How to Keep a Dog's Hair White

White dogs, including West Highland white terriers, need special grooming to maintain a snow-white coat.

White dogs, including West Highland white terriers, need special grooming to maintain a snow-white coat.

Few coat colors are more stunning than snow white, but keeping your dog’s coat pure and snowy isn’t the simplest grooming task. Food, urine and tears all cause permanent staining, and frequent grooming is mandatory to bring back a vivid white coat.

Brush your dog at least once a day. Frequent brushing loosens and removes grime that may lead to permanent stains. Use a rubber curry comb on short-haired breeds and a slicker brush on long-haired dogs.

Sprinkle corn starch over your dog’s coat. Rub it into the hair with your fingers, and brush the dog until no more powder falls on the floor. Corn starch absorbs excess oil and helps cover up light stains. Corn starch not only whitens the coat; it also removes funky dog odor.

Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and spread it over heavy stains. Brush the paste over dirty spots with an old toothbrush, and allow the paste to dry on the hair. Wipe it away with a wet cloth, and brush the spot to remove any residue. Baking soda acts as natural bleach, and lifts stains without damaging the dog’s coat.

Bathe the dog with a whitening dog shampoo once a month. Most of these shampoos have a blue or violet hue that helps lift stains and restore bright white hair. Wet the dog thoroughly with water and squirt a little shampoo along her back. Rub the shampoo completely through the hair and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse away all traces of shampoo and dry the dog with clean towels.

Wipe the dog with baby wipes between baths. Baby wipes are gentle enough for your dog’s sensitive skin and help prevent stains from setting into the hair. Pay special attention to the hair under the dog’s eyes and around her mouth, since these are the most stain-prone areas on a white dog.

Items you will need

  • Dog brush
  • Corn starch
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Whitening dog shampoo
  • Towels
  • Baby wipes


  • Use caution when applying whitening products around the eyes. The skin near the eyes is very sensitive and even gentle products may irritate them.


  • Don’t bathe your dog too often. It may be tempting to wash her every time she gets dirty, but frequent bathing may lead to hair loss and skin irritation.

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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.

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