Who doesn’t want to keep a Shih Tzu’s face super white and clean? Unfortunately, your own beloved dog ends up with stains that are sometimes difficult to remove. Did you know that stains can come from many things, including the food you feed your dog? So if you want to keep your Shih Tzu looking impeccable, particularly their face, know what to avoid and do.
How to keep stains away
Choose the right food
Foods and treats that have added color can leave marks on your dog’s face. This is why you should stick to anything white or pale-colored. Better yet, feed your Shih Tzu with better quality foods, as they usually don’t have added coloring.
Not sure if foods and treats are devoid of color? Check out your dog’s stool and see if it has a tinge of pink, which indicates consumption of colored food.
Provide soft water
Hard water has a high iron content, which isn’t good for your dog’s bladder and kidney, as it can lead to stone formation. Stain, however, is a result of drinking water from a container that keeps their face wet, causing debris, crumbs and whatnots to stick to their faces. So, aside from providing them safe drinking water, serve it in a water bottle.
Use a stainless steel bowl
Some colored plastic bowls can discolor the face over time, especially the low quality ones. To keep a short faced breed, such a Shih Tzu, free from stains on the face, use a shallow, stainless steel bowl. Steel doesn’t absorb odors from food either, which can affect your dog’s appetite. Who wants to eat from a smelly bowl, anyway?
Check for blocked tear ducts
Tears tend to spill over when tear ducts are blocked, possibly leaving stains on the face. So make it a habit to gently massage a puppy’s nose bridge, up on the sides, and under their eyes. Your dog is going to love it. This will also help the hair to start growing back in white. Do it twice a day for a week or two, and then once or twice a week, afterwards.
Check for eye inflammation
Eye inflammation is not only painful and uncomfortable, but can lead to eye stain as well. If you see signs of inflammation of the eyes, have your vet check your Shih Tzu right away. As much as possible, don’t treat your dog yourself. Having a vet check the problem is the safest and most sensible way to go.
As a form of prevention, don’t put powder under the eyes and on the mustache. If you really want to for any reason, use corn starch instead of talc.
If stain already exist, using a zinc supplement is believed to help remove it, according to a Naturopathic vet. Adding about a quarter of a teaspoon of powdered buttermilk in their food may also help reduce staining caused by blocked tear ducts, because it can change the chemical composition.
One important thing to remember is to never use bleach solutions to remove stain. It can cause eye problem and make a Shih Tzu’s hair more porous.