How to remove saliva stains from dog fur

Every owner wants their dog to look their best at all times. A shiny coat free of dirt helps keep them healthy and away from nasty bugs which can lead them to become ill if left untreated. Stains can be made not just by mud and dirt but also from the saliva they produce themselves both from their eyes (tears) and from drooling. 

Saliva can end up staining their lovely coats and if left unwashed can become matted and hard, it can even end up being outright unhygienic leaving the owner to have to cut the salivated hair out as it can’t be washed.

This quick and handy guide will help you be able to easily remove saliva stains from dog fur to get it back to its best without distressing them leading to a regular grooming routine so that it never becomes a problem.

How to clean saliva stains from a dog

Regular grooming

Some dogs with light coloured fur have the issue where stains are much more visible such as those with white hair. They will inevitably always look like they’ve got stained whether it’s saliva, mud, urine or even poo. Therefore, regular grooming with a quality dog shampoo is essential but be careful not to wash them too often. You can even wash them without shampoo if you’re desperate.

Having a good grooming schedule can help you avoid the build up of saliva but if they have an underlying condition regular grooming will only paper over the cracks.

Use Pet Wipes

Purpose made pet wipes can wipe away the saliva before it gets a chance to stain and clump the hair together. They are easily available, cheap and hypoallergenic so won’t cause any itchiness. 

Pet wipes are ideal in general as they can also be used to clean their anus if they haven’t had a clean poo and of course to wipe down muddy paws after a muddy walk in the park.

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Trim the hair

Gently trimming the affected hair can remove the stains with brute force. This should only be done if the saliva stains can’t be washed away and has been left untreated for too long. 

How do saliva stains appear?

drooling dog

Saliva stains become visually obvious when your dog is over grooming by licking themselves too much. All dogs should be self grooming from time to time but the presence of stains is evidence they are doing it too much because of an underlying issue.

Over licking is an issue when they over groom, they have a skin problem or they are biting themselves because they may have fleas or a fungal infection.

Saliva stains can be red, pink, brown or orange depending on the colour of their fur. It will certainly look darker than their regular colour and may even be clumped together if it’s been left to dry out.

What causes your dog to make saliva stains?

Some form of saliva stains should be expected as a dog’s self groom. However, it should not be excessive and if it is there’s an underlying condition.

Injury or soreness is the main cause of saliva staining as they attempt to lick themselves to relieve the pain. Look around the area of staining to see if there’s any dry skin, redness or laceration. If you do find it we don’t recommend self medication, instead consult your veterinarian to see if they may be suffering from allergies or other skin problems. 

Stress can cause your dog to over-groom leading to excessive licking. Have there been any major changes in their life recently? Is your dog bored with nothing better to do? Consider walking them more or provide them with quality toys and games.

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Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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