5 Researched Best Dog Food for Tear Stains (Your Pooch Will Thank You!)

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We invested several hours into analyzing hundreds of feedback and reviews from dog parents and veterinarians from around the world. In this review, we present to you the top five best dog food for tear stains for your dog.

Healthy dog foods are few and far between. researched

But whatever your pooch takes, you have to be sure they’re healthy enough not to harm them. One of the most common problems dog owners report includes tear stains beneath their dogs’ eyes. As it is, studies have shown a connection between dog food and tear stains.

Is your dog constantly having these reddish-brown stains beneath its eyes?

You most definitely want to help them get rid of this situation. High-quality food is one of the best ways to stop dog tear stains. If you’re wondering what to feed your dog, here are our top picks, backed by hours of research and feedback from credible sources.

1.Crave Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food With White Fish & Salmon

If like many dog parents you’ve ever wondered what exactly do dogs want, the Crave line of dog foods has more than enough to satisfy your dogs. Among the four different dry dog foods offered by the Crave brand, Crave’s High Protein White Fish & Salmon Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is our top choice for the best dog food for tear stains, and for good reasons.

This dog food contains an incredibly high 34% protein content and is entirely grain-free. This protein content is sourced from salmon and chicken meals, among others to satisfy your dog’s animal protein cravings. If you’ve been looking for the best ways to stop dog tear stains, simply incorporate this into your dog’s diet for excellent results.

Product Details/Ingredient Analysis

  • Based on meat-rich animal-protein diet of dogs’ wolf ancestors.
  • Starts with a real white fish base to satisfy dogs’ natural cravings for animal protein.
  • 34% high-protein content to help ensure a strong body and excellent overall health.
  • Dry grain-free with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and grain content.
  • Great grain-free carbohydrate sources of active and high-energy dogs.

Animal nutritionists continue to praise the ingredient composition of the Crave Dry Dog food. This exceptional formulation makes it suitable for both small and large dog breeds.

If you’ve ever searched the internet for the best food for Maltese to prevent tear stains, this dog food fits the bill for Maltese and even smaller dog breeds. Dog parents can’t stop raving about this particular dog food. It’s become a crowd’s favorite online and has amassed quite a huge number of positive reviews.  

Pros            Cons
1.High protein content with salmon as starting ingredient
2.Grain-free content, making it suitable for dogs
suffering from tear stains.
3.Suitable for both small and large dog breeds.
Could be bad for dogs allergic to chicken meals.

Crave Dry Dog Food – VERDICT


The Crave Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food With White Fish & Salmon is not just one of the best dog foods for tear stains. It’s actually one of the best dog foods you can get for your dog, tear stains or not. But if you’re particularly interested in dog treats for tear stains, then this food will more than help your dog fight off this anomaly, effortlessly.

2.Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs

Tens of thousands of positive reviews will show you just how much there is to like about this dog food from the stables of Hill’s Science Diet. As one of the best dog treats for tear stains, it’s also one of the best food for small dog breeds to prevent tear stains.

This is made particularly for small dog breeds. To go perfectly with their small stomachs, the ingredients are sourced mostly for small highly digestible food sources. Also, the high protein content helps ensure healthy lean muscle in Maltese and other small dog breeds.

Product Details/Ingredient Analysis

  • Highly recommended by animal nutritionists and veterinarians.
  • Excellent portion size and ingredients make it easy for small dogs.
  •  Omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E help keep your dog healthy and their furs shiny.
  • Antioxidant blend guarantees lifelong immune support for small dog breeds.
  • Proudly made in the USA, with natural and safe dog-friendly ingredients.

Most of the dog parents who rely on this dog food for their pooch’s dietary needs mostly point to the portion size, ingredient quality, and the overall value of this Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food as their most loving attributes of this one-of-a-kind best dog food for tear stains.

Whether it’s a red or brown dog stair beneath your little dog’s eyes, feeding them with this highly nutritious dog food for Hill’s Science Diet will go a long way to help them prevent this from causing further issues for your dog.

Pros            Cons
1.High protein content for healthy muscle in dogs.
2.Made from easily digestible ingredients for toy breeds and
miniature dogs.
3.Antioxidant blend helps support your dog’s immune system.
Not as great for larger dogs due to the small kibble size.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food – VERDICT


If you’re looking for the best dog treats for tear stains for toy breeds and dogs of miniature sizes, you’ll never go wrong with this Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food.

And as a plus, you can rest assured that you’re getting dog food supplies from a brand with a strong reputation for excellent customer service.

3.Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics Shredded Blend High Protein, Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken & Rice

There’s a reason why this dry dog food is one of Amazon’s choice products for dog foods.

Formerly known as SAVOR Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula, this dry dog food combines some of the best ingredients your dog loves in a healthy and nutritious formula that has become popular among dog owners looking for the best dog food for tears stains.

The starting ingredient in this dog food is real chicken. With a protein-rich meat diet, you can trust that mealtime will always be fun and delicious for fido, anytime, any day. The entire dog food is a hard kibble of tender and soft pieces. This is guaranteed to give your dog the taste and textures they like.

Product Details/Ingredient Analysis

  • Incorporates chicken as the first ingredient for sufficient animal protein.
  • Awesome 26% protein content and a decent fat-protein ratio to ensure your dog remains in excellent health and physical shape.
  • Probiotics fortification enhances and supports immune and digestive health.
  • Omega -6 fatty acids and vitamin A combo guarantee better skin health and a shiny coat.

The Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics Shredded Blend High Protein, Adult Dry Dog Food is a great-tasting and highly nutritious dog food. Because of the protein-focused formula and the grain-free ingredients, this product from Purina Pro Plan is one of the best dog foods for tear stains.

Pros            Cons
1.Has real chicken as starting ingredient.
2.Grain-free for dogs with tear stains
3.Variable sizes and textures your dogs will love.
4.Contains probiotics, omega-6-fatty acids, and vit. E to boost your
dog’s health.
Not as great for larger dogs due to the small kibble size.

Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics Adult Dry Dog – VERDICT


Too many things love and hardly anything to hate.

We echo the sentiments of the almost 10k dog parents who have reviewed this product on Amazon. Both the flavor and ingredient quality are top-notch and it is one of the best dog foods you can find if you’re on the lookout for the best way to stop dog tear stains.

4.Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Your dog needs healthy and nutritious food for better health. And if you’re worried about dog stains, this 100% grain-free and gluten-free formula from the stables of Blue Buffalo will help you keep this away for long enough.

The ingredients composition starts with real chicken meat. Not only does this ensures a sufficient supply of animal protein for your dogs, but it also boasts great test and nutritional benefits thanks to its composition of essential vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients.

Product Details/Ingredient Analysis

  • 100% grain-free and gluten-free
  • Real meat (chicken) first ingredient
  • Awesome protein and carbohydrates composition helps ensure adequate energy for active dogs
  • Nice blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help support dogs’ immune system and physical health.
  •  Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids composition ensures healthy skin and shiny coat.

The combo of real meat alongside whole fruit and veggies guarantee not just delicious meals but equally nutritious mealtimes for your dog.

It’s a dry dog food containing no poultry by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Instead, the dog food contains peas, carrots, flaxseed, cranberries, sweet potatoes, cranberries, blueberries, alongside the starting deboned chicken ingredient.

Pros            Cons
1. Real chicken to provide rich animal-protein for your dog.
2. Grain-free and gluten-free for dogs with tear stains.
3.Made from natural ingredient sources.
Might not be good for dogs with chicken allergy.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – VERDICT


It’s every day you find great-tasting dog foods that hit the mark for texture, taste, as well as nutrition. The Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has all this and more and this partly explains the thousands of overwhelmingly positive reviews it has garnered.

If you’re looking for the best dog food for tear stains, whether it’s a big dog or a small breed, you can’t go wrong with this.

5.Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

Another Blue Buffalo dog food rounds off our review of the best dog food for tear stains. Unlike the dry dog foods we previously reviewed, this particular one is arguably the best wet dog food for tear stains you’ll currently find in the market.

This canned dog food is made from limited ingredient composition.

Blue Buffalo says this is because they want to minimize food sources that could trigger allergies and sensitivities. Unlike many other dog foods we’ve reviewed, that uses real chicken as their starting ingredient, the Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Wet Dog Food makes do with real turkey, supplemented by wholesome fruits and veggies.

Product Details/Ingredient Analysis

  • Grain-free canned dog food based on turkey meat starting ingredient.
  • Natural ingredient composition is devoid of chicken/poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids derived from fish and flaxseed help ensure healthy skin and shiny coat, especially in dogs with food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Easily digestible ingredient composition helps make this one of the best dog food for small dogs to prevent tear stains.

Beyond tear stains, this dog food remains one of the best for any type of small and large dog breeds. Thanks to its versatility, you can feed this to your dog in one of three ways that include either as a treat, alongside some dry foods, or solely as a meal on its own.

Blue Freedom hit a home run with this 100% grain-free delicious dog food. If you need healthy foods to help your dog return to optimum health, this canned food may be what you need to look at.

Pros            Cons
1.Has real turkey as the only protein source.
2.No grain, poultry by-products, flavors, and preservatives.
Only natural ingredients.
3.Good for dogs with tear stains or skin allergies.
Not as dense or filling as the lamb variety, for instance.

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Natural Adult Wet Dog Food – VERDICT

Whether you’ve been frantically searching the web for the best food for Maltese to prevent tear stains or have been spending your time looking for the best way to prevent dog tears stain, you’ll find a great answer in this delicious and healthy package from Blue Freedom.

What is dog tear staining?

Tears stains are common in some dogs.

These stains appear either as red or dark brown stains beneath a dog’s eyes. If your dog is white or is lightly colored, you’ll notice that these stains will appear more prominently. Dogs with dark shades of color can also suffer from tear stains although they are much harder to spot.

This condition is medically known as epiphora. It is characterized by the excessive production of tears in a dog or the inability of the dog to properly get the tears to dry off. The epiphora condition is mainly caused by the over-production of porphyrin, a pigment-containing molecule in the dog’s eyes, responsible for the staining. This condition can be triggered by several underlying causes (we’ll discuss this later on) and could also be chronic or acute. Regardless, the best thing you want to do when you notice this is to consult your veterinarian.

Red tear stains vs brown tear stains

You’re probably wondering what the differences are between red tear stains and brown tear stains. We’ll make it clear, simple, and concise.

  • Reddish stains are often the result of the buildup of porphyrin, the pigment-containing molecule, under the dog’s eyes.
  • Brownish stains are usually the aftermath of yeast infection in the skin area under the dog’s eyes. This in turn results from the constant buildup of tears present in this skin area that further allows the infection to thrive.

What causes of dog tear stains?

We’ve briefly discussed the tear stains condition but what exactly could trigger this in your dogs? Here are the answers;

  • Eye and ear infections caused by bacteria, viruses, etc. scars from past eye infections could also cause tear stains in dogs.
  • A glaucoma-induced buildup of fluid in the dog’s eye. Could also damage optical nerves.
  • Conjunctivitis in the eye lining leading to mucus, pus, and discharge from the eyes.
  • Exposure to irritants like smoke, dust, allergens, etc.
  • Ingrown eyelashes and hair around the eyes.
  • Shallow eye sockets and inverted eyelids.
  • Large tear glands or too small tear duct openings.
  • Teething in small dogs.
  • Entropion, a condition caused by the inward rolling of the eyelids, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eyes, triggering an irritation. 
  • Poor diet and excessive stress, etc.

Dogs most at risk of tear stains

It is true that tear stains affect some dog breeds more commonly than others.

To start with, it’s not that white-colored dogs are more prone to dog tear stains. Dogs with dark-colored coats are just as susceptible so they need regular examination because it’s harder to spot on them.

That said, heredity and breed type also play a kind of prominent role in ascertaining the possible risk of tear stains in your dog. These include;

  • Brachycephalic dogs with shallow eye sockets have their eyelids unable to close completely, leaving the eyes exposed to dryness, irritants, etc.
  • Breeds like Maltese, Pugs, Shih-Tzus, And Pekingeses, which are also unable to completely shut off their eyelids while sleeping can also develop eye problems leading to tear stains.
  • Dog breeds with genetic imperforate puncta like Cocker spaniels and Poodles are also more at risk of tear stains. This condition is characterized by improper development of the holes near the eyes responsible for drain tears. 

What is the connection between dog food and tear stains?

When people search for the best dog food for tear stains, it’s because there is a connection between dog tear stains and dog food. Remember we said improper diet and stress could also cause tear stains in dogs, but also putting your dog on a grain-free diet can also help in stopping this condition.

Perhaps you’re wondering what kind of dog food is good to prevent tear stains?

There’s something all of the best dog food for tear stains we recommended have in common -they are mostly grain-free and incorporates significant vegan dietary sources like sweet potatoes, carrots, etc. But then, does it mean that healthy dog food keeps tear stains away? Well, the answer is an emphatic YES!

At-home remedies for dog tear stains

This condition is caused by a variety of causes. So, you’ll also expect that the treatment will be quite a variety as well.  First of all, pay no mind to most of the products on the market promising to help you clean the stains as many of them are gimmicky stuff that hardly works.  Even worse, they could hurt your dogs.

But if you’re wondering what you can easily do at home to help your teary-eyed furry friend, these should do;

  • Trim furs around the eyes to prevent irritation.
  • Use a dog-safe eyewash if your dog has been exposed to irritants.
  • Wipe the tears and areas of the eyes regularly to reduce the presence of porphyrin. Consider using a safe substance like colloidal silver.
  • Consider filtered water and adding apple cider vinegar to the dog’s food, but not without consulting your vet on how to go about this.
  • Put your dog on a grain-free diet with more veggies like our top picks for the best dog food for tear stains. (Discuss this with your vet).

Effective ways to treat tear stains in dog safely

The best way to treat dog tear stains is to consult your veterinarian.

This is important to determine whether this is normal as in teething or perhaps it would require closer attention. Also, the vet is always in the best position to determine the course of action as far as treatment goes. Here are some of the most effective ways to treat tear stains in dog;

  • Eye flushing works for tear stains induced mainly by irritants.
  • Antibiotics or medicated drops recommended by your vet will work for tear stains triggered by bacteria.
  • Surgery or electrolysis will best work for genetic or hereditary issues with the eyelashes or eyelids.
  • Antihistamine and diet changes will help if it is caused by allergens.
  • Diet and lifestyle changes will also help if it’s caused by stress or poor diet. Discuss with your vet.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can certain dog foods cause tear stains? 

Yes! Foods with filler ingredients, artificial flavors, and colors, and preservatives may exacerbate tear-stain issues in dogs.

What ingredient in dog food causes tear stains?

Along with artificial flavors and preservatives, ingredients like corn, wheat, meals, etc, often used as fillers in low-quality dog foods can trigger allergies in your dog and cause excessive dog tears staining.

What kind of dog food is good for tear stains?

The answer to this question, according to research is grain-free products and vegan-based diets.

What can I give my dog to prevent tear stains?         

Give them grain-free dog foods, incorporating more vegan-based diets, etc.

Does chicken in dog food cause tear stains?     

Truth is, some dogs are allergic to animal protein sources like chicken and beef.

Feeding foods with these sources to your dog can trigger this allergy and cause tearing. This is why many of the best dog food for tear stains also incorporate enough veggies into their formula.

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

Natural products like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar are often used by some pet parents to get rid of dog stains on their pets. But there’s no scientific evidence to back the claim that this actually works. The best you can do is get a diagnosis from your veterinarian.

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