How to Remove Tear Stains on a Jack Russell Terrier

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Some dogs will develop tear stains underneath their eyes and even around their muzzles. Most of the time, it’s related to health issues. You should know how to remove tear stains on a Jack Russel Terrier so your pet feels comfortable.

How to Remove Tear Stains on a Jack Russell Terrier

If you’re worried about the tear stains on your Jack Russel Terrier, you should first consult with a veterinarian to eliminate any health issue concerns. After confirming that your dog’s tear stains aren’t related to some health issues, you can remove the tear stains yourself by doing the following things:

Graphic image of a Jack Terrier with a text explaining what tear stains look like on Jack Russell Terriers
  • Flush the eyes of your Jack Russell Terrier using a suitable canine eye-wash like saline eye-wash solutions. If you’re unsure what to use better ask recommendations from your veterinarian.
  • You can also use an eye wash wipe and rub it underneath and around the eye area of a Jack Russell Terrier. There are some eye wash wipe products that you can use for your dog. There’s also a homemade option by mixing one tablespoon of boric acid powder in a cup of distilled water and then boiled. (let it cool down first before using to your dog)
  • Wash the muzzle hair of your Jack Russell Terrier using dry shampoo or waterless shampoo and a wet washcloth. You can also try using 3% hydrogen peroxide on a paper towel to comb off the tear stains and dry afterwards.
  • Make sure to trim the hair around the eyes of your Jack Russell Terrier. This is to avoid irritating the eye which can cause tearing.

There are also different ways to remove tear stains on a Jack Russell Terrier. I found these process simple and effective among them.

What Are Tear Stains?

Tear stains in dogs are also called “tear marks” or “eye stains”. It pertains to the discoloration and residue that is generally produced by your eye’s discharge. It is common in pups. Tear stains are also more visible on dogs with light fur or white fur. Tear stains are also common in dog breeds that are prone to epiphora. 

Tear stains generally look brown or rusty-red stains on your dog’s inside part of the eyes. It can even show up around the mouth and private areas of your Jack Russell Terrier. Tear stains with reddish color mostly originated from porphyrins.

Porphyrins is a natural chemical that dogs excrete through their saliva, tears, urine, and waste.

If the tear stains are dark brown in color, it may indicate a yeast infection is forming or has formed already. This means your Jack Russell Terrier is exposed to prolonged moisture and bacteria. Hence, regular grooming is important for your Jack Russell Terrier. 

An image of Jack Russell terrier with long hair

What Causes Tear Stains

As mentioned before most tear stains are caused by epiphora. Hence, it is better to get your dog checked by the veterinarian to identify the root cause problem. Epiphora can also be caused by other things and your dog’s tear stains may be caused by entirely something else.

Here are some other causes to why your Jack Russell Terrier has tear stains.

  • Conjunctivitis – commonly appears on mature dogs. It’s an inflammation of the eye lining that causes eye discharge. Conjunctivitis can be the result of an allergy or injury.
  • Teething – teething or the growing of your pup’s teeth into adult teeth can put a lot of pressure on their tear ducts which may lead to excessive watering and tear stains.
  • Lack of Grooming – if you don’t groom your Jack Russell Terrier can develop tear stains when not groomed properly especially if their hair near the tear ducts are compromised. You should also be careful when your dog’s hair gets long.
  • Allergies and Irritants – just like people, dogs can get irritated too. Make sure that your Jack Russell Terrier avoid pollen dust, smoke, sawdust, cleaning products, and other irritants.
  • Improper Diet – if you feed your Jack Russell Terrier cheap dog food may contain fillers and preservatives that your dog may not like. Water can even cause tear stains if it has contaminants or high amounts of iron and other minerals.
  • Shallow Eye Sockets – some type of dog breeds like bulldogs and pugs have shallow eye sockets thanks to their broad short skulls. Shallow eye sockets makes it difficult for the eyes to drain tears which may cause tear stains.
  • Inverted Eyelids – inverted eyelids is also known as entropion. It occurs when the end of your dog’s eyelid folds inward against the eye. The eyelashes may irritate or scratch the cornea which may result to tear stains.
  • Disease – some diseases like Glaucoma can cause discharge and may even block or damage your tear ducts. This will lead to tear stains. If you notice any signs or symptoms of disease go to your veterinarian right away.
  • Scarring – your Jack Russell Terrier may scratch near its eyes frequently. This can lead to scarring which becomes the cause of tear stains and may even worsen with new irritations.
A long-haired Jack Russell terrier

How to Prevent Tear Stains

There are various you can avoid tear stains for your Jack Russell Terrier here are some of them:

  • Better Food Quality – your dog may be allergic to cheap dog food so it’s better to use high-quality dog food if your Jack Russell Terrier is reacting negatively to cheap dog food.
  • Careful What Your Dog Drinks – if your dog are showing signs of tear stains, it’s better to change what water it drinks. The best options are purified, distilled, or reverse-osmosis water.
  • Regular Grooming – daily grooming to your dog will help prevent tear stains significantly. Make sure to groom their eye and mouth daily.
  • Keep Your Dog Dry – dry off any moisture or rusty areas like around the mouth of your dog after drinking water.
  • Consider Food Additives – some food additives like apple cider vinegar or buttermilk powder may help with your Jack Russell Terrier’s tear stains. You may also want to ask your veterinarian about mild antibiotics to help with tear stains. Your dog may respond differently so some experimentation is required.
Long-haired Jack Russell terrier

Home Remedies for Jack Russell Terrier Tear Stains

If you want some homemade remedy for your Jack Russell Terrier’s tear stains, I have some products to recommend. Some products may have dangerous chemicals that may cause irritation to the dog’s skin.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a tricky one. It is effective at treating dog tear stains however you should be cautious when applying it around your Jack Russell Terrier’s eyes. Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use except when it is undiluted which could dry out your Jack Russell Terrier’s skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Adding 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your Jack Russell Terrier’s food everyday may help with removing tear stains. Most people believe it helps balance the acidity of your dog which help prevent tear stains from forming.

While it may not be a proven remedy, apple cider vinegar is good and safe for your Jack Russell Terrier. It can improve gut health and digestion too.


Yogurt is also in the same spot as apple cider vinegar. Adding it to your Jack Russell Terrier’s diet is also beneficial since it also improves gut bacteria which is also related to tear stains. Do note that you should not apply yogurt directly to your dog’s face.

Nevertheless, yogurt is a healthy and safe food for your dog with a lot of health benefits so it’s still great to add it to your Jack Russell Terrier’s diet.


Removing tear stains on your Jack Russell Terrier is easy. Tear stains can be a sign of poor health or lifestyle for your Jack Russell Terrier. Consider it a warning and consult your veterinarian right away to get the best course of action.