To keep your dog's hair pearly white, you'll need to groom him regularly to prevent dirt, saliva and urine stains from discoloring it. With daily brushing, occasional bathing with a whitening shampoo and spot cleaning, your pup's coat will stay bright and clean. Remember that regular visits to the vet to keep your pup's teeth clean and to check his eyes and tear ducts also will prevent stains due to infections in these areas.
Groom the Coat Daily
Dirt can quickly build up on your dog's coat. Without regular grooming, your pup's coat can become matted, harboring fleas and stain-causing urine and feces.
Brush your furry friend daily using a metal comb to get all of the dirt particles out of the fur; a flea comb works best. Spray a little leave-in conditioner on knotty areas prior to combing so that the brush will more easily go through the hair and remove mats.
Spot Clean Fur
The most common staining of a white dog's coat occurs because a dog licks at his fur. Saliva can discolor white fur, as can tears and urine. This is especially true in breeds such as West Highland white terriers, poodles, Maltese, Samoyeds and bichon frises.
Use a damp washcloth to spot clean the fur around the eyes, mouth, backside and feet twice daily. This will wipe away dirt, saliva, urine and tears to prevent it from causing stains.
Between baths, remove existing stains with a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide. Mix one part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 10 parts water. Wipe stains with a cloth dampened with the solution and allow it to dry. The hydrogen peroxide helps to bleach the hair. You can boil a teaspoon of boric acid in a cup of warm water to make a stain-cleaning solution. Allow it to cool before using it to clean away stains.
Wash the Coat
Thoroughly clean your pup's coat using a whitening shampoo. These shampoos not only clean away dirt, but contain bleaching agents, bluing agents or optical brighteners to whiten the coat. By depositing a bit of blue or violet color onto the fur, it makes it appear brighter and shinier to the eye.
Use the shampoo as directed. You may need to leave it on the coat for a few minutes to allow the whitening agents to remove stains. Don't get the shampoo in your dog's eyes as sometimes these chemicals are harsh.
Bathe your dog as needed, but not more than every few weeks because it could strip his natural oils away, leading to itching and skin issues. You can whiten the coat between baths with a little dry shampoo or cornstarch to absorb odors, stains and wetness. Sprinkle it on the coat and brush it out.
Prevent Stains from Forming
The best way to keep your pup's coat white is to prevent stains.
- Don't feed your dog food containing red dye.
- Give your dog bottled water. Tap water may contain stain-causing minerals.
- Take your pooch to the vet for regular dental cleanings which will keep his mouth free of stain-causing bacteria. These bacteria can cause systemic infections and contribute to tear stains as well.
- Ask your vet about antibiotics or anti-fungal drugs if your pooch's eyes are regularly stained. This could indicate an eye infection.