How to Make a White Dog White Again

By Catherine Holden Robinson

White dog owners understand that a dog doesn't stay white very long. Your snow princess might be fresh from the groomer, but even one trip outdoors can leave her looking worse for wear. Without proper care, over time your dog's white coat can take on the appearance of an old, yellowed photograph.

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Into the Tub

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Regular bathing can remove dirt and debris that leaves your dog's coat looking dull and dingy. If your dog's coat is particularly dull or yellow, consider using a bluing shampoo. Bluing agents are added to commercially produced dog whitening shampoos to enhance the appearance of a white coat. The bluing doesn't actually whiten your dog's fur, but the blue hue is perceived by the human eye as white. Clarifying and bleaching shampoos are also available at pet product retailers, but read the ingredients. Some products contain harsh chemicals that may whiten your dog's coat but also dry or damage her tender skin. You also should be cautious about combining products. Using a bluing shampoo after a bleaching shampoo can leave your dog's coat blue instead of white.

From the Pantry

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Certain home remedies can help keep your dog's coat a pearly white between baths. If a trip to the tub isn't in order, consider using cornstarch. Take your dog outside or put newspapers on the floor to keep the mess to a minimum. Sprinkle your dog's coat liberally with cornstarch and massage it into his fur. Brush thoroughly until the cornstarch has been removed.

Homemade Whiteness

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You can make your own shampoo to help whiten your dog's coat. Combine 22 ounces of Ivory dish detergent with 2 ounces of glycerin and 2 cups of white vinegar in a gallon container. Mix well and add enough warm water to fill the container.

Tear Stains

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Tear stains give your dog an unkempt appearance. These stains may seem to appear almost immediately after bathing or grooming. Unless you want your white dog to spend her life in the tub or at the groomer, it's necessary to conquer these stains without bathing. Tear stains can be caused by genetics, excess tears or blocked tear ducts. Visit with your veterinarian to rule out anything that needs medical intervention prior to tackling tear stains. Tear stain removal products are available at pet retailers. Never use anything around your dog's eyes that isn't formulated for that use.