It can be tough to keep a white dog clean, and that's even without having to fight the yellowing that a white dog's coat may experience. Thankfully, special shampoos are formulated to keep your American Eskimo or bichon frise a bright and sparkling white.
Whitening shampoos contain bluing ingredients that enhance the brightness of a dog's white coat. Bluing isn't a bleach, so it isn't as harsh as bleach would be on your dog's skin and hair. Even so, newer whitening shampoos now often leave out the bluing and include natural, more gentle ingredients like Hawaiian white ginger, apple extract and lemon peel or lemon extract. If you've ever used lemon juice on your hair in the summer, you know that lemon is a safe and effective lightening agent on hair. Look at labels to determine ingredients.
White dogs tend to have sensitive skin, giving them a tendency toward allergies and skin infections. That can make it difficult to find a shampoo that won't irritate your white pooch's skin or cause an allergic reaction. Shampoos that are formulated for sensitive skin, like some containing oatmeal, are your best bet if you want to keep your pup itch-free as well as clean and bright.
If you prefer the all-natural approach when it comes to bathing your dog, keep your white canine clean with a sprinkling of potato starch. Thoroughly cover your dog with the starch and rub it into her fur, all over her body. Brush the starch out with a hard-bristle brush, making sure you completely remove all of it. Complete the treatment with three to four drops of almond oil. Apply it to different parts of your dog's body, then distribute it throughout her coat with your fingers to moisturize her hair and skin and leave her sweet smelling.
Dealing With Tear Stains
Tear stains can make white dogs look dirty even after a grooming session. Eye discharge or genetics can cause them, or an infection can bring them on. In the case of infection or other medical issue, the most effective way to deal with tear stains is to treat the infection. Your vet can prescribe a medicinal treatment for tear stains, or you can purchase tear stain removal products at the pet supply. An alternative at-home remedy for tear stains is to mix corn starch with an over-the-counter liquid antacid or laxative containing magnesium hydroxide to make a runny paste. Gently apply it to your dog's tear stains with a cotton ball, rubbing it around a bit to carefully scrub the stains, then remove it with a wet washcloth. Always be careful when cleaning around your dog's eyes to avoid harming them or getting anything in them.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.