How To Get Rid Of Maltese’s Tear Stains

If you’re hearing this for the first time, tear stains are dark brown or reddish marks that typically form under a dog’s eyes. And these tear stains are capable of turning the most beautiful Maltese dogs into an unsightly mess.

So, how then can you get rid of these tear stains on your Maltese? You can effectively get rid of tear stains on your Maltese by making use of apple cider vinegar and a diluted mixture of hydrogen peroxide. Additionally, feeding a Maltese with blueberries and yogurt has been shown to be effective at combating tear stains.

While tear stains themselves are not harmful to Maltese dogs, they are usually an indicator that something is wrong with the pooch. You can also trust us when we say it’s better to take preventive measures against tear stains, rather than having to deal with this unsightly mess. And today’s article contains a number of ways to keep your pooch free of tear stains. However, provided you’re unable to protect your dog from tear staining, the good news is that you can get rid of these stains right at home, and how to do this is succinctly explained in the next section.

How Do You Remove Tear Stains From A Maltese?

When you first notice tear staining in your Maltese dog, the immediate point of action is to take such a pooch for a medical examination to be certain that its tear staining is not due to an infection of the eye.

The results of the medical examination will determine the appropriate treatment methods for removing tear stains from the Maltese. And these treatment methods typically range from surgeries in tackling the underlying eye condition to simple home remedies.

Home Remedies For Removing Tear Stains From A Maltese

Once you’ve determined that the cause of tear stains on your Maltese is not a medical condition requiring urgent attention, there are a number of home remedies you can apply to get rid of this unsightly mess.

However, before applying these remedies, it can help to clean the area surrounding the dog’s eyes immediately you notice the formation of tear stains.

Gently mopping the stained area with dog wipes or lukewarm water will prevent tear stains from setting in and becoming harder to clean.

That said, you can remove tear stains from a Maltese by applying readily available home products such as:

Apple Cider Vinegar

By diluting Apple Cider Vinegar in your Maltese’s drinking water, you can slightly alter the pH balance of the pooch’s tears and alleviate staining.

To remove tear stains from your Maltese with this product, simply add a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to your dog’s drinking water.

Using too much Apple Cider Vinegar can cause esophageal irritation in a Maltese, hence it is quite important that you stick to the recommended amount.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has natural antibiotic and antifungal properties that are quite effective at fighting yeast infections that lead to tear stains on Maltese dogs. Additionally, by rubbing your Maltese’s face with coconut oil, you’re creating an extra layer that prevents tears from coming in direct contact with the pooch’s fur.

Removing tear stains with coconut oil is easy, and all you have to do is rub the oil into the marked area on a daily basis, till the stain disappears.


It may sound surprising, but feeding your Maltese blueberries is another way of getting rid of the pooch’s tear stains. Blueberries are quite rich in antioxidants, and it is these that typically react with the impurities found in tap water to eliminate those ugly tear stains.

That said, a Blueberry is totally safe and healthy for a dog to consume, and it is something you can feed your Maltese on a daily basis.


There have been suggestions that plain yogurt can be effective at combating tear staining in Maltese by improving the conditions of the pooch’s gut bacteria; However, there’s no hard evidence to support this.

Regardless, plain, unsweetened yogurt is harmless to lactose tolerant pooches, and it won’t hurt to feed your Maltese a teaspoon of plain yogurt per day.

You, also, shouldn’t try to apply yogurt directly on your canine’s face, as this can be extremely harmful.

Hydrogen Peroxide And Cornstarch

Cleaning your Maltese’s face with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with cornstarch can help in whitening and getting rid of tear stains.

To prepare this remedy, dilute one part of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide with ten parts water, and mix the resulting solution with cornstarch. cornstarch helps thicken the solution, thereby helping you make sure none of it gets in the pooch’s eyes.

Image from Instagram:@chootrahtwo

How Long Does It Take For Tear Stains To Go Away?

Tear stains on dogs differ in stubbornness and severity. And the time taken to remove a stain can vary from a few days to weeks of treatment.

Are Maltese Tear Stains Permanent?

Regardless, the good news is that tear stains on dogs are treatable and can be remedied using any of the solutions provided above.

However, with tear staining, timing is key and it is important that you swing into action the second you notice tear stains forming. And this is to prevent the stains from drying and becoming even more difficult to handle.

It may be difficult to avoid tear staining that occurs due to the way your Maltese is built (hair around the eyes or smaller tear ducts); Hence, you will need to regularly groom your pooch’s face to remove tears and prevent staining.

If your Maltese’s tear stains are due to excessive tearing caused by an underlying medical condition, it may help to take measures to protect the area surrounding the eye while this medical condition is being treated.

What Do Tear Stains Do To Dogs?

Tear staining in itself is a cosmetic issue, and apart from making your Maltese look really ugly, it has no other effects on your pooch’s physical wellbeing.

However, tear staining is, more often than not, a sign that something is wrong with your pooch health-wise, and it is here that you really need to sit up and pay attention.

Consequently, the next section attempts to establish some of the reasons you may notice tear staining in your Maltese.

Image from Instagram:@nico.kuma

What Causes Tear Staining In Maltese Dogs?

Some of the most common causes of tear staining in Maltese dogs include:

Facial Anatomy

Maltese dogs with shallow eye sockets typically find it difficult to retain tears in the eyes. And it is these tears that typically drop on the fur located beneath the pooch’s eyes, thereby staining that region.

Drinking Water

If a Maltese dog constantly drinks tap water containing a high mineral content from a bowl, the minerals present in the water will most likely react with hair present on the pooch’s face to cause tear stains.

Blocked Tear Ducts

A blockage of the tear duct typically results in tears spilling out and staining a Maltese’s face. Blocked tear ducts usually occur due to eye infections, and if left unchecked, can degenerate into secondary yeast infections.

Excess Facial Hair

The Maltese is noted for having long hair, even on its face. And it is this hair present in the Maltese’s eyes that can irritate the pooch’s eye and trigger the production of tears, which in turn, stains the dog’s face.


Contaminants, such as dust and smoke, can irritate a Maltese’s eyes and cause excessive production of tears, which in turn results in tear stains on the pooch’s face.


Teething can be an extremely painful process for Maltese puppies. And the result of this pain is the involuntary production of tears that stains the Maltese’s fur.

Additionally, the loss of milk teeth in Maltese puppies tends to cause a corresponding tightening of the pooch’s nasolacrimal duct, which subsequently results in the production of more tears.


Maltese dogs are allergic to a variety of substances. And one of the symptoms of a Maltese’s reaction to either food or environmental allergens is the production of tears, which subsequently develops into ugly tear stains underneath the pooch’s eyes.

Eye Conditions

Fluid discharge caused by canine eye conditions such as glaucomaconjunctivitiscorneal ulcer and epiphora can also cause tear stains in a Maltese dog.

Image from Instagram:@ooyoothemilktese

How Do I Prevent Tear Stains On My Maltese?

It is said that prevention is better than cure, and rather than having to deal with ugly tear stains on your Maltese skins, there are several measures you can take to protect your pooch.

That said, some of the ways you can prevent tear stains on your Maltese include:

Protect Your Dog From Contaminants

If you live in an environment where there’s typically a lot of smoke or dust production, then it’ll be best if you take measures to protect your Maltese from these contaminants that cause eye irritation.

Avoid taking your Maltese for walks in areas where there’s a considerable amount of smoke. And if the air quality in the home is poor, you can use air conditioning to filter contaminants.

Changing Your Dog’s Drinking Water

If you’ve been giving your Maltese water from a tap, then it may be best to consider a switch to distilled water to prevent tear staining in your pooch. And if you must give your Maltese tap water, then it can help to boil the water before giving it to the doggie.

Bottled water is a no, as it typically contains minerals that react with a Maltese’s fur to cause tear stains.

Making Changes To Your Dog’s Diet

As stated earlier, food allergies may trigger excessive production of tears, and subsequent tear staining in Maltese dogs; Hence, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with food substances that your Maltese is allergic to and avoid feeding them to the dog.

Regular Face Grooming

By regularly flushing your Maltese’s eyes with a high-quality, dog-friendly eye cleanser such as the Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid For Dogs, you can help prevent tear staining in your pooch.

Boric acid present in the Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse helps create an inhabitable environment for bacteria that cause tear stains. And this, in turn, slows down the formation of tear stains. Additionally, the Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse is adept at controlling irritation of the eyes caused by dried mucous, pollen, and other foreign materials.

It can also help to keep the hair around a Maltese’s eyes trimmed to prevent them from getting into, and irritating the pooch’s eyes.

Do Maltese Dogs Have Eye Problems? Apart from tear staining, Maltese dogs are prone to developing painful eye conditions, some of which can cause permanent eye damage, if not treated properly. Eye problems commonly observed in Maltese dogs include retinal atrophy which typically affects the pooch’s vision in low light. Maltese dogs can also develop aberrant cilia, a condition that causes the growth of eyelashes on the inside of the pooch’s eyelids.

Should I Buy A Puppy With Tear Stains? Tear stains are not life-threatening, but what they lack in a fatality, they make up for in ugliness. You can buy a puppy with tear stains if you’re prepared to put in the work required to get rid of these stains. It is also important to request the puppy’s full medical report to be sure the tear stains are not due to an inherent eye condition.

Why Are My Dog’s Tear Stains So Bad? Tear stains in dogs are bad because they can be an indicator of an underlying medical condition such as ingrown eyelashes, ear infections, or defects in the pooch’s eye anatomy. Additionally, tear stains are ugly, and they tend to disfigure a dog’s appearance.

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Pete Decker