Why Do English Bulldogs Have Tear Stains? 5 Causes & Remedies

One of the things that many English Bulldog owners notice is that their pup has tear stains, and naturally, they wonder if their Bulldog is upset and crying or if it’s caused by something else.

So, why do English Bulldogs have tear stains? English Bulldogs usually have tear stains due to a condition called epiphora. It’s caused by the overproduction of the tears and minerals in their water and food. It would be best to constantly wipe their tear stains because the moisture could lead to trapping bacteria in their wrinkles.  

There is more to that answer; keep reading to learn more about treating tear stains in English Bulldogs and cleaning them.

Why Do English Bulldogs Have Tear Stains?

a photo of tear stains to show why do english bulldogs have them

Tears in Bulldogs do not mean that your dog has been crying. They may look like they’re crying, but not because they are sad. Tears in Bulldogs are usually an indication of an eye condition. So, let’s discuss each condition individually:

  • Epiphora 
  • Genetics 
  • Infected eyes
  • pH imbalance
  • Allergies 
  • Blocked tear ducts


Epiphora is a condition caused by an overflow of their tears. However, some breeds have running eyes more than others. It can also happen if there isn’t proper drainage.

Signs Of Epiphora in English Bulldogs:

  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Continuous discharge from their eyes
  • Reddish-brown tear stains
  • Redness in their eyes
  • Pawing or scratching their eyes.

If you noticed these signs in your English Bulldog, you need to take them to the vet.


English Bulldogs’ eyes are more prone to tear stains than other breeds. Due to their shallow eye sockets, their tear ducts are frequently clogged, so their eyes are usually tearing, and the tears move down to their nose and leave tear stains on their face.

Infected Eyes

If their eyes are infected, it could make their eyes constantly tear up and lead to tearing stains.

Signs of infected eyes in English Bulldogs:

  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Watery discharge
  • Thick Discharge 
  • Holding eye closed 
  • Redness of the eye
  • Tearing 
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Smelly discharge 
  • Excessive blinking

If you noticed one or few of these signs, it would be best to take your English Bulldog to the vet.

pH Imbalance  

If there is a pH imbalance in your dog’s body, it will make him more prone to infections and yeast.

Signs of pH imbalance in English Bulldogs:

  • Grey discharge 
  • Symptoms of pain when urinating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 
  • Bad Breath
  • Itchy skin
  • Blood in their urine 
  • Yeast infections
  • inappropriate urination

If you believe there is a pH imbalance in your English Bulldog’s body, you should take them to the vet.


One of the possible reasons for the tear stains is allergies; just like humans, dogs can have an allergic reaction to something, and that’s why their eyes are tearing.

It can also respond to pollen, dust, or smoke; if there is debris in the air, it can make their eyes more watery, and eventually, they will have tear stains.  

Signs of allergies in English Bulldogs:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness in their eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing 
  • Runny discharge 

Blocked Tear Ducts

In some breeds such as English Bulldogs, Poodles, Boxers, French Bulldogs, and Chihuas, Blocked tear ducts are common. It’s either because of their shallow eye socket or the hair around their eyes, so they usually have tear stains on their face.

Signs of blocked tear ducts in English Bulldogs:

  • Reddish tear stains
  • Excessive watering in their eyes
  • Discharge from their eyes.

How To Clean Tear Stains in English Bulldogs?

There are many ways you can clean an English Bulldog’s tear stains, but before we discuss any, you should know why they have tear stains in the first place. So, here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Clean their face
  • Trim
  • Make a schedule 
  • Avoid what’s causing it.
  • Consult a vet

Clean Their Face

The first thing that you should do when you see tear stains is clean them properly, so give them a decent bath or take them to the groomer. Wash their face with a gentle cleanser to remove the tear stain, and make sure to clean their wrinkles.

You can check this cleanser; it’s made specifically for the tear stain (tearless), and it’s so gentle on their face. Also, it doesn’t only clean what’s on the surface, it deep cleanses their face, and you can use it every day.

You can also check out these wipes to clean the dog’s eyes, ears, face, and paws.


One of the main reasons your English Bulldog has tear stains is the hair around the eyes. So, you can trim the hair around their eyes and mouth gently with small scissors, or if you are too worried to do it, you can take them to a professional groomer.

Make A Schedule 

Do you know how most humans have a routine for their hair, face, workout, or how their day should go? 

It’s always a good idea to make a routine for your dogs because it makes them more comfortable and confident. So, set a specific time for their bath, wipe their face, and trim them.

Avoid What’s Causing It

You should find out what’s causing your dogs’ eyes to tear up and help them avoid it and eliminate the source or at least minimize their exposure to the cause.

For Example, if it happens because of the dust, you should vacuum more regularly while keeping your Bulldog away, or if it’s one of these dusty days, keep your dog home.

Consult A Vet

If you believe that the tear stains are due to an eye condition, it would be better to take them to the vet for a check-up, and they will diagnose the underlying condition.

What Home Remedies Can You Use to Reduce Tear Stains in English Bulldog?

There are some things that you can find in your own home to help your dog with tear stains. They are all-natural and won’t harm your English Bulldog’s eyes.

  1. Greek Yogurt
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Greek Yogurt 

Greek Yogurt is a great safe way to clean tear stains, and it will make your English Bulldog tear less.

It helps because Greek yogurt has probiotics in it, so you can try feeding them at least one greek yogurt a day.

Coconut Oil

You can use coconut oil to clean your Dog tear stains. Make sure that the coconut oil is organic before use because there are chemicals in the non-organic brands that can irritate their eyes.

So after finding the right coconut oil, make sure that the area of the tear stains and around them is dry before applying the oil, then use cotton to wipe the stains, and you can use the coconut oil whenever you need it as it is not harmful.

Apple Cider Vinegar

You can add one spoon of apple cider vinegar to their food but make sure you put it in some food with a strong taste to cover the taste of the cider. Use it regularly, and in a short time, you will realize that your English Bulldog rarely has tear stains. 

Recommendations for Food For Tear Stains In English Bulldogs

Since what your dogs eat and drink can cause tear stains, here are some excellent recommendations for food that will help reduce their tear stains.

Related Questions

What Ingredient In Dog Food Causes Tear Stains?

There are some ingredients in dog food that can cause tear stains, such as excess carbs and red meat. The dog’s body can’t break down the magnesium and iron in the red meat easily, and too much iron will lead to more porphyrin, which is responsible for the reddish-brown color in their tear stains.

Will Puppy Tear Stains Go Away?

Puppy tear stains will not go away as they are probably caused by genetics. Most dogs have tear stains as soon as they are out of their puppy stage due to a condition called porphyrin. This condition can be treated, and in that case, the tear stains will go away.

Our Picks for English Bulldogs (Tested by the bulldogs themselves)

Helpful Resources

Dog Eye Problems

Did you like the post? If so, please share it!

Similar Posts