Expert Advice

Fight stains like a pro, by preventing them! From Isle of Dogs

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At Isle of Dogs, we understand the power of wellness to help dogs shine from the inside out and offer superior supplements alongside our well-established premium grooming product lines.

We promote health and beauty through nutrition and wellness because there is only one thing we love more than winning - our dogs! With a focus on natural ingredients, we strive to be best in breed by using proprietary formulas and conscientious manufacturing processes to ensure our products stand apart in their field.

We truly understand that your dog is a champion in your heart, regardless of breed or pedigree, and that’s why we care as much as you do about what you put in, and on, your dog’s body.

No 35 – Stain Fighting

The best way to control staining a light or white coat is prevention. That may sound obvious, but truth be told, it is an underutilized method. Stains happen easiest to a coat that is porous and one of the quickest ways to get a porous coat is to shampoo without following up with a conditioner.

Healthy, well-conditioned hair will appear smooth because the cuticle, which is made up of overlapping flat cells like fish scales, will lay tight against the cortex layer. The cortex is where moisture is stored and when healthy, provides strength and protection.

Coincidentally, the cortex layer is also where hair dyes sit when you color your hair. So if you think of a stain as an unwanted dye job, you can prevent them by not letting the stain get to that layer. Poor diet, brushing, sunshine, harsh weather and even the surfactants and cleansing agents in shampoo can “open up” or damage the lipid layer and expose the cuticle, leaving it vulnerable to more damage, breakage and the elements, such as red clay, yellow urine or green grass.

Better conditioners often contain additional ingredients that penetrate the cuticle and bind to the hair shaft assuring that the cuticle layer is lying flat and tight. This is the key to stain prevention.

In a perfect world, all dogs would be kept in the best possible condition and stains would be eradicated. Since we all know that we live in an imperfect world, having a plan in place for effectively removing stains is necessary.

Here’s how I would work on a tough stain:

Start by brushing out any foreign particles such as dirt or even dried on urine using a conditioning spray such as Isle of Dogs No 63 Detangle SprayNo 63 coats the hair making sure the cuticle layer lies flat and the comb or brush slides through the coat without breakage.

If you are fighting stains on less than 40% of the dog I would pretreat the stain by wetting the area then applying Isle of Dogs No 35 full strength (not diluted). Gently massaging into a lather for a few minutes. Rinse completely and then shampoo the entire dog in a diluted mix of 15 parts water to 1 part No 35. If I have Isle of Dogs No 16 White Coat Shampoo on hand, I will often do a third wash with the full strength color enhancer. The blue pigment in No 16 works to refract light which helps to make the coat look even whiter or brighter regardless of the coat color. Plus the Evening Primrose Oil in No 16 provides the added bonus of a conditioning element.

Many of the complaints heard about bluing shampoos and stain fighters revolve around the harsh detergents and how they make the coat feel stripped of its natural oils. Detergents are the necessary evil of a good stain fighter. However, that stripped feeling is counterproductive in that it is a sign that the coat is being left in a stain vulnerable state. No 35 contains safflower oil, which is comprised of high amounts of oleic acid which is light and easily penetrates the skin and hair to help reduce the porosity without effecting the coat texture.

Be sure to follow up with Isle of Dogs No 51 Heavy Management Conditioner in any area you used the full strength No 35 and throughout if your dog’s coat type warrants a heavier conditioner. 

+Pro Tip: If you want volume or you do not want to soften the coat only use No 51 on the pretreated stains and No 50 Light Management Conditioner on the rest of the dog.

It’s not just about understanding stain fighting that will make your job easier, its understanding stain prevention that makes you a pro!

Andrea Jordan Lane - Manager: National Professional and Salon Sales

About the Author:

Andrea was one of the original founders of Isle of Dogs helping to develop the brand in its infancy. After taking a brief hiatus, she has returned to oversee our National Professional and Salon Sales channels. In addition to being a successful breeder/owner/handler of many top winning Brittany's under the Jordean banner, she has co-owned and operated a veterinary practice for 8 years, managed the Public Education Department for the American Kennel Club and held various other positions within the grooming industry. She holds a BA from the Art Institute of Colorado, but grooming dogs has always been her favorite art outlet.

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