Though any dog can develop tear stains that streak from his eyes to his nose, the marks are most noticeable on white or cream-color dogs. Reddish pigments, called porphyrins, found naturally in dogs' tears, saliva and urine cause the stains. In breeds prone to tear overflow or blocked tear ducts, including poodles, cocker spaniels, Maltese, Pekingese and flat-faced breeds like pugs, the prolonged contact of porphyrins on the fur leave stains. Not only are the stains unattractive, a dog can develop a bacterial or yeast infection from constant moisture on the skin. You don't need special products to keep your dog's face stain-free, just common household items.
Trim the hair underneath your dog's eyes with a small pair of blunt scissors. Have an assistant hold your pet's head still during the process.
Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 pint of boiled water. Let the solution cool to room temperature before use.
Dip two cotton balls into the salt water, and use one to wipe the fur underneath each of your dog's eyes.
Wipe your dog's face with the mild saltwater solution once or twice each day. This will be a regular part of your dog's daily care.