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Home >Tearstaining Help, Hints, FAQs & Advice
Tearstaining Help, Hints, FAQs & Advice

Each week we receive five to six emails from our customers, asking us about tearstains and keeping their white-colored dog's faces from being discolored. We decided that the need for information is very great and we would like to offer help and advice, based on our own experience (and privilege) of being the  parents of three long hair dogs, including two Maltese.

Basic Grooming Tips
Brushing your dog everyday is the most important thing you can do to keep your dog's coat tangle-free and looking beautiful, as well as helping to keep tear stains at bay. You must brush your dog everyday (especially if you have a long-haired dog and/or a silky coated dog) or they will mat and tangle. We use brushes and combs that are made specifically for long-haired dogs. With our Maltese girls, we use a slicker brush. With the slicker pin brush, please brush your dog very gently, as the brushes do a good job, but they can hurt your Maltese's delicate skin if you are not careful and gentle. Never brush a dry coat! Instead, first mist your pup's coat lightly with a quality moisturizing leave-in conditioner. In between washing & full grooming sessions, we use a small amount of Pet Silk's No Rinse Shampoo, especially on the face and around the eye area that tends to stain from food and water. Next, we apply cornstarch to brush thru and help dry out the fur. This is a great method for preventing stains after eating (the Pet Silk No-Rinse Shampoo penetrates and helps to clear up stains, with no build up).

Feed Your Dog Well
We only recommend dog food that is manufactured by companies that produce all natural food-using only human-grade ingredients. There is an enormous amount of information on this topic on the Internet. Also, if you would like to educate yourself about the pet food industry, we recommend the book called, "Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food" by Ann Martin. We personally use Solid Gold brand dog food for our Maltese and Wellness brand dog food for our other long-haired dogs. These foods are all natural, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They also contain real food, unlike most "commercial" dog foods, which tend to contain cheap fillers and chemicals (food that offers zero nutrition, in spite of the company's glittering advertising and marketing claims). You cannot purchase a high quality dog food from your local supermarket chain or from a large Pet "Superstore" rather, you will have to purchase the food from a store that specifically carries these types of all natural pet foods (or on the Internet). Typically, stores that carry these natural foods tend to carry only natural foods and supplements (most of these pet foods are not advertised on TV or in major commercial print, as the money is spent on improving their food, rather than their advertising!) Remember, if you are not feeding your dog a high quality, nutritious diet of food that is human-grade quality, you will not only have problems with keeping their coats looking well and fighting the ugly tear stains, you'll also be taking your chances with their health and well-being overall. It is so important to educate yourself on this topic, if you want your dog's health to thrive!

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: What can I do about tearstaining? Nothing I try will work!

ANSWER: We hear this complaint all the time! The real answer (and the one that most groomers, vets, and other professionals will not tell you) is that it takes a system for helping to clear and rid your dog's staining! There is no one magic cure-all pill, lotion, or potion!

QUESTION: What is your system for keeping your dogs' looking so great?  They have very little, if any, tearstains!

ANSWER: First, please check with vet to ensure that your dog has no tear duct blockage, or general problems with their tear ducts, ear infection, or teething (ruling out any medical causes of the staining first). Next, we offer the following tips and advice, based on what we have learned over the years: Ensure that your dog’s face stays clean & dry; as dampness and moisture around the face/eye area are one of the biggest problems with creating and worsening ugly stains as well as creating the ugly red yeast fungus that causes staining (red yeast is usually the culprit- it is a fungus- that causes the tearing). We have found that using only distilled water is a myth, as any kind of water is good (we prefer filtered water); However, giving your dog water from a water bottle is best for preventing further staining and wetness that causes the red yeast growth. Drinking water from a bowl gets water all over the dog’s mouth/facial area, contributing to the problems. Remember, the most important key is to keep your dog's face clean and dry! Most dogs require a complete system of maintenance to keep their coats and faces healthy and beautiful!

QUESTION: What do y'all at Upscale Pup, use to keep your maltese girls looking so good?

ANSWER: We have a routine that we use for our maltese girls. We use (and love) the Pet Silk line of products, especially for long, silky coated dogs (such as Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, etc.) We use Pet Silk Bright White Luxury Shampoo & Conditioner (leave shampoo on 2-3 minutes and leave Conditioner on 2-4 minutes, before rinsing).  For some dogs, whitening shampoos and/or conditioners can be drying, so for those dogs with special dry skin needs, we recommend using whitening every other time, or every third time you wash. In this routine, you would alternate Pet Silk Bright White Shampoo and Pet Silk Bright White Conditioner with Pet Silk Moisturizing Shampoo and follow up with Pet Silk Moisturizing Conditioner.

After our dogs finish eating, we mist Pet Silk No Rinse Shampoo into their facial area (carefully avoiding delicate eye and nose area) or use our fingers to rub the shampoo in. Next, we comb thru, adding a small amount of cornstarch and comb through to dry. We then apply small amount of Pet Silk Tear Stain Remover under eye area and hair on nose area that tends to stain. We then mist Pet Silk Leave in Conditioner or Pet Silk Liquid Silk Serum into their coat overall, brushing well. We then moisturize each paw pad with a small amount of the serum, massaged into each pad (if you start this practice early enough in your dog's life, they will become accustomed to having their feet touched and worked with (a blessing for later when you have to clip their nails or trim fur between paw pads)! The Pet Silk Silk Serum also helps to keep your doggie's feet from being dry and crusty. For Top Knots, we use and love Pet Silk’s Top Knot Gel, since it helps to keep wispy hairs in place and can be used over and over in between grooming (this gel has no build up)!

QUESTION: Do you use any other products on your dog's eye areas to help with the tearstain problems?

ANSWER: Yes! Angels’ Eyes is a great addition to your dog’s diet, when you’re trying to prevent tearstains. From our own personal experience, we know that his product really works. We have been using this product, as directed, on our little Maltese girls and the tear staining problems that we have battled with are lessened greatly! Use Angels' Eyes on your doggie and see amazing results.

We also use Eye Envy as another part of the total grooming, diet and cleansing system we have for our Maltese.  Eye Envy an excellent tear stain removal system, which is applied to your dog’s eye area externally.  We have seen wonderful results with this system, when used routinely.  If you have light and/or white colored breed of dog, such as a Poodle, Maltese, Havanese, Pomeranian, or Bichon Frise, you too can see wonderful results. Remember that the tearstain problem your dog has takes a complete system to eliminate, as we have described above.

There Is No Magic Pill
As you have read, there is no “magic in a bottle” or “cure-all potion” or pill. Keeping tear stains away requires a lot of daily hard work and patience. Remember, only show dogs look perfect all the time and the reason they look so fabulous is because keeping their coats and faces perfect is a full time job with a paid professional! Don't be so hard on yourself or your sweet pup. Simply create a system and a routine that works for you and your dog and then stick with it! You will love the results and the compliments you and your pup receive will be plentiful. We hope we have helped you and your dogs by sharing our own experiences and advice.

Article Ideas, Questions Or Comments?
If you have an idea for an article or would like to submit an article that you have personally written, we would love to hear from you! We're always looking to help our customers and also love to suggest new ways of savoring life with your furry best friend.

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