White dog coats can be difficult to clean and maintain. Bichons, West Highland Terriers, Poodles and Maltese dogs amongst many other breeds suffer from coat staining, often to the dismay of their owners. Groomer have therefore compiled a number of handy tips to help keep white coats white, and directions on techniques for removing stains when necessary.
- Brush the coat before bathing. This will remove the superficial build-up of dust and debris, meaning that the shampoo can penetrate the coat more thoroughly.
- Use a whitening shampoo such as Groomers Blue Pearl Coat Enhancer. This formula is designed specifically for the removal of stains from white coats, and enhances the natural coat colour too. This shampoo also contains a slight “blueing” agent to counteract the vague yellow tinge visible on many white dog coats.
- When dealing with tough stains, do not dilute whitening shampoo. Use the formula neat, and leave to soak into the hair for a few minutes before rinsing.
- Try using baking soda on a very grey or stained coat. Baking soda is excellent at removing stains, and complements whitening shampoos well. It is also suitable for use on most skin and hair types. Put directly into the bath water, or mix into a paste and apply directly to the stain. Leave to soak for a few minutes then rinse.
- Use a good quality conditioner after shampooing. This optimises the heath of the coat, making it less porous, brittle, and prone to staining.
- Rinse all products away thoroughly. Product residue can make white coats dull.
Tear stains appear to occur more on white coated dogs, but in reality many breeds of dog suffer from this affliction – the white coat simply makes the problem seem more prominent. If the problem occurs in your dog frequently, or has suddenly become a problem for the first time, it is a good idea to get your pet checked out by a vet, as there could be an tear duct infection or blockage. The problem could even be down to dietary issues.
To treat tear stains on white coats, use a stain remover specifically designed for the eye area. Use consistently over the course of a few weeks and you should see some results. You could also try using Wax Sticks. These hide unsightly stains, and also form a protective barrier which helps against further discolouration. Remember to work very carefully around your dog’s eye area, and do not get any product directly into the eyes.
Remove urine stains immediately with a damp cloth, or ideally a pet cleansing wipe if possible. The sooner you get to a stain, the easier it will be to remove. For particularly bad stains, you could try an application of Groomers Quick Wash Shampoo. This will help to clean the fur and loosen the stain. It also means you do not need to bathe the dog excessively, which can exacerbate skin conditions. If the urine stains are particularly bad, it is advisable that you check there is not any dietary issues affecting the urine’s pH – ask your vet for more details regarding this.