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How to Groom a White-Coated Dog

By Diane Morgan

When well groomed, dogs with white coats truly sparkle. However, getting and keeping them in that condition requires a bit of effort. Those white coats announce food and urine stains that would pass unnoticed on a darker coat. White coats also tend to yellow or gray over time. While show dog handlers use a variety of chalks, sprays, and even bluing agents, you can keep your dog’s white coat bright and white safely, using a simple whitening shampoo and conditioner and a couple of household ingredients. 

Groom your dog every day. If you allow stains to set in they’ll be much harder to remove. 


The Magic Coat® Slicker Brushes are an excellent choice for brushing dogs with short or long coats. But the magic ingredient is simply household cornstarch! Cornstarch is a triple threat to dirt: It absorbs oils, covers up many stains, and removes odors. Just sprinkle it on, rub it in, and brush it throughout the coat. 


Keep your dog’s coat white with Magic Coat® Bright White Shampoo. It’s formulated with clarifying pearlescent brighteners and whiteners to remove discoloration safely, brighten a fading coat, and restore a coat’s natural shine. It contains no bleach and has a long-lasting shea butter almond scent that will last for several days. Remember to rinse, rinse, rinse, as failure to do so will leave the coat dull and grayish. 

If the stains are very serious, get out the baking soda, a natural bleaching agent that doesn’t damage a dog’s coat. Make a paste of baking soda and water, and brush it into the stain. Let dry and then wipe off with a damp cloth. If any stain still remains, repeat. Urine stains are particularly difficult and should be removed immediately with a damp cloth or pet cleansing wipe. If they have been allowed to set in, use the shampoo full strength on the spot and let it sit for three to five minutes before rinsing. 

Dry the coat with towels. After shampooing, apply a gentle Magic Coat® conditioner. This will make the coat hairs less brittle, less porous, and thus less prone to staining. 


To treat tear stains on white coats, apply a stain remover specifically designed for this purpose.


In between shampoos, use pet bath wipes around your dog’s muzzle to remove food stains.

Four Paws®, Magic Coat®, and Wee-Wee® products are available at major pet stores everywhere in the U.S. Please check with your local retailer or our Where to Buy page for product availability near you.