Any advice on which food to help red/ brown tear staining from eyes ?


I have an 8 month old Fawn French Bulldog bitch. She has a red / brown tears which causes staining underneath her eyes. I originally had her on Purina Beta Puppy as advised by the breeder and she’s now just on Burns puppy food. The eye stains are persisting . Has anyone had any change in eye discharge using certain foods or are there any additives that are the main culprits ?


Hi - It could be that you dog is showing an allergy towards an ingredient - we have had a similar problem in our 18 month old and we did an exclusion diet and found that it was chicken that caused the eye problem - even to the extent we saw the eyes stain within hours of eating chicken. It may be that you are feeding Burns Puppy chicken after feeding Beat Puppy chicken, but it is worth bearing in mind that Burns contains 30% chicken as opposed to Beta at 4% (same goes for the Lamb varieties)

Hello and welcome to the forum. My friend (who is a member on here) is a groomer and she has told me that diet is an important issue in the prevention of tear staining. She also owns a French Bulldog so I am hoping that she might pick up on this thread. First of all, Burns has a lot of cereal in it and although it probably suits some dogs it is not one that I am very keen on. I would be looking for something with more protein and less cereal (perhaps grain free) and would even be considering raw feeding. There are some great prepared raw meals which only require weighing out and spooning into the dish - it couldn’t be easier. These are the most common brands: Natural Instinct, Natures Menu and Nutriment. As Pegasus says, it could be a matter of intolerance of one particular protein. Finding out what it is a long, drawn out procedure which needs to be done methodically.

Thanks for that , both of you . Great advice. Chicken could be the problem . I originally thought it may be beet pulp so I actively sought out foods without it . She is about to transition onto adult food. I had thought of Burns Sensitive pork and potato or even Wainwrights but I will look into the other suggestions. I thought it may be the breeds eyes but other French Bulldogs don’t always have this problem.

Glad I joined this forum though :slight_smile:

Of those two, my choice would be Wainwright’s grain free. According to this they use 30% sweet potato as the filler/carb source. I was told by a dog food rep that this is a good filler - in fact she thought it was the best. I might add that the company she worked for did not use sweet potato in their products. This website has it scored at a respectable 4.4 stars. Their wet food does even better at 4.8 stars.

Hi Dottie

I will check out the Wainwrights. Olive loves their treats so she may take to the food too .


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Canagan is another one that is grain free and they too use sweet potato as the carb source. I tried it for a while on my lot but they are small, speyed dogs, two of whom have a tendency to gain weight easily and although I gave less than the RDA it did cause problems so I had to discontinue the product. It’s a good food but just didn’t suit two of mine.

Hello and welcome Trixiebluebell,

I don’t have too much to add to the good advice already given. I know on another forum, a couple of members mentioned that they have seen a reduction in eye bogies since switching to raw frozen food.

Has your girl always had the staining or did you notice a difference on any of the foods you have already used.

Canagen do a small bite which may be of interest, as do Barking Heads in their Tiny Paws range. Both these companies have great wet food as well. Laughing dog have a grain free that is baked rather than extruded and there is a white label pet shop only food imaginatively named ‘Grain Free’ that is 50% meat (26% from fresh) and sweet potato - its a smaller than usual kibble - we’ve stocked it for 3 months and it is going really well and it is cheaper than Wainwrights and RDA is less.

That is interesting Pegasus. Wonder what the distribution of the white label pet food is? Would be interested to know if there are any shops that sell it in Yorkshire.

Lots to check out , thanks for the advice. Olive didn’t seem to have it at 12 weeks but it came on gradually . I used the same food the breeder used although she may not have used the Chicken Purina Beta puppy food .

It can be partly due to genetics as well due to the tear ducts. If they’re small the tears cant drain and overflow onto the fur.
Do you know any of the litter or did either of the parents have tear staining ?

When in contact with the breeder of my boy she made a point of telling me neither of the parents had tear staining. I know 2 others from the same litter and they don’t have tear staining either. All 3 are fed different foods

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From this website it appears that they recommend a visit to a veterinary ophthalmic specialist. They mention the brachycephalic breeds (of which the French Bulldog is one) as being a problem due to shallow eye sockets.

If it is food related, it does often seem to be grain or additive related, so a food like Eden should help, though as well as changing food you also have to bathe the eyes to help keep them clean whilst they recover.

I have also heard to use bottled water, but don’t know if there is any truth in that

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Yes I contacted my breeder ( she’s a very reputable breeder ) and she said it happens with quite a few of her dogs but you only tend to see it on the lighter colour fur . My dog is really healthy ( no breathing problems etc ) . I do think part of it may be down to the breed type but I will try different foods to see if it improves.

Hi Trixiebell …I have this problem with one of my two Shih tzu crosses …one is cross bichon (he has the tear staining) the other is cross chihuahua he does not . They are both healthy in other ways …eyes checked by vet, but so far the only way I have helped is by keeping on top of it …I clean the eyes each morning with Pure baby wipes and trim any tiny hairs around the eyes in case they irratate.
I am very intrested in the fact it could be a chicken allergy, I recently switched to My Mad Dog chicken and rice as it is Hypoallergenic but Im now beginning to think there could be a link…he also gets an itchy skin and was going to try Burns Alert Chicken and Brown rice as it has lots of good oils in it … but maybe it would be best to try a feed without chicken.
Thanks for starting this thread Trixiebell …given me lots to think about.

I know this is a old thread but wondering if you got the tear stains under control yet Dottie?
I experienced the same as you have with my Shih Tzu’s and just found out what is causing it and how I finally got it cleared up.

I have three dogs, all dark in colour so tear staining is not a problem for me. I’m glad that you have found the source of the problem in your own dog. Please can you let us know what it was caused by? I am sure that it would be useful for other people who have pets that suffer with this.

This is well worth a read for the advice given, and the results speak for themselves.

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My male is very sensitive to environmental contact and allergic to many foods. After reaching maturity he started with the tear stains which developed to red dye yeast very quickly.
After great research and trials I found he was reacting to artificial dyes, beet pulp, and grain in kibble.
After treating with vellus and boric powder ( NOT borax that’s a insecticide or washing powders) and shampoo.
He’s free of tear staining


3 weeks later

Today Stain Free

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