According to Dr. Brian Loon, Principal Veterinary Surgeon at Amber Vet, “Dogs with white or light-coloured fur commonly have brown stains where their fur is in regular contact with fluids, such as tears, saliva, or drinking water.”
He reassures dog owners that that is usually a cosmetic concern and does not affect health.
But for those who mind the brown beard stains, one of the first things you should look into is your dog’s drinking water.
#1 suspect: Drinking water
Tap water contains minerals, such as iron, which can stain your dog’s fur. Try letting your dog drink filtered water for a month or two and see whether it makes a difference.
You don’t need to purchase a fancy filtration system that would cost you at least a thousand dollars. Just get a water pitcher with a filter inside. We are using Novita HydroPlus® Water Pitcher at home. It removes heavy metals and chlorine.
Other causes of beard stains
- Prolonged contact with saliva: Like tears, saliva consists of iron-containing Porphyrin, which will cause a reddish stain over time.
- Food: Food with blood or artificial colouring may cause your dog’s beard to stain. Check the ingredients list to see whether there’s any ingredient that may be causing the stains
- Yeast infection: When your dog’s beard is regularly wet (from saliva or water), it becomes a wonderful environment for bacteria and yeast. An infection may cause itchiness and discomfort
If you suspect that your dog’s beard stains are due to medical reasons, such as a yeast infection, please consult a vet immediately.