How to Clean Yorkie Eyes [Steps]

As Yorkie owners, we love our adorable and tiny little friends. Yorkies may be one of the smallest dog breeds, but they make up for it with their feisty spirits. 

Since you undoubtedly want to keep your Yorkie happy and healthy, you might be wondering how to clean Yorkie eyes when you notice tear stains or discharge beneath your pup’s eyes.

how to clean yorkie eyes
How to clean Yorkie eyes

The good news is that tear stains and eye discharge (eye boogers) are completely normal in Yorkies. Cleaning your dog’s eyes is a regular aspect of pet care that is luckily very simple to manage.

What Are Yorkie Tear Stains?

golden yorkie
A truly Golden Yorkie coat. So beautiful!

Tear stains are reddish-brown streaks around a Yorkie’s eyes caused by discharge from excessive tear production. 

Depending on the color of your dog’s coat, you might not even notice the tear stains. However, the discharge is always visible and might be known by other names like eye gunk, crud, crust, or goo. 

Yes, it’s kind of gross, but it’s nothing to worry about!

Usually, tear stains and eye discharge are no cause for concern, although in rare cases it can be a sign of a more serious condition such as an eye infection or ingrown eyelashes.

If your Yorkie has excessive tear stains or greenish discharge under the eyes, it can be a sign of a more serious problem and you may want to take them to the vet to get checked out.

Another potential cause of Yorkie tear stains and eye discharge is allergies. Some common Yorkie allergies are food, shampoo, dust, mold, and pollen. If your Yorkie experiences the above symptoms, you might also want to have them checked for allergies at the vet.

Otherwise, the following techniques for cleaning a Yorkie’s eyes will do the trick.

3 Steps of How to Clean Yorkie Eyes

Now that you understand the causes of Yorkie tear stains and eye gunk, it’s easy to address the problem and effectively clean your Yorkie’s eyes.

yorkie in a grass field
Yorkies love to get outside and play. They will get knots, eye stain, and sometimes smelly ears.

These are the best techniques for how to get your Yorkie’s eyes clean and clear.

Technique 1: Washcloth and Warm Water

One of the easiest ways to remove eye gunk from around a Yorkie’s eyes is the simple washcloth and warm water method.

If you don’t have any other products on hand, this is a simple and effective way to remove tear stains and discharge from around your dog’s eyes. [Baby wipes can be used in an emergency but be careful]

Soak a washcloth in warm water and wring it out, making sure that the temperature of the water is not too hot. If it feels hot to your skin, it is too hot to use around your Yorkie’s eyes. 

Next, use the damp washcloth to cleanse the area around your dog’s eyes, removing the eye gunk gently. Your dog might squirm a bit, but as long as you are careful and use gentle motions, it should not cause them any pain or discomfort.

This is the most straightforward method for removing Yorkie eye goo.

Technique 2: Tear Stain Remover Wipes

Another method for cleaning Yorkie eyes is using tear stain remover wipes specifically designed for the task.

Dog eye wipes are made for wiping away eye gunk from your pup’s eyes. They’re formulated to be gentle and non-irritating, so you don’t have to worry about causing your Yorkie any pain or discomfort.

One benefit of using tear stain remover wipes is that they are designed to leave a Yorkie’s beautiful coat clean and shiny while removing the gunk.

They are very easy to use – just remember to be gentle when wiping around your dog’s eyes. After you have finished cleaning one eye, get a fresh wipe to clean the other.

Technique 3: Natural Cleansing Solution

One final way to clean your Yorkie’s eyes is to use a natural cleansing solution for dogs. This generally comes in liquid form and contains boric acid, which is excellent for removing tear stains and discharge from around a dog’s eyes.

To use an eye cleansing solution, simply apply it to a dry washcloth or cotton ball and gently wipe it around the eye crust and tear stains.

Similar to eye wipes, eye cleansing solution is designed to be non-aggravating and is safe to use around your Yorkie’s eyes. [See the best eye cleaning solutions in this article about Maltipoo eyes – the exact same products are ideal for Yorkies]

If your Yorkie is resistant to being cleaned, you may want to bribe them with treats or attempt the process when they are sleepy and less likely to fight back.

What Not to Do When Cleaning Yorkie Eyes

Now that we’ve covered the best techniques for how to clean Yorkie eyes, let’s talk about what to avoid.

beautiful yorkie puppy
This beautiful Yorkie puppy has a very light coat color

Any of the above methods will work for safely removing eye gunk from around your Yorkie’s eyes. However, there are a few things you should never do.

One of those is using shampoo, even dog shampoo, to clean your Yorkie’s eyes. Although it might seem like a good idea, it can be extremely irritating for your puppy’s eyes. Direct contact with shampoo can even cause severe eye problems for your Yorkie. Even Yorkie coat recommended shampoos can cause eye irritation (University study).

Another thing to avoid is using too much pressure. A Yorkie’s eyes are very sensitive, so you should be as gentle as possible when removing tear stains and gunk from around the eyes.

Finally, try not to lose your patience when cleaning your Yorkie’s eyes. It can take some serious persistence to accomplish the task, especially when your Yorkie gets agitated and won’t hold still for your attempts at cleaning.

The important thing is to keep your cool and stay patient when cleaning your Yorkie’s eyes.

Yorkie Eye Gunk Conclusion

a black yorkie
A Yorkie with a predominantly black coat stands on a wooden floor.

Yorkies are beautiful, lovable dogs that are tiny yet mighty.

While it can take some patience to clean the gunk from around a Yorkie’s eyes, just remember that dogs are sensitive and don’t like having their eyes touched just like humans!

Tear stains and eye gunk are normal and are not usually a cause for concern in Yorkies. As long as you regularly clean their eyes using one of the gentle methods above, you should not have any issues.

However, if you suspect a more serious condition such as an eye infection or allergies are causing your Yorkie’s eye gunk, be sure to take them to the vet to get checked out and get to the root of the problem.