Eye care is a regular part of your dog’s grooming routine, but some breeds, including the Maltese, Poodle (the two breeds that make a Maltipoo), Shih Tzu, and Bichon Frise are prone to what’s known as “tear stains”. Tear stains are reddish-brown in color, show up underneath the eyes in a downward line, and are often caused by epiphora.
Epiphora is associated with improper tear duct drainage which causes tears to flow onto the face 1. An overflow of tears can be caused by a number of factors, including allergies, infections, teething, eye shape, a blocked tear duct, or underlying health issues.
The good news is that tear stains are usually harmless, but it’s still a good idea to get your Maltipoo checked out by a vet to make sure there are no underlying health conditions at play. If your Maltipoo does not suffer from any underlying health issues and you just want to find out how to clean their eyes and prevent tear staining, check out the tips below.
Top 6 Tips on How to Clean Maltipoo Eyes
1. Use Dog Eye Wipes
It’s a good rule of thumb to give your Maltipoo’s eye area a quick and gentle wipe every day in the morning and after they eat. You can get standard eye cleaning wipes for dogs purely for maintenance and prevention, but also tear stain removal wipes for dogs already experiencing tear staining. Wipes are a convenient maintenance option as they require no preparation to use.
2. Wash with a Solution
Another option for cleaning your Maltipoo’s eyes is to use a tear stain solution or eye wash formulated for dogs. These are great for flushing the eyes and keeping them free of debris like dust and dirt. To tackle tear stains, you can gently wipe the area with a clean cloth dipped in eye wash.
3. Make a Homemade Solution
To make a homemade eye solution for your Maltipoo, you can boil one tablespoon of boric acid powder in a cup of distilled water. This can be used to clean around (not in) your Maltipoo’s eyes. You can keep this solution in the fridge for up to a week.
4. Trim Long Hair Around the Eye
For dog breeds prone to tear staining, it’s recommended to trim the hair around the eyes as this can contribute to staining, irritation, and infection. It’s a good idea to take a trip to a professional groomer for this kind of trim for safety reasons.
5. Dry Your Dog’s Eyes After Drinking
If your Maltipoo tends to get a bit splashy with their water bowl, dry their eyes after they’ve had a drink with a clean towel or a dry cotton ball or pad. The same goes for after they’ve had a bath or have been for a swim—always keep their face clean and dry.
6. Use Easy-to-Clean Bowls
Avoid low-quality plastic, colorful bowls for food and water—the dye may end up staining the fur on your dog’s face. Instead, go for something of better quality that’s easy to clean like stainless steel.
Extra Tips for Keeping Your Maltipoo’s Eyes and Face Clean
In addition to cleaning and preventing tear stains with wipes and solutions, there are some other steps you can take to keep tear stains at bay and keep your Maltipoo’s eyes as clean and clear as possible.
Tear staining is particularly common in flat-faced breeds, breeds with long hair on the face, white breeds, and breeds susceptible to congenital tear duct issues. Both Maltese and Poodles—the two breeds that make a Maltipoo—fall into this category.
Though tear stains are fairly common in these breeds, it’s still best to remain vigilant for signs of health conditions and speak to your vet if you have any questions or concerns.
Featured Image Credit: Oscar Scannell, Unsplash