Ever wondered why your golden retriever has those adorable tear stains? Well, fret not, my friend! I’m here to unravel the mystery behind those watery eyes. So, why does your lovable golden have tear stains in the first place?

Here’s the scoop: Tear stains in golden retrievers are usually caused by excessive tearing combined with pigmentation from certain minerals in their tears. Yep, you heard that right! Your furry friend’s tears can actually leave behind a light reddish or brownish stain under their eyes.

But fear not! There’s no reason to shed tears over tear stains. In the upcoming paragraphs, I’ll delve deeper into the reasons behind this phenomenon and provide you with some pawsome tips to keep those stains at bay.

So buckle up, canine lovers! Let’s embark on this tear-stained journey together and find out why your golden retriever’s eyes turn into tiny waterworks of cuteness. Get ready to say goodbye to those pesky tear stains, and hello to a happy, healthy pooch!

why does my golden retriever have tear stains?


Why Does My Golden Retriever Have Tear Stains?

Why Does My Golden Retriever Have Tear Stains?

Golden Retrievers are known for their beautiful coats and friendly nature. However, some owners may notice tear stains on their Golden Retriever’s face, which can be concerning. In this article, we will explore the causes of tear stains in Golden Retrievers and provide tips on how to prevent and treat them.

What Are Tear Stains?

Tear stains are dark streaks that develop under a dog’s eyes. They can range in color from light brown to reddish-brown and are more commonly seen in certain breeds, including Golden Retrievers. Tear stains occur when tears overflow from the tear ducts and wet the hair around the eyes. This moisture can lead to the growth of bacteria and yeast, causing a discoloration of the fur.

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There are several factors that contribute to the development of tear stains in Golden Retrievers. Firstly, the shape of their face and the structure of their tear ducts can make it more likely for tears to overflow and collect under the eyes. Additionally, certain health issues, such as allergies, eye infections, or blocked tear ducts, can increase tear production and lead to tear stains.

It’s important to note that tear stains are generally harmless and not a cause for major concern. However, they can be unsightly and indicate an underlying health issue that should be addressed. Let’s explore the common causes of tear stains in Golden Retrievers.

Common Causes of Tear Stains in Golden Retrievers

1. Genetics: Some Golden Retrievers are naturally more prone to tear stains due to their genetics. If your dog’s parents or siblings have tear stains, it’s likely that your Golden Retriever will too.

2. Eye Irritation: Irritation from dust, pollen, or other allergens can lead to excessive tear production, causing tear stains to form.

3. Blocked Tear Ducts: If the tear ducts are blocked or not functioning properly, tears cannot drain properly and can accumulate under the eyes.

4. Eye Infections: Infections such as conjunctivitis can cause excessive tearing and lead to tear stains.

5. Diet: Poor diet or food allergies can contribute to eye irritation and tear production, resulting in tear stains.

6. Excessive Hair Growth: Long hair around the eyes can trap tears and promote the growth of bacteria, leading to tear stains.

7. Stress or Anxiety: Like humans, dogs can experience stress or anxiety, which can manifest as excessive tear production and tear stains.

Prevention and Treatment of Tear Stains

While tear stains may not be completely avoidable, there are steps you can take to prevent and reduce their appearance in your Golden Retriever:

1. Regular Eye Cleaning: Gently clean your Golden Retriever’s eyes with a vet-recommended eye cleanser to remove any dirt or debris that could contribute to tear stains.

2. Diet: Ensure that your Golden Retriever is getting a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. If food allergies are suspected, consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog.

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3. Regular Grooming: Trim the hair around your Golden Retriever’s eyes to help reduce the trapping of tears and bacteria.

4. Treat Underlying Health Issues: If tear stains persist or are accompanied by other symptoms, such as redness or discharge, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues that may require treatment.

5. Keep Your Dog’s Face Dry: Regularly check your dog’s face for moisture and gently wipe away any excess tears to prevent them from accumulating and causing tear stains.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian if tear stains are persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, as they can help diagnose any underlying health issues and provide appropriate treatment.


Tear stains are common in Golden Retrievers and are generally harmless. However, they can be a cosmetic concern and indicate an underlying health issue. It’s important to understand the causes of tear stains and take preventive measures to reduce their appearance. By maintaining good eye hygiene, ensuring a balanced diet, and addressing any underlying health issues, you can help keep your Golden Retriever’s face free from tear stains. If you have any concerns about your dog’s tear stains, consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance.

Key Takeaways: Why Does My Golden Retriever Have Tear Stains?

  • Tear stains in golden retrievers can be caused by excessive tearing and pigment accumulation.
  • Excessive tearing can be due to genetics, allergies, eye infections, or blocked tear ducts.
  • Accumulation of pigment in the tears can result from oxidative stress or certain diet ingredients.
  • Regular cleaning of the tear stains is important to prevent infection and discomfort for your golden retriever.
  • If tear stains persist or worsen, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about tear stains in golden retrievers:

1. Why do golden retrievers have tear stains?

Tear stains in golden retrievers are often caused by excessive tearing, which can be due to various factors. One common cause is the shape and structure of their face, particularly their eyes. Golden retrievers have a flat face with loose skin around the eyes, which makes it easier for tears to overflow.

Another factor could be a blocked tear duct. Tears usually drain through the tear ducts into the nasal cavity, but if the ducts are obstructed, tears can accumulate and result in staining. Allergies, infections, or eyelash and eyelid abnormalities can also contribute to tear staining in golden retrievers.

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2. Are tear stains in golden retrievers dangerous?

Tear stains themselves are not dangerous to golden retrievers, but they can be a sign of an underlying health issue. It’s important to monitor the consistency and color of the tears. If the tears are accompanied by redness, swelling, discharge, or discomfort, it could indicate an infection or another medical condition.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are recommended to address any potential health concerns and determine the cause of tear staining. The vet can provide appropriate treatment options to manage tear stains and improve your golden retriever’s eye health.

3. Can tear stains in golden retrievers be prevented?

While it might be difficult to completely prevent tear staining in golden retrievers, there are steps you can take to minimize their appearance. Regularly grooming your dog’s face, especially around the eyes, can help remove any discharge or crust that contributes to staining.

Ensuring good eye hygiene is also essential. Clean your golden retriever’s eyes with a veterinarian-approved eye solution to remove any bacteria or debris that could cause excessive tearing. Additionally, a balanced diet can promote overall eye health and reduce tear staining. Consult with your vet for dietary recommendations specific to your golden retriever.

4. Can tear stains in golden retrievers be treated?

Treatment options for tear stains in golden retrievers depend on the underlying cause. If the staining is due to an infection, your veterinarian may prescribe medication or recommend specific eye drops. For tear stains caused by blocked tear ducts, your vet may suggest flushing the ducts or performing surgical intervention if necessary.

There are also various commercial tear stain removers available, such as wipes or powders, which can help lighten the stains. However, always consult with your veterinarian before using any products on your golden retriever to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

5. Can tear stains in golden retrievers be a sign of allergies?

Yes, tear stains in golden retrievers can be associated with allergies. Allergies can cause excessive tearing, leading to staining around the eyes. Common allergens for dogs include pollen, dust mites, certain foods, and environmental factors.

If you suspect that allergies are contributing to tear staining in your golden retriever, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. They can help identify the allergen through allergy testing and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as antihistamines or allergy shots, to manage your dog’s allergic reactions and reduce tear staining.

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Source: goldenretrieverforum.com


If your golden retriever has tear stains, it could be due to various reasons. Tear stains are often caused by excessive tearing or the buildup of bacteria or yeast. To help prevent tear stains, it is essential to keep your dog’s face clean and dry. Regularly wiping their face and using tear stain wipes can help. Additionally, it’s important to ensure your golden retriever’s diet is balanced and doesn’t contain any allergens. If tear stains persist or become severe, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for further guidance and treatment options. Remember, a happy and healthy golden retriever is what we all want!

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