He will turn your head -- the snow-white dog prancing through a lush, green dog park, his fur sparkling in the afternoon sun. White dogs, such as the bichon frise, the white shepherd and the Great Pyrenees, are eye-catching sights against life's backdrop, but white dogs have specific grooming needs.
Dogs Will Be Dogs
Your white dog is showroom spotless, but he's a dog, so he won't stay that way for long. A white car seems likely to hit every muddy puddle on the highway; likewise, a white dog will appear to draw every speck of dirt in the neighborhood like a magnet. Over time, his coat may become yellow or dirty brown. To keep a white dog white, you'll use a whitening shampoo.
Shampoo: Ingredients and Additives
Bluing agents are common in whitening shampoos. A bluing agent is a chemical additive that helps avoid the yellowish hue a white coat can take on over time. Many whitening shampoos contain bluing or bleaching agents, but chemicals can be harsh on a dog's skin, especially if used frequently. Oatmeal is a natural additive that may soothe sensitive skin, but oatmeal can be a food source for bacteria. Ingredients will vary from product to product. Read them. Know what you're getting, and how additives and ingredients will affect your dog's coat and skin.
Ask the Professionals
One way to determine the right shampoo for your white dog's specific needs is to ask your veterinarian. Some dogs have skin allergies or skin reactions, and a veterinarian is the right person to make this determination. Groomers are also excellent sources of information, as they bathe and care for pets every day, and they see a wide variety of pet owners. People love to talk about what works and what doesn't.
Cost as a Factor
Similar to human hair care products, whitening shampoos for our canine friends extend from one end of the pricing spectrum to the other. Getting the best for your money is important, so do your research and read the reviews.
The Final Choice
As with human hair care products, many of today's coat whitening options tout themselves the best on the market. The best shampoo for your dog's white coat will come down to his skin care needs, affordability and your preference for chemical additives or more natural alternatives.