Have you ever wondered why Maltese dogs have stained eyes? It turns out that this adorable breed is more prone to tearing and eye staining due to their prominent eyes and fine fur around their faces. The excessive tearing can cause a buildup of tear proteins, which can then be oxidized by bacteria or yeast, resulting in those unsightly reddish-brown stains under their eyes.

Maltese dogs have a long history as lap dogs and companions, and their luxurious white coats are a defining characteristic of the breed. However, this also means that any discoloration or staining is more noticeable. To help prevent eye staining in Maltese, it is important to keep their faces clean and free from tears. Regularly wiping their eyes with a gentle, non-irritating solution can help remove any excess tears and prevent staining. Additionally, maintaining their health by feeding them a balanced diet and providing proper grooming can contribute to reducing tear production and staining. So, if you own a Maltese, a little extra care for their eyes can go a long way in keeping them looking their best.

why do maltese eyes stain?

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Why Do Maltese Eyes Stain?

In this article, we will delve into the question: why do Maltese eyes stain? If you own a Maltese dog or are considering getting one, you may have noticed that their eyes can develop unsightly stains. These stains can range in color from brown to red and can be a cause for concern for many Maltese owners. In order to understand why these stains occur and how to prevent and manage them, it is important to explore the underlying causes and potential solutions.

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The Role of Tear Stains

Tear stains are a common issue in many dog breeds, including Maltese dogs. The stains are caused by excessive tearing, leading to the accumulation of tears around the eyes. The tears contain pigments, bacteria, and yeast that can cause discoloration of the fur. Maltese dogs are particularly prone to tear stains due to their unique anatomy.

One factor that contributes to tear stains in Maltese dogs is the shape of their face. With their prominent eyes and flat faces, Maltese dogs often have shallow eye sockets and a shorter nasolacrimal duct. This can result in a reduced ability to drain tears properly, leading to increased tear production and a higher likelihood of tear stains.

Additionally, allergies and eye irritants can trigger excessive tearing in Maltese dogs, further exacerbating the issue. Factors such as pollen, dust, smoke, and certain ingredients in their diet can irritate their eyes and cause increased tear production. It is important to identify and address these underlying causes in order to effectively manage tear stains in Maltese dogs.

Managing Tear Stains in Maltese Dogs

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate tear stains in Maltese dogs, there are several strategies you can employ to minimize their appearance and keep your dog’s eyes clean and healthy.

1. Regular eye cleaning: Gently clean your Maltese’s eyes daily with a damp cloth or specially formulated eye wipes. This will help remove any buildup of tears, bacteria, and yeast that can contribute to tear stains.

2. Keep the face dry: Ensure that the area around your Maltese’s eyes stays dry. Wipe away any excess moisture and avoid allowing water or tears to accumulate in the fur around the eyes.

3. Diet and nutrition: Opt for a high-quality dog food that is free from potential allergens and artificial additives. Some dog foods contain ingredients that can contribute to tear staining. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Maltese.

4. Regular grooming: Regularly trim the hair around your Maltese’s eyes to prevent it from coming into contact with tears. Long hair around the eyes can act as a wick, drawing tears down into the fur and exacerbating tear stains.

5. Consult with a veterinarian: If tear staining persists or worsens despite your efforts, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. They can assess your Maltese’s overall health, identify any underlying issues, and provide guidance on further treatment options.

Professional Tear Stain Removers and Products

There are various commercial tear stain removers and products available in the market, ranging from wipes to topical solutions. While these products can be effective in reducing the appearance of tear stains, it is important to choose reliable and safe options. Look for products that are specifically formulated for pets, contain natural ingredients, and have positive reviews from other Maltese owners.

In addition to tear stain removers, there are also specialized dog foods and supplements designed to promote eye health and reduce tear staining. These products often contain ingredients such as antioxidants and omega fatty acids that can improve tear quality and reduce tear production.

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It is essential to follow the instructions provided with any tear stain remover or product you use and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions.

Tips for Preventing Tear Stains

1. Regular grooming:

Keep the hair around your Maltese’s eyes trimmed short to minimize contact with tears. This will reduce the likelihood of tear stains occurring.

2. Maintain good hygiene:

Clean your Maltese’s face and eyes regularly to prevent the buildup of tears, bacteria, and yeast that can contribute to tear staining.

3. Feed a balanced diet:

Ensure your Maltese is receiving a high-quality diet that supports overall health and eye health. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog.

4. Avoid potential allergens:

Avoid exposing your Maltese to potential allergens, such as pollen, smoke, and certain cleaning products, as these can trigger excessive tearing and exacerbate tear staining.

5. Regular veterinary check-ups:

Regularly visit your veterinarian to monitor your Maltese’s overall health, including their eye health. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on managing tear stains and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem.

Common Misconceptions About Tear Stains in Maltese Dogs

1. Tear stains are solely caused by tears:

While tears are a contributing factor, tear stains can also be caused by bacteria, yeast, and other factors. It is important to address these underlying causes when managing tear stains in Maltese dogs.

2. Tear stains are purely cosmetic:

While tear stains may be unsightly, they can also indicate underlying health issues. It is important to monitor your Maltese’s tear stains and consult with a veterinarian if they persist or worsen.

3. Tear stains can be completely eliminated:

While tear stains can be managed and minimized, it may not be possible to completely eliminate them. Some Maltese dogs are more prone to tear stains due to their anatomy and genetics.


Tear stains in Maltese dogs can be a frustrating issue for many pet owners. By understanding the causes behind tear staining and implementing preventative measures, you can minimize their appearance and maintain the overall health of your Maltese’s eyes. Remember to consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and solutions if tear staining persists or worsens despite your efforts. With proper care, you can help your Maltese look and feel their best.

Key Takeaways: Why do Maltese eyes stain?

  • Excessive tearing can lead to the staining of Maltese eyes.
  • Maltese dogs have shallow eye sockets, which makes them prone to tearing.
  • Build-up of tear stains can be caused by bacteria and yeast.
  • Eye allergies can also contribute to eye staining in Maltese dogs.
  • Regular cleaning and grooming can help prevent and manage eye stains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section where we address common questions about why Maltese eyes stain. If you’ve wondered why this occurs and how to prevent it, you’re in the right place. Read on to find answers to frequently asked questions.

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Question 1: How do tears cause stains in Maltese dogs’ eyes?

When tears are produced by Maltese dogs, they can sometimes overflow and accumulate around the eyes. These tears contain a pigment called porphyrin, which can lead to staining. The porphyrin reacts with the fur, causing it to discolor and appear reddish or brownish in color. The more tears produced, the greater the chance of staining.

This staining can happen due to various factors like excessive tearing, allergies, eye infections, or the shape of the eyes. It is more commonly observed in lighter-colored dogs like Maltese due to the contrast between the fur and the stains.

Question 2: Can the diet of a Maltese dog affect eye staining?

Yes, diet can play a role in eye staining for Maltese dogs. Foods that contain high levels of iron or other minerals can contribute to tear staining. Foods with artificial colorings or preservatives may also intensify the staining. To help reduce eye staining, it is recommended to feed your Maltese a high-quality dog food that is free of artificial additives and contains balanced levels of nutrients.

If you’re concerned about your Maltese dog’s tear stains, consult with your veterinarian, who can provide specific dietary recommendations tailored to your dog’s needs.

Question 3: Can tear staining in Maltese eyes be prevented?

Tear staining in Maltese dogs’ eyes can be managed, but complete prevention may be difficult. Regular grooming, including gentle cleaning of the area around the eyes, can help prevent the buildup of tear stains. You can use specialized tear stain removers, formulated for dogs, which can help remove existing stains and prevent their reappearance.

If tear staining persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can assess the underlying causes and recommend additional measures to mitigate staining.

Question 4: Are there any home remedies to treat eye staining in Maltese dogs?

While there are several home remedies suggested for preventing and treating eye staining in Maltese dogs, caution should be exercised. Some recommendations, such as using hydrogen peroxide or vinegar, may be too harsh and can potentially harm your dog’s eyes.

If you are considering using home remedies, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian first to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your dog. They can provide guidance on the proper use of any home remedies or recommend alternative solutions.

Question 5: When is it necessary to seek veterinary assistance for eye staining in Maltese dogs?

If your Maltese dog’s tear staining becomes excessive, is accompanied by signs of discomfort, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as redness, swelling, or discharge, it is recommended to seek veterinary assistance. These symptoms could be indicative of an underlying eye infection or other health issues that need professional attention.

Your veterinarian can conduct a thorough examination, determine the cause of the staining, and recommend appropriate treatment based on their findings. Early intervention can help prevent complications and ensure your dog’s eye health is properly addressed.

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If you’ve ever wondered why your Maltese’s eyes stain, here’s what you need to know. The reddish-brown stains around their eyes are caused by excessive tearing, a common issue for this breed. The tears contain a substance called porphyrin, which turns dark when exposed to air.

To help reduce staining, you can try keeping your Maltese’s face clean and dry. Regularly wiping their eyes with a damp cloth or using special tear stain removers can also help. However, it’s important to note that certain health conditions, such as allergies or blocked tear ducts, could be contributing to the excessive tearing, so it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian if you’re concerned. By taking some simple steps, you can help keep your Maltese looking fresh and free from eye stains!

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