Maltese Tear Stains

We hear your pain! Tear stains are a big pain in the rear for many Maltese owners especially since they have white hair.  We had the same problem as well with A-Rod!

Why did A-Rod have tear stains?

I spoiled A-Rod since he was a baby. I gave him many baby cookies. I boiled chicken legs for him. He had no problem when he was a baby but over the next two years, his tear stain was so obvious and became a big problem. We asked vets many times in Taiwan. Most of them all had the same response. Either Allergies or Lacrimal gland obstruction.  I remembered one of the vets told me that surgery might be helpful. I don’t remember what surgery was about but I didn’t let him do it because he was just a baby. I didn’t want him to suffer from the after effects of surgery. Until one of the vets suggested me to give him Royal Canin vegetarian formula dry food, and stop all the treats.  So back then that was the biggest change made to his diet.

A-Rod's tear stain picture

(This picture was taken in 2010)

I didn’t give him any human foods and I stopped giving him boiled chicken. For A-Rod it appeared that the boiled chicken actually caused a lot of tearing. After giving him a strict diet of his dog food, and a reduced treat allotment, his tear stains gradually went away. It wasn’t easy because chicken is one of his favorite foods. However, for his own good I had to be strict on it. Also, I cleaned his tears anytime they started to show. I know that tears near the eye on the hair are actually beginning tear stains since it turns the hair around that area yellow.   I always carried a kleenex to take care of it and would always wipe the tears anytime I saw them.

I found he was getting better after about 6 months of strict food and cleaning. His tear stains gradually went away. And the new hair around the eyes were not stained. The old yellowed hair was hard to fix.  We were able to fix the yellow hair by giving him a new hair cut.  

Every dog is different, Bailey is fine with different foods but A-Rod isn’t. So, keep an eye on their food, water, and anything else they may be allergic to. I always keep a close eye on A-Rod as I know he has very bad allergies.  Every time we introduce a new treat or new food, we are very mindful to watch his tears.  If the food or treat does show signs of causing a tear stain I stop giving him that food right away.  Right now, he is eating Nature’s Variety Instinct Chicken dry food. He is fine with this food, and it is his favorite chicken flavor.  

A-Rod's tear stain picture.

(This picture was taken in 2011)


  1. Be sure to check with your vet before doing anything.
  2. Keep an eye on their food, water, and treats.
  3. Make sure the hair around their eyes aren’t irritating them.  It could potentially be rubbing directly on their eye.
  4. Clean the tear stains ASAP and especially before bed.  Always keep some cleaning items nearby (kleenex, qtips, etc)


  1. All of the treatment on A-Rod was according to my own experience.  Every dog is different and the change in diet may or may not be as effective for you.  Always check with the vet first.
  2. People have different preferences on the foods or brands to their dogs. For example, some people prefer to give their dogs raw food, fresh meal, dry food or etc. For me, it is all good if the dogs are fine and healthy.  Just keep a close eye on allergies after eating anything.
  3. Feel free to share your experience with us. We would love to learn more and improve!  Any special tips we could use to treat our dogs too? 😀