tzus


One of the primary causes of tear stains in Shih Tzus is their diet. Certain ingredients in commercial dog foods, such as artificial dyes, preservatives, and fillers, can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs, leading to excessive tearing and staining. To help prevent tear stains, consider switching your Shih Tzu to a high-quality, natural diet that is free from potential allergens.


Genetics also play a role in the development of tear stains in Shih Tzus. Some dogs are simply more predisposed to tear staining due to their breeding and genetics. While you cannot change your dog’s genetic makeup, you can take steps to manage and reduce tear stains through proper grooming and care.

Preventive Measures for Tear Stains

Regular Grooming

One of the most effective ways to prevent tear stains in Shih Tzus is through regular grooming. Keeping your Shih Tzu’s face clean and dry can help reduce the likelihood of tear stains forming. Use a gentle dog-safe wipe or damp cloth to clean your dog’s face daily, paying special attention to the area under the eyes where tear stains tend to accumulate.

Eye Care

Proper eye care is essential for preventing tear stains in Shih Tzus. Make sure to keep your dog’s eyes clean and free from any discharge or debris that could contribute to tear staining. If your Shih Tzu is prone to excessive tearing, consider using an eye wash recommended by your veterinarian to help flush out any irritants and reduce tear production.

Water Quality

The quality of your Shih Tzu’s drinking water can also impact the development of tear stains. Some dogs are sensitive to the minerals and impurities found in tap water, which can exacerbate tear staining. Consider providing your Shih Tzu with filtered or bottled water to help reduce tear stains and improve their overall health.

Treatment Options for Tear Stains

Natural Remedies

There are several natural remedies that can help reduce and eliminate tear stains in Shih Tzus. Some popular options include adding apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water to help balance their pH levels, or using coconut oil as a gentle cleanser to remove tear stains. Always consult with your veterinarian before trying any new remedies on your dog to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

Commercial Tear Stain Removers

If natural remedies are not providing the desired results, there are also commercial tear stain removers available specifically formulated for dogs. These products typically come in the form of wipes, powders, or solutions that can be applied directly to the affected area to help break down and remove tear stains. When using commercial tear stain removers, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.

Veterinary Intervention

In severe cases of tear staining that do not respond to home remedies or commercial products, it may be necessary to seek veterinary intervention. Your veterinarian can conduct a thorough examination to determine the underlying cause of the tear stains and recommend appropriate treatment options. This may include prescription medications, dietary changes, or other interventions to help manage and reduce tear staining in your Shih Tzu.

Home Care Tips for Managing Tear Stains

Regular Trimming

Keeping the fur around your Shih Tzu’s eyes trimmed can help prevent tear stains from becoming more pronounced. Regularly trim any long hair that may come into contact with your dog’s eyes and contribute to tear staining. Be sure to use pet-safe grooming scissors and exercise caution to avoid injuring your dog during the grooming process.

Avoid Irritants

Be mindful of potential irritants that could exacerbate tear staining in your Shih Tzu. Avoid using harsh chemicals or products near your dog’s eyes that could cause irritation or allergic reactions. Opt for gentle, hypoallergenic grooming products that are specifically formulated for use on dogs to help minimize the risk of tear stains and skin issues.

Consistent Care

Consistency is key when it comes to managing tear stains in Shih Tzus. Establish a regular grooming routine and stick to it to help prevent tear stains from recurring. Monitor your dog’s eyes and facial area for any signs of irritation or excessive tearing, and address any issues promptly to avoid further complications.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

If you are unsure about how to best manage tear stains in your Shih Tzu or if you notice any concerning changes in your dog’s eyes or overall health, do not hesitate to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide valuable guidance and recommendations tailored to your dog’s specific needs to help keep them happy, healthy, and tear-stain-free.

Struggling with tear stains on your Shih Tzu? Learn more about dealing with separation anxiety, ear cleaning for Shih Tzus, and tips for handling separation anxiety in your furry friend. Don’t forget to also check out our article on crate training Shih Tzus for more helpful information!


Tear stains can be a frustrating and unsightly issue for Shih Tzu owners, but with the right care and attention, they can be effectively managed and prevented. By understanding the causes of tear staining, implementing preventive measures, exploring treatment options, and practicing good home care, you can help keep your Shih Tzu looking their best and enjoying a tear-stain-free life. Remember to prioritize your dog’s health and well-being above all else, and always seek professional guidance when needed to ensure the best outcomes for your beloved Shih Tzu.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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