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Dog Dandruff: Causes, How To Prevent It, And Get Rid Of It

Dog Dandruff: Causes, How To Prevent It, And Get Rid Of It

If you own a pet, you need to take proper care of it, the same way you care for yourself and other people around. Dogs are prone to various diseases, skin infections, and illnesses; the major cause is a lack of proper care. You need to ensure your dog gets adequate care, proper nutrition, enough exercise, and rest.

Some of the causes of dandruff in dogs are poor diet, low humidity, allergies, hormonal conditions, fungal and bacterial skin infections, obesity and nutritional deficiencies, idiopathic seborrhea, and parasitic infections. The best to prevent dandruff is by taking proper care and grooming the dog.

If your dog has been feeling uncomfortable lately, coupled with scratching and having some white flakes on some parts of its body, then the dog could be suffering from dandruff.

sick white dog

Things to Know About Dandruff

Dogs have a sebaceous gland that helps to secrete an oily substance called sebum on their skin. This sebum helps in keeping a dogs’ skin soft and moist. They are present in different areas of a dog’s body, including their tail, rumps, neck, and chin.

However, when the sebum becomes too much in a dog, it causes an imbalance in the dog’s skin, leading to dandruff. Dandruff is medically known as seborrheic dermatitis. Dandruff could either appear in a dry or oily form. Dry dandruff is called seborrhea sicca, while oily dandruff is called seborrhea oleosa.

Dandruff often appears in areas of the dogs’ body where the sebum is present, i.e., areas like the tail, face, and back. You would notice the dog’s skin beginning to get dry and some white flakes around where the dog stays or sleeps. Also, the dog could begin to have hair loss in some areas of its body, coupled with increased itching and scratching.

One of the most important things you must know as a dog owner is the possible causes of dandruff in dogs. When you know how your dog can get dandruff, you are a step closer to finding a way to get rid of it and prevent it. We will look at some of the causes of dog dandruff.

Causes Of Dandruff in Your Dogs

You should avoid not checking your dog’s body regularly, especially if you have a hairy dog. Dandruff is a common skin infection among pets, including dogs and cats; they are not a cause for alarm; with patience and determination, you can get rid of them and restore your dog’s healthy coat. Below are some of the causes of dog dandruff.


Some dogs have allergies, like food allergies and environmental allergies; if the dog is exposed to any of these allergens, it can develop various skin infections, including dandruff. Although it can be difficult to identify the cause of the allergy in your dog, you must know about all your dog allergies.

One of the ways you can identify the cause of dandruff in your dog is by monitoring when dandruff developed and the last thing your dog ate or the last place it went to. Many dogs are sensitive to some food preservatives. Dogs affected by allergens are usually itchy, and they constantly lick their paws.

If your dog stays in an environment where there are plant pollens or certain chemicals, you should get rid of them. They could be the cause of environmental allergies for your dog. You should know that dandruff is one of the symptoms of skin infections. Medications such as steroids could be prescribed to help reduce and prevent dandruff.

Improper Diet And Obesity

A balanced diet is needed to help a dog maintain a healthy coat and skin. When a dogs’ diet is deficient in certain nutrients or ingredients, it could cause the dog to develop skin reactions, including dandruff. Some meals naturally irrigate a dog’s skin, including pork, wheat, dairy products, and wheat.

So, you should always ensure your dog eats a balanced diet. You can also get fatty acids, which help improve your dogs’ skin. Obesity is not good for all dogs; it makes dogs vulnerable to different diseases. As much as you are advised to feed your dog a balanced diet, you are best advised to meet with your vet for recommendations.

Hormonal Conditions

Cushing diseases and hypothyroidism could cause some changes in a dog’s skin, leading to dandruff. If your dog has a weak immune system, it could become vulnerable to infections. Antifungals and antibiotics could be administered to a dog suffering from any of these diseases. They deal with and prevent any form of skin condition in dogs.

Inherited From Parent Dogs

While it is possible to treat and prevent dandruff in dogs if the cause is any of the mentioned above, there is nothing you can do about it if it is genetics. Luckily, it is one of the rarest causes of dandruff. Although, you can reduce the impact on the dog by ensuring you take proper care of the dog.

Treatments such as shampoos, medications, and ensuring the dog feeds on a good diet could reduce dandruff. You may also need to speak with your veterinarian for more professional advice on ways to help the dog.

Parasites And Walking Dandruff

If a dog stays in a dirty environment, it is likely to suffer from skin infections from parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms. These parasites could cause a dog’s skin to become itchy and dry. Cheyletiella mites also stay on a dogs’ coat and could keep moving to different spots causing walking dandruff to the dog.

hair comb dog hair

Low Humidity Or Dry Air

This is another common cause of dandruff in dogs; like humans, dogs are also affected by the dry air of winter. Also, if you reside in a dry area or always keep the heat high, you are unknowingly stripping moisture out of your dog’s skin. Dogs need to stay in a well-ventilated area, so if this is absent, the dog skin will be itchy and flaky, which are signs of dandruff.

How To Prevent Dandruff In Dogs

Although dandruff is common among dogs, you should not treat it as a normal skin condition. You need to do everything possible to get rid of it and prevent it. If you have successfully treated a dog with dandruff, you should take preventive measures; this is also applicable if your dog has never had dandruff. Some of the ways to prevent dandruff are:

Regular Grooming And Bathing

You need to ensure your dog is regularly groomed and it is bathed. You can either do this yourself or outsource it to professional dog groomers. There are treatments and items groomers will use for your dog to keep its skin fresh and healthy.

Give The Dog Supplements

You should ensure your dog gets all the nutrients it needs, and it cannot get them all from its meals. So, you should talk to your veterinarian about supplements that will keep the dog’s coat healthy and prevent skin infections.

Feed Your Dog The Right Diet

You need to ensure you feed the dog the meal it needs; you need to pay attention to meals that cause your dog allergic reactions in your dog and ensure you keep them away. Talk to a veterinarian to know the right meals for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Dogs require a lot of care; this is why it is not advisable to own a pet if you are not available to care for the dog. If you want one, you should ensure you get someone to care for the dog in your absence. Remember, dogs are not as smart as humans, and they cannot identify what can be harmful to them, so there is a need for their owners to monitor them.