Down South Westies
                                   ...Home of beautiful, loving, West Highland White Terriers!

Welcome To A Great Information Site For Westie Lovers!



















Preventing Westie Beard Stains

Having bred Westies for years, one of the most often asked questions is regarding beard stains. Gary from Rhode Island writes, "How can I reduce/eliminate the "red" hair from around the face and paws of my Westie?

  There are a few possible reasons a Westie or other white dogs get those nasty stains on the beard and paws. Some believe that beef, as the primary protein source, causes beard stains. Other artificial coloring in food and treats, or even a yeast infection called Ptyrosporin or "red yeast" can be the culprit.

You might try a food with a different protein source, such as chicken or lamb. Red beet pulp as a diet additive has also been implicated in staining. Try changing to a food without artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or other additives. Dog food that is heavy in grains and cereals also contributes to this problem, so feeding a diet with low or no grains or cereals may help, as will using stainless steel or crockery dog dishes instead of plastic. It is important to run them through the dish washer daily to keep them clean and bacteria free!

We feed our dogs Flint River Ranch Lamb Meal, Millet Rice Dog Kibble. It is oven-baked food is specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs and/or food your food-sensitive dogs can enjoy the benefits of our super premium foods, too!

One very important aspect is that it is formulated for sensitive stomachs. Westies have that tendency. Darby always had stomach problems ($ for the vet) until we changed to Flint River Ranch.

The pH of the dog's saliva is also believed to be important. Since water as well as diet may play a role in such staining, a change to filtered water may help. Sometimes if the nails are too long a dog will lick on the paws and gnaw on the nails. Of course, the licking and saliva cause staining on the paws. If the hair between the paw pads gets long, they will lick their paw pads as well.

A product called Angels' Eyes Tear Stain Remover is marketed as the best solution for facial stains in dogs. Originally designed for tear stains, it advertises that it also removes beard stains and stains for licking paws. It is added to the food or water.

I have even heard that Pampers fragrance-free baby wipes is used to clean the under-eye and beard areas. There are pet wipes on the market as well for such daily cleanups.

We use Super White™ Coat Brightener Shampoo to wash our dog's faces. It is a tearless shampoo and will not burn their eyes.


  We bathe their bodies first with Kalaya Emu Oil Shampoo. Then we bathe their face and their whole body again with the Bio-Groom Whitening Shampoo. It is very important to rinse, rinse, and then rinse again.

The show dog folks have all sorts of secret remedies to combat eye and beard stains on their bright white beauties, but many contain bleach or dyes, peroxide, milk of magnesia, corn flour, baking soda, lemon juice, boric acid, corn starch, etc. I would not advise using them.

We have found it helpful to use a Lixit Dog Water Bottles. If our dogs drink from a water bowl, they get their beard very wet. If your tap water is filled with chemicals, it can cause beard stains. With the Lixit Waterer, they get less water on their beard, with less staining.

  The Lixit Water Bottle can be installed on a crate (inside or outside) or you can make your own bottle holder. For example, you can see in the picture on the left what I did by going to Lowe's and spending $5-6 for a closet rack to hang the bottle on. That particular bottle is about 5-6 years old. We place a hand towel underneath to catch any drops of water, which is very little. The hand towel is never soaking wet, but they do drop drops of water as they drink sometime.

Notice how I bent the leg on the floor so it would have a tilt rather than standing upright. Also, notice the leg at the top holds the bottle in place. You just stick the nozzle through a square in the shelf and rest the other end of the bottle on the shelf leg.


You dog will adjust to the Lixit Water Bottle quickly. You just get them up to the waterer and put your finger on the bottom to make some water run out and let them see where the water is. They will figure it out quickly.





For several years we have used the Aquasana  Drinking water filters. You can use the counter top or under the counter model. You can even purchase a system for your entire home. We use the under the counter model and use filtered water for drinking and cooking.

We attribute the lack of beard stains on our Westies to the Aquasana Filtration System.






Hit Counter