James is our first Poodle and our first white dog. I’ve seen dogs with tear stains on their eyes and mouths in the past and I didn’t realize it was so hard to tackle!
When we moved to Washington, DC, James got bouts of tear stains that were really bad. The vet told us it was seasonal allergies and we did all we could to try and keep James looking good. But sometimes his eye areas were so stained. He looked so pitiful. We bought Angel Eyes and put it on his food (it didn’t work). We tried cleaning his eyes with special topicals. We tried adding apple cider vinegar to his water (then James didn’t want to drink the water at all). We tried washing James more often. We tried allergy medicines. None of this worked.
We were told James needed new food and water bowls – that ceramic was bad or stainless steel was bad. We tried all different kinds of food and water bowls and that didn’t work.
We tried eliminating types of food: chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, grain, rice, etc. That didn’t seem to work, either.
It wasn’t until earlier this year when we came back to the US from Europe that we realized one of the major reasons James gets stains on his white fur: his drinking water. In Europe, we all drink bottled water. James was white and perfect while we were in Europe. We came back to the US and started giving James tap water in Florida. And that is when the stains started to show up. We figured this out after just a few weeks (the stains show up FAST!) and switched James back to distilled bottled water.
This summer, we went on a cruise. Since cruises are not dog friendly, James had to be boarded for a week. We thought it would be a bit excessive to try and have James only drink bottled water. He would be playing with other dogs and there is no way they could have kept James away from garden hoses and public water bowls at the boarding facility. So we let it go. For one week, James drank tap water. And this is what happened after just ONE week. Look at his stains!
We have figured out that getting an antibiotic like metro from the vet will knock this right out. But we are trying to not over-medicate James since he has been so sick this year already. One thing we have recently started is a probiotic. Hopefully this will prevent any bacteria growth in James since that is really what starts this staining.
The good news is, James has great hair that grows pretty quickly. So this staining gets shaved off when he gets groomed and he looks amazing again!
Do you have a white dog or a white Poodle that gets tear stains? What has helped? We are just thankful to have found success in giving James distilled bottled water!