To remove saliva stains from your dog’s white fur, mix water with salt to create saline solution. Then dip a cotton ball in the liquid and rub the stains for about one minute. Rinse with warm water and repeat up to three times per day until the stains are gone.
If you’re a seasoned pet owner, I have no doubt that you are a black belt in cleaning up messes.
Dogs are masters of the mess. From the carpet to the couch, or maybe even that backroom you try to block them off from. You have finessed the art of cleaning fur and slobber off of any surface imaginable.
But what do you do if the slobber is emulsified on the pup itself? It might seem challenging to clean saliva stains off your dog’s fur, but it might seem impossible when the fur is white! White fur is beautiful, but it does get dirty quickly.
In this article, we will be going over five simple methods to remove saliva stains from white fur. But first, let’s talk about why these stains happen in the first place.
The Common Culprits of Stained Fur
There are a few common reasons for white fur getting stained. They are:
Dogs don’t exactly hop into the shower after a long day in the sun. As we observe the animal kingdom as a whole, animals clean and groom themselves using their saliva. They are constantly licking themselves all over the place.
Although this is 100% natural and instinctual, a hefty build-up of slobber (over a long period of time) can create sensitive skin and discoloration in the fur.
Does it look like your dog has been crying? Don’t worry, it’s not because the last episode of The Bachelor disappointed them so much. The tears from your dog, whether it be from allergies, or dust in the air, can produce dark brown or blackish streaks on their face.
Vigorous Cleaning of The Same Spot
Do you notice your pup’s skin growing increasingly more irritated? Do you notice that their fur is displaying a light, pinkish hue? Or even a mild reddish tint? This is most likely due to your pup vigorously cleaning the same spot. The build-up of saliva over a long period of time can turn the skin around the area very sensitive, and even cause inflammation.
What Causes White Fur to Become Stained?
Understanding your dog’s unique personality and complex anatomy will be a tremendous benefit in combating the issue at hand. So, before I crack into solutions, let’s talk about why this happens.
The staining of the fur and skin is caused by a chemical compound called porphyrins. These molecules contain copious amounts of iron. They are created when the body begins breaking down red blood cells. Your pups’ body will usually expel these compounds through urine or feces, but the molecules will hitch a ride through the tear ducts and saliva glands as well.
This shouldn’t be a cause for immediate concern. But over the years, the porphyrins can accumulate and cause dark stains on white fur.
Simple Solutions to Remove The Stains
There are multiple avenues you can pursue when cleaning the drool off your furry friend, all of which are incredibly simple.
I would have to recommend that this be your first plan of attack. However, when removing saliva/tear stains, it’s going to take a little more than a regular bath.
First off, try to gently trim the fur around the trouble area. This will minimize irritation and inflammation and give you a clear sight of the area.
Mix the shampoo with warm water (not too hot) and apply persistently to the irritated area.
Be careful to not be too “ruff” with them. You must use dog shampoo or baby shampoo. Never use regular human shampoo.
2) Saline Solution
Saline solution is just water mixed with sodium chloride (salt).
Soak a cotton ball in your saltwater, and gently massage the discolored area with the cotton ball. Be sure you’re thoroughly lathering the stain. Do this for about 45 seconds. The saltwater helps kill bacteria that can be potentially harmful to your pup.
Then rinse the fur with warm water (not too hot).
Apply the saline solution 3-5 times a day until the stain is gone.
3) Hydrogen Peroxide
Before anything else, we want to give our pup a bath. Clean as much as you can with warm water. Then take a cotton ball and soak it with the peroxide. Apply the peroxide firmly to the stain. Be sure that you massage sternly, allowing the peroxide to work its magic. Do this for about 45 seconds to a minute, then rinse with cold water.
I usually don’t like using chemicals on my dog. But hydrogen peroxide is 100% safe for your pooch. If you still feel wary about it, you can dilute the concentration of the peroxide by simply mixing it with a bit of saline solution.
4) Apple cider vinegar
I swear, every homemade remedy about anything ever, involves apple cider vinegar.
By adding the vinegar to the pup’s water, you can change the consistency and chemical compounds of your dog’s slobber. This will make the saliva much easier to clean, and may even prevent staining altogether.
The general rule of thumb is adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar per 50lbs.
For example: If your dog is 100lbs, they would receive 2 teaspoons of vinegar in their water.
The creativeness of homemade remedies never ceases to amaze me.
Start by rubbing the stain with warm water and soap. Any soap/shampoo should suffice.
Now, take a warm tea bag and apply it to the spot for about 1-2 minutes. The warm tea bag helps by absorbing the moisture and drying out the saliva.
Repeat this 3-4 times a day, until you see it begin to clear up.
How to Avoid Saliva Stains
Sure, there are many methods for cleaning slobber off your canine comrade, but there are also ways to prevent it from happening.
Try giving your pup filtered water (just when you thought they couldn’t be any more spoiled). Tap water can be over-concentrated with minerals. Switching to filtered can help with the consistency of their saliva, making it harder to stain, and easier to clean.
A clean diet, including quality ingredients, will yield tremendous results. A proper diet will affect all facets of a dog’s physical well-being.
If you notice that your pooch has certain allergies, do your best to prevent exposure. Just like humans, allergies in a dog cause watery eyes, and often a build-up of salvia. Special allergy medication, tailored uniquely for dogs, is low cost, and readily available.
Can You Use Whitening Shampoos?
It’s ok to use whitening shampoos for dogs, but truth be told, there’s nothing magical about them. Do they work? Yes. But are they worth the money? That depends.
The methods we mentioned above are simple, cost-effective, and will work great for most dogs. However, if money isn’t an issue and you just want a quick and easy way to remove saliva stains from white fur, whitening shampoo is an option.
There are five main types of whitening shampoos on the market. Some do a great job of removing stains. Others help make the coat brighter.
Bleaching shampoos do the best job of removing stains, but they’re also the most powerful and should only be used on rare occasions. Do not use bleaching shampoo every time you give your dog a bath.
We aren’t huge fans of dye-based shampoo because it doesn’t actually remove the stain, it just dyes the hair. From a cosmetic standpoint, it works. However, as the hair continues to grow, the stain will begin to show.
Bluing shampoo will help make the coat brighter, but it doesn’t remove stains as well as bleaching shampoo. With that said, it’s not nearly as strong as bleaching shampoo, so you can use it regularly.
Clarifying shampoo gives you the best of both worlds. It does a great job of removing stains and also makes the coat shiny. The downside is it can be harsh on the skin. Only use this shampoo every few months. Don’t use it every single bath.
If you’re looking to get rid of stains, we recommend bleaching shampoo. Yes, it can be harsh on the skin, but as long as you don’t use it every week, there shouldn’t be any issues. If you want to make your dog’s coat shiny, bluing shampoo is the way to go.
The Importance of Consistent Cleaning
Keep in mind that it’s natural for dogs to develop stains and streaks around the mouth and eyes. Just because your dog continues to develop stains doesn’t mean something is wrong with them. Just use the methods mentioned above to clean the stains. It’s best if you can get in a routine of cleaning the stains once per month. The longer you let the stains sit, the harder it is to clean.
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