Yogurt for Dog Tear Stains? Does It Really Work?

Does yogurt help in treating dog tear stains? If you have been looking through the internet, I am pretty sure that you’ve seen people for and against this treatment option for tear stains. Before making up your mind about how to treat your dog’s tear stains, you need to be sure it’ll work, right? Well, that’s why I’m here.

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Tear stains are discolorations under your dog’s eyes. A common misconception about tear stains is that they appear only in white-coated dog breeds like the Maltese, Samoyed, American Eskimo, and others. Tear stains can appear on any dog breed but are more noticeable in these white breeds. Tear stains usually mean that the tear ducts aren’t draining properly.

If your dog has tear stains on its face, it is rarely due to severe underlying issues. This doesn’t stop pet parents from worrying about this issue, though. If you want to get rid of those unappealing streaks using yogurt but don’t know how to, this guide is for you. 

Can I Give My Dog Yogurt to Help with Tear Stains? 

Some dog owners have recorded amazing success with using yogurt as a home remedy for tear stains. Others believe that yogurt is more of a preventive method than a form of treatment. The success of yogurt in helping with tear stains depends on the initial cause of these stains. If your dog’s tear stains are a result of a yeast infection, the yogurt will fill up their gut with “good bacteria” that will help fight off the infection. 

If your dog’s tear stains are caused by genetics, an allergic reaction, blocked tear ducts, eye trauma, or pH imbalances, yogurt will not do the job. It is best to have your veterinarian determine the cause of your four-legged friend’s tear marks before using yogurt as a remedy. The determined cause will help your veterinarian choose the best treatment option.

If your canine companion is lactose-intolerant, feeding yogurt is a no-no. Other possible treatment methods for tear marks include over-the-counter wipe products, dog tear stain removers, and regular grooming. Other home remedies you should check out include milk of magnesia, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. Tear marks could be a marker of a health issue so inform your veterinarian about any home method before trying it out.

How Can I Use Yogurt to Help with My Dog’s Tear Stains?

If you’re sure that your pooch’s tear stains are caused by a fungal infection, and your vet has given the go-ahead for treatment, then go ahead. The best way to use yogurt for tear stain treatment is to give your dog one or two tablespoons a day, depending on your dog’s size. Another option is to mix the yogurt into food. You cannot apply yogurt to your dog’s face.

You must consult your vet before starting this treatment. While treating tear stains with yogurt, feed your dog a balanced diet, avoid allergens and clean your dog’s eye region every day. Using a damp cloth placed in warm water, gently wipe the area. You could also ask your vet to recommend eye cleaning solutions.

If you choose to use yogurt as a tear stain remedy, take care to choose the right brand. Some yogurt brands are sugary and can cause more harm than good. Most dog owners opt for plain unsweetened yogurt or Greek yogurt. If you’re into DIY, many websites and videos describe how to make yogurt at home.

How Does Yogurt Help with Dog Tear Stains?

You can use yogurt to treat tear stains caused by yeast infections. Yogurt stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal flora; hence, it is a probiotic for dogs. Yeast infections occur when a fungus, Candida, overgrows in your dog’s digestive tract and irritates the intestinal lining causing inflammation and leaky gut. Yogurt is useful in introducing healthy bacteria that can help restore the balance of bacteria and yeast in the gut.

Fungal infections can occur because of many reasons like a poor diet, recent antibiotic use, lowered immunity, etc. Apart from tear stains, other symptoms of a yeast infection are watery eyes, a foul smell, and hair loss around the eyes. If an infection is the cause of your dog’s tear stains, they will appear as dark brown smudges and have an unpleasant smell. So if you notice all these symptoms in your dog, you should call your veterinarian for a definite diagnosis.

As I said before, most people argue that yogurt is more of a preventive for dog tear stains. The right kind of yogurt will support your dog’s body in fighting the infection. Be sure to use yogurt that is sugar-free because sugar boosts yeast infections. To treat dog tear stains caused by yeast infections, you should use yogurt along with other veterinarian-approved fungal treatment plans like creams, ointment, oral medications, and medicated baths. 

Conclusion

Using yogurt for the treatment of tear stains in dogs isn’t a full-proof plan. My advice is that you get the right diagnosis and a go-ahead from your veterinarian before using yogurt as a treatment method. Many other home remedies are more effective, so research extensively before mapping out a treatment plan. Overall, tear stains are usually a cosmetic issue in dogs, and your veterinarian will instruct you about the right treatment method.