Dogs are adorable, but their beards can get pretty messy if not properly taken care of. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to keep your dog’s beard clean and looking neat! Reasons for dark saliva stains, how to trim the beard, and daily and weekly grooming tips will all be covered. So whether you are a new dog parent or just want to learn more about proper dog grooming, this post is for you!

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Why Is My Dog’s Beard Turning Brown? Reasons For Dark Saliva Stains

So, why do some dogs get dark stains around their mouth and beard? Saliva can accumulate in the fur around a dog’s mouth, and this can result in dark stains over time. This is especially true for dogs with longer beards and lighter coats. The good news is that these stains are usually easy to get rid of! Or, at least managed to a pretty good extent. 

But before we discuss the things you can do to keep your dog’s beard clean, we must understand why it happens in the first place. There can be a few different reasons why dogs get dark stains on their beards and face. One reason is that the build-up of bacteria and mucus in the beard can cause discoloration. That’s especially true for drooly dogs. As they constantly excrete saliva, it’s bound to get stuck in the beard. Over time, bacteria and mucus will start to build up, resulting in dark stains and a distinct smell.

Another reason is that saliva contains porphyrins, a compound that oxidizes on the fur, and this process can lead to brownish-black stains. And finally, some dogs may have darker saliva stains due to accumulation of plaque on their teeth or other dental problems. It’s also not uncommon for dogs that have contracted yeast infections or bacterial infections to experience staining around their mouth and eyes. 

Porphyrins & Beard Stains

Usually, the main culprit that causes a dog’s beard to turn into a brownish or reddish hue is porphyrin. Porphyrins are iron-containing molecules that are produced by a dog’s salivary glands. This compound is responsible for the reddish-brown stains that sometimes form around a dog’s mouth.

All dogs excrete porphyrins through their saliva, tears, and even urine. However, excess porphyrin usually indicates that there’s an issue to be dealt with. On top of that, porphyrin tends to get darker with sunlight. So, the longer porphyrins get to chill on your dog’s beard, the darker they’ll get. They’ll also start to accumulate, which will also lead to darkened beard stains over time. 

How To Keep Your Dog’s Beard Clean

So, how to keep your dog’s beard clean and smelling fresh at all times? While all of these reasons can lead to stained beards, fortunately they are all easy to prevent with a little bit of effort. 

Here are our top tips on how to keep your pup’s beard clean and looking great, even if they’ve got the whitest coat and the fluffiest beard. 

Keep The Beard Neatly Trimmed

One of the best ways to keep your dog’s beard clean is to keep it neatly trimmed. This will help reduce the amount of saliva and food particles that can get stuck in their fur, which can lead to staining over time. It’s also important to note that long hair on the muzzle can irritate a dog’s skin if not properly cared for. So, it’s a win-win for everyone! 

Trimming your pup’s beard should be done as needed to give them a neat appearance. So for those dogs whose hair never seems to stop growing, routine hair and beard trimming is an absolute must. If you are not sure how to trim your dog’s beard, never fear! We have a handy video tutorial that will show you everything you need to know.

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Wipe the Area at Least Once Daily

Once the beard has been trimmed, you can keep it looking neat by wiping the area at least once daily. You could use either dog grooming wipes or a slightly damp washcloth. This will help remove any excess dirt, food particles, and oil build-up, as well as help reduce staining caused by porphyrin. This also helps prevent bad bacteria from accumulating over time, and keeps your pup cleaner for longer. 

If you opt to buy wet wipes, make sure they are specifically designed for dogs. This will help reduce the chances of skin irritation and other issues that can be caused by using unsuitable ingredients on your pup’s face and skin. Here you’ll find some of our favorite doggy wipes.

You can also make good use of dog tear stain removers that are designed to tackle porphyrin stained fur. For instance, this excellent tear stain cleanser by TropiClean also manages to get rid of any dark saliva stains around the beard.

Tear Stain Removers

Brush Your Dog’s Beard

No doubt, by brushing your pup’s beard on a regular basis, you’ll keep them looking clean and tidy. Not only does this prevent matting and a host of skin issues, it’s also an excellent way to brush out any food particles and dirt that could lead to bacterial overgrowth. 

Make sure to use a good quality dog brush so you don’t damage the fur. Also, consider your dog’s hair length, coat type, and shedding levels. Different coats have different needs so you’ll want to choose a brush that can do its job.

Furthermore, for those extra drooly Doods, this tear stain remover comb could be an excellent choice. Although it’s designed for tear stains, you can also use it to gently brush through the fur on the beard to prevent saliva build-up and dark stains around the mouth.

Shampoo The Beard Once Weekly

Once a week, you should give your pup’s face an extra-deep cleaning with shampoo during bath time. But although there’s nothing more effective than a proper bath, having to wash your canine friend every week may not be suitable for you or your dog. For instance, dogs with dry and sensitive skin should not be bathed and blow dried too often, as this can lead to further dryness and skin irritations. 

But how can you keep your dog’s beard clean without having to wash them all the time? If you don’t want to give your pup a full bath every week, try giving them just a “face bath” while their head hangs over the side of the tub. This will help rinse away any build-up of dirt or bacteria in the beard. 

First give your pup’s beard a thorough brush, then wet the fur with warm water, and lather up nicely. Make sure to use a dog-safe shampoo and rinse thoroughly after lathering up. If you’ve got a light-haired dog, you could even opt for a dog shampoo that’s specially designed to brighten and whiten the fur.

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Stay On Top Of Your Dog’s Dental Hygiene Routine

Regular dental hygiene is important for keeping your pup’s mouth healthy and free from plaque buildup. Just like for us humans, preventative care is the best way to go. By brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, you’ll greatly reduce the chance of your dog developing dental diseases. Consequently, this will also prevent excessive drooling and saliva stains.

You should aim to brush your pup’s teeth at least a few times a week or even every other day to help keep their fur white and clean. However, many people find that once a week is perfectly sufficient. 

Needless to say, you should use the right tools, such as a dog-safe toothpaste and a toothbrush specially designed for dogs. You should also apply very little pressure and make sure that the bristles are soft. And as always, consistency is key – if you want to achieve great results, you should do this on a regular basis. In fact, we’ve created a full guide on how to brush a dog’s teeth, so be sure to check it out.

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Steer Clear Of Plastic Dog Bowls

Did you know that your choice of dog bowls can also play a role here? That’s why it’s important we opt for the right materials in regards to their food and water bowls. Plastic dog bowls might seem like a good option at first, but they can develop tiny cracks over time which can turn into potential health hazards. Bacteria can form around those cracks which not only causes bad odor, but also stains on your pup’s fur – especially their beard!

Instead of plastic, try ceramic or stainless steel options with removable rubber grips so your pup won’t be able to slide the bowl around or knock it over. Even porcelain and glass bowls are preferable to plastic. Keep your furry companion happy and healthy starting from their feeding accessories. For instance, here’s an amazing stainless steel dog bowl that comes in all sorts of cute colors and in various sizes.

Give Your Dog Filtered Water

Although there’s nothing wrong with clean tap water, it could be the culprit that’s causing those dark stains on your dog’s beard and fur. If your tap water is hard or has a high mineral and iron content, consider giving your dog filtered or bottled water. As dogs can get pretty messy by the water bowl, all of that iron-rich water will easily stick to the fur during each water break. It’ll soon start oxidizing and accumulate over time. For those instances, filtered or bottled water would do the trick.

Feed Your Pup A Healthy & Balanced Diet

For your dog to live a healthy and happy life, you should feed them a high-quality and nutritionally balanced diet. In fact, excessively dark saliva stains are sometimes caused by food allergies or food intolerances. They can also get worse if your pup’s kibble contains a ton of artificial ingredients, flavors, or preservatives.

If you’re looking for a dog food formula, be sure to only consider options that meet the Dog Food Nutrient Profiles set by the AAFCO. If your pup has a sensitive stomach or you’re simply not sure how to make the right choice, you can always consult with your vet to find the most suitable dog formula for your pal. 

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Consult With Your Vet

Oftentimes, excessive porphyrin production is caused by underlying health issues, such as yeast infections or bacterial infections. The easiest way to prevent those medical issues is to regularly groom your dog and keep the bacteria at bay. However, if you do suspect that a health condition is to blame, make sure to contact your vet about it as soon as possible. 

Other telltale signs of health issues include sudden changes in behavior, such as your dog becoming lethargic or overly vocal. They may also experience changes in their bathroom habits, start drooling more, or excessively lick their paws. That’s why it’s important to always keep a close eye on your pet so you can immediately recognize if something’s changed with their behavior.

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How To Keep Your Dog’s Beard Clean: Final Thoughts

Keeping your dog’s beard clean doesn’t have to be difficult! With just a few simple steps, you can keep your dog’s beard looking neat and pristine all the time. Remember to keep the beard trimmed, wipe it down and brush it daily, shampoo the fur during bath time, and stay on top of your pup’s dental health routine. Regular grooming will help reduce staining from saliva and other debris, as well as keep any skin irritations at bay. You should also keep track of your dog’s health to make sure that the excess staining isn’t caused by any medical conditions. With just a little bit of TLC, your pooch’s beard can stay in tip-top shape! And if you have any other tips or tricks, be sure to share them in the comments section below.

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The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.