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Why Do White Dogs Get Crusty Eyes? (Answered 2024)

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Why are crusty white dogs crustyYou’ve spotted them – those petite white fluffs with crusty red eyes. It’s a common issue for breeds like Bichons and Maltese.

Don’t fret – crusty eyes aren’t indicative of poor care. Tiny pups like these tend to have overactive tear glands and narrow ducts, causing fluids to spill over.

We’ll explore the causes of goopy eyes in detail and provide tips to reduce irritation.

With some minor adjustments, your crusty-eyed cutie will be good as new.

Now let’s dig into demystifying this pesky problem.

Key Takeaways

  • Overactive tear glands lead to excess tear production and crusting around the eyes.
  • Environmental irritants like pollen, dust, and debris can cause eye irritation and crustiness.
  • Underlying medical conditions like allergies and infections contribute to crusty eyes.
  • Regular veterinary care, grooming, and preventative measures help manage crusty eyes in white dogs.

What Are Crusty White Dogs?

What Are Crusty White Dogs
You may be wondering what exactly constitutes a crusty white dog.

This commonly refers to specific breeds like Bichon Frise and Maltese that have white fur around their eyes that tends to collect dried mucus secretions.

While crustiness occurs naturally, proper hygiene can help reduce irritation.

Bichon Frise

You’re looking at a Bichon Frise when you see a small, fluffy white dog with dark eyes and a frizzy coat that tends to get crusty around the eyes.

This breed is characterized by:

  • A petite frame, typically under 12 inches tall
  • A cotton-like coat that requires frequent brushing
  • Playful and cheerful personalities that thrive on human interaction

Bichons require diligent grooming to prevent tear stains and crusty fur around the eyes.


Your Maltese’s long, silky white coat and big dark eyes make them prone to crusty eyes.

Regular tear duct cleaning, grooming, and eye stain removers prevent irritating discharge.

Though small, these friendly companions have big personalities.

Their white coats and eyes lead some to unfairly meme them as mean, but proper preventative grooming combats crustiness in these gentle pups.

Why Are White Dogs Crusty?

Why Are White Dogs Crusty
White dogs get crusty eyes because their overactive tear glands flood their fur with porphyrin-rich tears that oxidize and crystallize around their eyes when exposed to air.

Understanding the causes behind crusty eyes in white dogs can help combat stereotypes and promote better care.

Excess tear production is common in small white dogs like Shih Tzus. Their tear ducts can have trouble draining the porphyrin-rich fluid.

When this tear fluid makes contact with oxygen, it oxidizes into a red or brown crusty substance around the eyes.

Environmental irritants like dust and debris can also contribute to eye issues.

With some preventive care tips like consistent cleaning and medication, crusty eyes in white dogs can be managed.

Spread awareness, not memes making fun of crusty pups. All dogs deserve patience, love, and belly rubs, even the crusty ones!

Common Crusty White Dog Breeds

Common Crusty White Dog Breeds
Three of the most common crusty white dog breeds you’d see are the Bichon Frise, Maltese, and West Highland White Terrier.

The Bichon Frise and Maltese often have long, silky coats prone to trapping debris and irritants. Their large, expressive eyes with exposed tear ducts are also vulnerable. Frequent gentle cleaning helps.

Westies have a harsh, dense double coat protecting their eyes somewhat. However, allergies and medical conditions can still cause crusty eyes.

Despite the extra grooming needs of white dogs, their cheerful, affectionate temperaments make them good pets.

However, beware perpetuating stereotypes – a dog’s personality depends more on socialization than breed.

With some extra TLC for their eyes, these breeds can be extremely loyal, devoted companions.

Causes of Crust in White Dogs

Causes of Crust in White Dogs
You may wonder why white dogs tend to get crusty eyes more than other dogs.

This crustiness is often caused by:

  • Overactive tear glands
  • Environmental irritants getting into the eyes
  • Underlying medical conditions

Understanding what leads to crusty eyes can help you prevent and treat this issue in your white dog.

Overactive Tear Glands

When explaining crusty eyes in your white dog, experts note that excess tear production from overactive tear glands ranks among the primary causes.

These glands may overproduce tears due to allergies, irritants, or medical conditions.

Using saline solution or artificial tears can help flush the eyes while identifying and avoiding triggers reduces stimulation.

Regular veterinary care ensures any underlying issues receive prompt diagnosis and treatment for your pup’s comfort.

Environmental Irritants

You’ll often find crusting around your white dog’s eyes caused by contact with irritants like dust, debris, pollen, or chemicals.

Environmental triggers like these can lead to eye irritation, inflammation, and increased tear production in sensitive pups.

To help prevent crusty eyes, use gentle grooming practices and eye-friendly products as recommended by your veterinarian.

With some extra care, your friendly, loving white dog can stay comfortable.

Medical Conditions

If your white dog has crusty eyes, it may be due to underlying medical conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Eye infections

These can cause:

  • Overproduction of tears
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation resulting in porphyrin secretions appearing rusty red when exposed to air

Using eye drops, keeping the area clean, and regular vet checkups can help prevent worsening crustiness.

Preventing Crusty Eyes in Small Dogs

Preventing Crusty Eyes in Small Dogs
By keeping their eyes clean and protected, you’ll help prevent crusting in your small white dog.

Use veterinarian-recommended tear stain solutions regularly to keep the area around the eyes free of irritants.

Grooming tips like trimming hair around the eyes can also help by reducing debris and moisture.

Invest in eye care essentials like saline wash and artificial tears to support canine ocular health.

Implement simple preventive measures as part of your daily routine, like wiping the inner corners of the eyes after walks or playtime.

With proactive eye care, you can help your fluffy friend avoid chronic crusting and stains.

Focus on being consistent, patient, and gentle, as forceful handling can further irritate delicate facial tissues.

By making eye care a priority, your bond with your small dog will grow even stronger.

Cleaning Crusty Eyes in White Dogs

Cleaning Crusty Eyes in White Dogs
You clean crusty eyes in white dogs by gently wiping them with a warm, wet cloth or sterile gauze pad.

Use a separate cloth for each eye to prevent spreading infection.

Gently wipe from the inner to the outer eye.

Avoid using soap or rubbing alcohol near eyes as this can cause further irritation.

Check with your veterinarian if eye discharge persists or vision seems impacted.

Regular eye cleaning helps prevent worsening tear stains and promotes your dog’s eye health and comfort. Partner this with regular veterinarian checkups to address any underlying issues causing excessive eye discharge in your white dog’s breed.

Personality of Crusty White Dogs

Personality of Crusty White Dogs
Many of you don’t realize these dogs have sweet, affectionate personalities despite their crusty eyes.

Crusty white dogs like Bichons and Maltese are often misunderstood as feisty or temperamental due to their appearance and viral memes.

However, their behavior is much more influenced by their owners’ training and socialization.

These popular companion breeds can be very loving and thrive when shown patience and understanding.

We shouldn’t blame crusty pups for the behavior of some loud, overprotective owners who unfortunately reinforce negative stereotypes.

With proper preventive care and grooming, these sociable dogs make cheerful, devoted companions.

Their crustiness is no reflection on who they’re inside – little furry friends just looking to give and receive love.

Crusty White Dog Stereotypes

Crusty White Dog Stereotypes
Let’s move the conversation in a more thoughtful direction.

While some owners may enable negative behaviors, we shouldn’t make assumptions or promote harmful stereotypes.

All dogs have unique personalities shaped by their environments and training.

Though the crusty white dog meme pokes fun, it unfortunately perpetuates misunderstandings.

Just as we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, we must look deeper to appreciate the bond between pet and parent.

With compassion and positive reinforcement, any dog can become a delightful companion.

By recognizing each dog’s individuality, we can shift the conversation to highlight their charm and intelligence.

If we open our minds, crusty pups reveal clever spirits eager to share their gifts.

Let’s celebrate our canine friends for who they are, not superficial crusts.

Crusty White Dog Meme Origin

Crusty White Dog Meme Origin
Having a crusty white dog as a pet comes with some unique care requirements, but can still be an incredibly rewarding experience.

  • Need to clean tear stains and eye crust daily.
  • Regular grooming is a must to prevent matting.
  • Should see a vet routinely to check for eye issues.
  • Can be vocal and energetic despite small size.
  • With proper care and affection, they make wonderfully devoted companions.

Living With a Crusty White Dog

Living With a Crusty White Dog
Keep your crusty white dog’s eyes clean by using veterinarian-recommended solutions daily.

Living with a crusty white dog means providing attentive preventative care to address the root causes of eye irritation. This may require some trial and error to find the right treatment plan for your dog’s unique needs.

Be prepared to patiently work through stereotypes about small white dogs – your furry friend’s wonderful personality will win over skeptics in time.

The popular crusty white dog breeds of Bichon Frise, Maltese, and poodles are lively, loyal companions.

While the viral meme brought some undeserved criticism, it also spread positivity and laughs.

Focus on enjoying your time with your crusty-eyed cutie.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do crusty eyes hurt or bother dogs?

No, crusty eyes don’t inherently cause dogs pain or bother them.

However, the underlying conditions potentially causing the crustiness may result in discomfort.

Gentle cleaning and veterinary attention can alleviate most issues.

With care and treatment, crusty-eyed pups can live happy lives.

Why do some owners seem bothered by crusty eyes more than others?

Some owners may focus more on appearances than the wellbeing of their pet.

While crusty eyes can indicate medical issues, a dog’s inherent value isn’t dependent on looks.

Regular grooming keeps eyes healthy, but judgment says more about the owner than the animal.

Let’s embrace our furry friends just as they are.

Can crustiness spread to other areas like around the nose and mouth?

Yes, crustiness can spread to areas around the nose and mouth.

Tears contain porphyrins that oxidize into reddish-brown buildup. As tears drain, porphyrins stain light fur.

Gently clean these areas daily with a damp cloth to prevent worsening.

Consult your vet if crustiness persists despite care.

Do dogs with darker fur colors also get eye crusties?

Yes, dogs with darker fur can also get eye crusties.

Tear stains and crustiness result from normal tear production and porphyrin pigment.

All dogs produce tears, so eye discharge and crusting around the eyes can occur regardless of fur color.

With gentle cleaning and care, crusty eyes can be managed in any dog.

Will eye crusties go away as a dog ages?

Unfortunately, eye crusties typically persist and can worsen as dogs age.

Tear production tends to increase over time, exacerbating buildup.

However, with gentle cleaning and care, you can manage crustiness, keeping your pup comfortable.

What matters most is loving your dog just as they are.


Ultimately, crusty eyes are a nuisance but not detrimental to your petite pup’s health or personality.

With some minor tweaks to their care routine and environment, you can likely reduce irritation substantially.

Focus on keeping the area clean and dry while monitoring for signs of infection.

If simple remedies don’t suffice, consult your vet for next steps.

At the end of the day, a bit of crustiness won’t dampen the delight of sharing your life with a fluffy white companion.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.