Pink hair can make a real statement when it's done on a person intentionally, but pink fur on your dog's body probably doesn't elicit the same reaction. Commonly seen in between a dog's digits, around the mouth, and sometimes near a dog's more private areas like the vagina or anus, pink or rust-colored hair usually comes from dog saliva stains from excessive licking. To remove stains and prevent dog fur turning rust color, you'll first have to identify and treat the underlying cause, then get to lifting the pink out.
Why dogs get pink fur
Most often, pink fur on a dog can be attributed to yeast dermatitis, which occurs when fungus overgrows on a canine's skin, according to VCA Hospitals. The yeast itself isn't what causes the pinkish hue, however. That can be attributed to compounds in the saliva known as porphyrin. Porphyrin is also found in a dog's tears, which is why some dogs are seen with pink, reddish, or brown tear stains.
Before you begin to remove red yeast stains on dog fur, you'll need to diagnose the exact cause of the staining, which can be done with the help of a veterinarian. Generally, when you see dog fur turning pink on the body, the cause is attributed to inflammation or infection, says Pet Safe. Irritation can be symptomatic of allergies, bug bites, or parasites, while infection is usually seen with an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast. Whatever the issue, treating it with a topical or oral medication will prevent excessive licking, which will stop the staining from getting worse.
Removing dog saliva stains
Ridding your dog's fur of pink stains can be done with just a few household ingredients over a few days. First, use a gentle whitening shampoo to wash your canine, taking special care to focus on washing and drying the affected areas. Then, use a cotton ball to dab either hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar on pink or rusty areas — because peroxide may tingle, using this on areas around the vagina or anus is not recommended in case of irritation. Allow the solution of your choice to sit on your dog's fur for about 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing away, and be sure to take extra care when drying your dog as damp hair and skin can exacerbate overgrown fungus.
If you are using a topical medicated treatment to address the underlying cause of your pet's fur staining, talk to your doctor before removing stains, as to not interfere with the healing process. If your dog has long hair and stains aren't lifting easily, carefully trim the ends with grooming scissors, or visit your preferred groomer for a touch up.
Why do dogs lick?
According to the American Kennel Club, excessive licking usually has a cause that can be identified and addressed. Most of the time, licking is a normal form of communication or grooming on a dog's part, whether they are licking themselves, licking you, or licking an object or another dog. But excessive licking can be a sign of anxiety, boredom, pain or. discomfort, or an allergy.
How to prevent yeast
To keep pink or rust-colored stains from returning, be sure to keep your dog as dry as possible, as much as possible. This includes towel drying after a swim or bath, and may even require wiping their paws and in between the toes after they've gone for a walk in the rain, or stepped in dew-covered grass in the morning. If you see your dog licking an area excessively, do your best to discourage it, which can prevent the further spread and incubation of yeast.