Preventing Westie Beard Stains

Published: 05th May 2009
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Having bred Westies ( years, one of our most often asked questions is regarding beard stains. "How can I reduce/eliminate the stains around the face and paws of my Westie?

There are a few possible reasons a Westie or other white dogs get those nasty stains on the beard and paws. Some believe that beef, as the primary protein source, is the cause. Artificial coloring in food and treats, or even a yeast infection called Ptyrosporin or "red yeast" can be the culprit.

Dog food that is heavy in grains and cereals also contributes to this problem, so feeding a diet with low or no grains or cereals may help, as will using stainless steel or crockery dog dishes instead of plastic. It is important to run them through the dish washer daily to keep them clean and bacteria free!

The pH of the dog's saliva is also believed to be a cause. Sometimes if the nails are too long a dog will lick on the paws and gnaw on the nails. If the hair between the paw pads gets long, they will lick them as well, causing stain on the paws.

A product called Angels' Eyes Tear-Stain Eliminator for Dogs, 120-Gram Bottle is marketed as the best solution for facial stains in dogs. Originally designed to remove tear coloring, it advertises that it also removes beard and paw stains. It is added to the food or water.

We use Bio-Groom Super White Shampoo Gallon to wash our dog's faces. It is a whitening tearless shampoo and will not burn their eyes. We bathe their bodies first with Kalaya Emu Oil Moisturizing Shampoo - Gallon . Then we bathe their face and their whole body again with the Bio-Groom Whitening Shampoo. It is very important to rinse, rinse, and then rinse again.

We have found it helpful to use Lixit Dog Water Bottles . If our dogs drink from a water bowl, they get their beard very wet. If your tap water is filled with chemicals, it can cause beard stains. With the Lixit Waterer, they get less water on their beard, with less staining.

The Lixit Water Bottle can be installed on a crate (inside or outside) or you can make your own bottle holder.

Since water as well as diet may play a role in such staining, a change to filtered water may help. For several years we have used the Aquasana Complete Countertop Filtration System. You simply connect to a faucet by screwing it on like a water hose. The water works normally until you pull out the lever for filtered water.

You will want to use it somewhere like your laundry room because it is a countertop system. You can, however, buy more expensive models that are under the counter models. You can even purchase a system for your entire home. We attribute the lack of beard stains on our Westies to the Aquasana Filtration System.

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