When I first entered the whole ig (instagram) world, on my iPhone, never did I think I would get asked this question: how do you keep your schnauzers beard's so white? there are a lot of people on instagram who love their schnauzers as much as i love my own. When I first started to get asked this question, it didn't really occur to me this was a big problem amongst our schnauzer community. Normally, when I see other people's schnauzers, I think 'how cute!', not 'look at the stains on that beard'. Since I have been asked this question so many times, it has really baffled me as to why my pups have not developed this staining.
In case you're like I was a couple months ago, and don't know what I mean, I'm referring to a rusty brown like staining of the beard. sometimes, yuki and rocket get a little staining after they've eaten certain foods, But after they drink water it seems to just get rinsed off. This is not the type of staining i'm referring to. After googling doing some research on theories as to why this occurs, I discovered that it's not something just exclusive to schnauzer beards. other breeds encounter this problem, usually they have white or light colored fur, like the Maltese. That being said, I have also read that even black schnauzers can get the same kind of stains.
When I started thinking if there's anything different that I may be doing, I couldnt think of anything that was out of the ordinary. I wash them 1-2 times every 2 weeks with a regular, all-purpose puppy shampoo. I only discovered a few months ago that whitening shampoos exist, but I haven't bought any. So, I decided that I would compare what we do, to the many theories given to why the staining is said to occur.
Theory 1: it's certain minerals in the water you give your pup.
I have read this possible mineral may be iron. I give Yuki and Rocket filtered tap water. In our other house it was just filtered tap water from our Brita pitcher. in our new house, the fridge we have has a water filter in it, so I just give them the filtered tap water that comes out of the fridge. I don't know what minerals we do or don't have in our drinking water. maybe we just don't have very much iron in our water or any of the other minerals that may cause staining.
Theory 2: it's the dog's diet.
I have read that it could be either beef, or additives, such as red beet pulp found in dog kibble. I feed kibble, made from organic chicken and veggies, mixed with organic canned turkey. The kibble is free from any soy, wheat, or corn. It does not have red beet pulp. Sometimes I will make them fresh chicken and vegetables and mix it in with kibble. A few times I have given them lean ground beef, but it's not a common occurrence. So, if this theory is correct, then my dogs normal diet doesn't fit the beard staining criteria.
Theory 3: the dog's saliva.
The schnauzer may lick his beard frequently and the oxidation of the saliva may stain the beard. Yuki and Rocket don't really lick their beards. Unless you count Rocket eating and licking the food from Yuki's beard. Other than that, I don't notice any excessive licking of their beards.
Theory 4: again, the dog's saliva.
The saliva has bacteria in it. The dog licks the beard. The bacteria is red yeast. Red yeast forms in damp areas and changes the beard color to a reddish-brown stain. this same bacteria is also responsible for pups who have the same reddish-brown staining, in the corners of their eyes.
Theory 5: plastic bowls for water and food cause staining. I use a stainless steel bowl for their water. Yuki eats from a ceramic bowl and Rocket's slow feeder bowl is made from melamine. Melamine is not a material I enjoy giving rocket to eat out of, but it's the best slow feeder bowl I have found. I believe Melamine is a form plastic, and since Rocket doesn't show any signs of staining from his bowl, I'm going to say this theory is not true in our case.
As many different reasons I have found for the staining, there were also countless amounts of remedies. There were ones that involved products off the shelf or homemade solutions. Out of pure curiosity, I was wondering how many of you have encountered this problem? Do any of the theories I have listed apply to you or do you have your own opinion or theory on beard staining? if so, was there anything that worked for you? i would love to learn if anything works, so that i can pass along the info to the people that are seeking a solution.