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Dogs Dandruff: Causes and Treatment Techniques

When it comes to dandruff, it’s not only humans who suffer from it. White dry flakes can affect your pooch’s shiny coat as well. Not only is this a cause for concern, it can also leave your dog feeling embarrassed when guests come over. What causes dandruff in your canine and how can you treat it? 

Many experts and researchers have reported that it is actually more common than one might think. There are loads of different causes for doggy dandruff. Symptoms don’t only include white flakes on its fur. Let’s have a closer look at this common furry medical condition and how you can prevent it causing discomfort for your beloved pet. 

Signs that Your Dog Might Have Dandruff

If you are wondering whether your dog has it and not sure what the flakes look like, you can click to view examples of what doggy conditions can look like. Additionally, keep a look out for the following signs that might indicate that your canine has dandruff:

Flakes (and Lots of It)

When you spot only a few flakes on your dog, it’s no real cause for concern. But when there are loads of white dry flakes on your dog’s coat, then you should contact a veterinarian. 

Dandruff can appear anywhere on your canine’s body and doesn’t necessarily affect only one specific area, but can only affect a specific area as well. It can also appear during a specific season when your canine’s skin is more prone to be dry and irritated.  

Red Color

When you part hair to see your dog’s skin it will appear red and inflamed. Compared with loads of white flakes, your canine has some sort of skin infection.

Discomfort and Itching

The cause for dandruff can cause your dog’s skin to itch drastically. You’ll catch them scratching and biting at their skin to try and relief some discomfort. In some cases, underlying medical conditions like parasites, infection, or allergies can cause discomfort. 

Dry skin shouldn’t ever be intensely itchy. So, if you see your pup scratching profusely, visit a vet. If you find that you are making frequent trips to the vet, consider purchasing pet insurance to continue to keep your pet healthy and your finances safe.

Smell or Odor

Skin diseases and ailments can cause a musky or stinky smell on your canine’s coat. When you do smell something out of the ordinary, you should do some deeper inspection. 

When you do notice any of the above symptoms, you should really not worry too much. It is easily treatable. 

Causes of Dog Dandruff

There are many different reasons why your canine will contract it. Here is a list of the most common causes:

  • Allergies to food, fabric, or plants
  • A skin problem 
  • A skin disease
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Genetic disorder found in specific breeds
  • External or internal parasites like Cheyletiella or Demodex
  • Yeast or bacterial infections
  • Dietary abnormalities or nutritional deficiencies
  • Endocrine disorders like Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism
  • Intense change in temperature 
  • Exposure to a constant low humid climate
  • Overweight or over eating
  • Not enough exercise

Most dogs will show signs of dandruff during the winter months. This is caused by low humidity conditions. When dogs are exposed to dry air caused by heating, they are more prone to drier and flaky skin. 

Dog Dandruff Treatment

Depending on the cause of the condition, a few different treatment techniques can be followed. 

To treat a condition caused by allergies, owners can get a medication from a licensed veterinarian. When the allergy breakout is caused by food, it’s important that owners start implementing a diet change to rule out foods that cause skin irritations. 

Learn more about how you can spot and treat food allergies in your dog here: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/caring-for-a-dog-that-has-food-allergies#1.  

To treat a condition caused by bacterial or yeast infections, owners can get a topical antiseptic, lotion, or oral medication from the vet. 

To prevent dandruff from attacking your canine’s lustrous coat you should do the following: 

  • Use dog shampoo with anti-dandruff properties 
  • Use doggy shampoo with oatmeal extract to soothe itching
  • For dry climates use an in-home humidifier
  • Add omega-3 fatty acids into your pet’s diet
  • Regularly groom your canine’s coat
  • Ensure that your pooch is on a nutritious diet

As long as you take your four-legged friend for regular vet visits, you’ll be able to prevent any skin conditions from getting out of hand.



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