Dog Dandruff

Dog Dandruff

Many of us have experienced the itchy annoyances that dandruff can bring. However, did you know that dogs can have dandruff also?

It's true, dogs do get dandruff and it can be a real problem, and it can result in dogs or puppies with dry skin, hair loss and itching and yellow or white dandruff flakes. that can cause a lot of itching and discomfort. The good news is that there are plenty of resolutions for this issue that don't require a trip to the vet, which will likely leave your dog and your wallet very happy.

What Is Dandruff?

Dandruff is often related to dry skin on dogs, resulting in the appearance of skin flakes in their fur. In some cases, your dog can end up with dry, flaky skin and losing hair, causing even more discomfort. On top of that, if your dog has dandruff then they can also sometimes get scabs and even worse issues if it isn't addressed. Luckily, it isn't typically very costly to find a solution to dandruff on your dog.

It's best to treat dry skin in dogs as soon as you notice it. Otherwise, the issue can become worse.

Canine Seborrhea

If you take your dog to the vet for this issue, you may notice that they use the word “seborrhea” pretty much interchangeably with “dandruff”. However, the cause of dandruff is actually what seborrhea on your dog is.

There are two types of dog seborrhea, primary and secondary. Most often, dogs experience secondary seborrhea, which can come from skin conditions or allergies. However, sometimes they can have primary seborrhea, which is genetic.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dandruff On Dogs?

If you're unsure of what dandruff looks like, check your dog's fur for large dandruff flakes. Dandruff does itch quite a bit, so you may also notice your dog scratching, in which case it might be worth trying some home remedies.

Depending on the situation, dandruff symptoms on your dog may show up in one of two ways. It can be the result of flaky, oily skin or dry, flaky skin. A lot of the time this can be based on the breed of your dog. Regardless of the type, you're likely to notice the white flakes in your dog's fur.

If you think that your dog might have dandruff, it's worthwhile to look for other symptoms. Chronic dandruff can also result in your dog losing hair in patches and having scabs. Depending on how much they've been scratching as the dandruff, there might also be some redness around dog scabs or other areas.

Breeds that are more likely to have dry dandruff are:
  • Dachshunds
  • Irish Setters
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds

Breeds more likely to suffer from oily dandruff are:

  • English Springer Spaniels
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • West Highland White Terriers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Basset Hounds
  • Shar-Peis 
While these breeds are more likely to develop these types of dandruff, just about any breed can develop any type of dandruff.

When Your Dog Has Severe Dandruff

In some cases, bad dandruff issues can become more severe. One of the more severe forms of dandruff is known as “walking dandruff”, or Cheyletiellosis, which is caused by mites.

These Cheyletiella mites live within the dog's coat and burrow into their skin, laying eggs. Consequently, it's an issue that is extremely troublesome for your canine companion.

In other situations, extreme dandruff can be a sign of a deeper issue. As a result, it's very important to make sure to get your dog checked out by a vet if the issue looks like more than basic dandruff.

What Causes Dog Dandruff?

How many of us really know what causes dandruff? Did you know there can be multiple causes?

In most cases, the main reason for dandruff is your dog having dry skin. However, there are plenty of dog dry skin home remedies that aren't very costly.

There can be quite a few causes of dandruff in dogs. Most commonly, reasons for dandruff include allergens that have come in contact with their skin. You may find that those allergens are in your dog's food, or simply in the environment around them. Things like pollen, dust and cleaners you use in your home can become irritants to your dog's skin.

Other causes can include Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, or infections that are fungal or bacterial in nature. Generally, it can be helpful to look at your dog to figure out whether the dandruff is really bad everywhere, or just appears to be in one or two patches. This can help with determining the specific cause of the dandruff or itchy skin for your dog.

Further dandruff causes may be:

  • External or internal parasites
  • Obesity
  • Yeast
  • Diet issues
  • Humidity, temperature or other external factors

Dandruff In Dogs Caused By Weather

There's a huge level of variety in dogs breeds, and some can be effected by things you may not expect. Dandruff is an issue that can occur during the winter months, when the humidity decreases. If your dog has dry skin and dandruff during the winter, the lack of humidity is a likely culprit.

This isn't such an odd thing, as humans can also experience drier skin during the colder months. A decrease in moisture in the environment can make problems like doggy dandruff more prominent. However, if your dog experiences seasonal allergies than dandruff may also become an issue in summer or spring.

Often, grooming can be a cause (or treatment) for itchy skin and dandruff-related hair loss that can come with dandruff. Regular, proper grooming can ensure that infections and infestations are avoided. It can also be useful in catching dog dry skin before it develops into dandruff. Furthermore, regular brushing can allow your dog to keep their fur healthy using natural oils.

Types Of Dandruff For Dogs


As mentioned earlier, there are a few basic types of dandruff that dogs can experience. There's primary seborrhea, which is genetic, secondary seborrhea resulting from external issues, walking dandruff due to mites and severe dandruff that may be the sign of a more serious problem.

Whether it's basic dandruff or your dog is also experiencing hair loss, there are home remedies that may help.

Flea Eggs Vs. Dandruff

It's also important to make sure you know the difference between flea eggs and dandruff. Often, dandruff will come out easily and looks like shed skin.

The same differences also apply to cats, helping to determine if you're seeing cat dandruff or flea eggs on your cat.

Treating Dandruff In Dogs

You have many options to allow you to effectively treat dry skin on dogs as well as dandruff. Getting rid of dog dandruff doesn't need to be hard!

In order to find the most effective solution, it's important to know the type of dandruff your dog has as well as the cause, if you can find it. Naturally, basic secondary dandruff is going to be the easiest to address. However, there are solutions for all types of dandruff your dog may develop.

If there's something obvious going on that may be contributing, like a lack of grooming, then it may be worth trying out some easy and obvious solutions first. However, if those methods don't work then it's a good idea to take your dog to a vet so that they can determine what's causing the problem.

Once you know the cause, it's much easier to find the solution. Generally, that's only really necessary for the more serious cases though.

Basic Dandruff Solutions

Tea Tree & Aloe All Natural Dog ShampooIf it looks like your dog is experiencing just a simple case of dandruff, then there are number of solutions you can try before resorting to medications. Using some basic methods, you can also prevent dandruff from occurring again in the future.

Don't be afraid to pay a vet a visit anyway, especially if excessive dandruff doesn't respond to other treatments, or shows up very suddenly in a dog without a history of it. Otherwise, there are a variety of other things you can try out. The following are easy, simple ways that you can address dandruff in your dog without a high cost or medications.

1. Bathing and Grooming

To begin with, keep in mind that human skin and dog skin are very different. Avoid using human shampoo on your dog, especially when it's for the purposes of treating dandruff. Instead, select a dandruff shampoo for dogs. These should be available at just about any pet store or online.

Before you purchase that shampoo, think about what type of dandruff they might be suffering from. Oily and dry dandruff types will require different ingredients for the best results. For example, oily dandruff reacts best to sulfur, iodine or systolic acid while dry dandruff reacts best to coal tar, benzoyl peroxide or selenium sulfide.

It's also important to make sure that your dog's coat is well taken care of. This can be easier or more difficult depending on the breed of dog you have and the length of their fur. Regular baths as well as brushing your dog can go a long way towards avoiding dandruff.

2. Over-bathing

While regular baths are very important, it's just as important to avoid over-bathing them. Too many baths can result in problems with the pH of their skin, leading to other skin problems. If your dog has a serious dandruff issue, you can bathe them every couple of days until the problem has clearing. At that point, a bath once or twice a week will be easier on their skin. Without skin issues, a bath once a month is ideal.

It's also wise to be careful with dry dog skin infections if you're using a home remedy, and make sure you're using a safe option for their sensitive skin.

3. Diet Changes

Food that contains all the supplements your dog needs can be huge when it comes to the condition of your dog's fur and skin. Make sure the food they're getting contains plenty of fatty acids. Oftentimes, dog food can be lacking in these supplements in an attempt to save on cost.

You may notice some fantastic changes if you add an omega-3 supplement to your dog's food. Otherwise, it may be worth checking with a vet to see if they could be having a food allergy. Trial and error can often help to find a food that reacts well with your dog's body.

It's also a great idea to make sure your dog is getting species-appropriate food. They have different nutritional needs than other animals as well as people.

4. Spritzers

If you're interested in a holistic option for your pet, then spritzers can be a useful tool. These pet oils can do a fantastic job of helping to replenish your dog's skin, allowing it to have enough fluid to avoid puppy dandruff problems. They also typically come in a spray bottle that is very simple to use.

5. Humidifiers

If the dandruff is due to dryness in the air, then a humidifier can be extremely helpful during the drier months for reducing dandruff. Adding a little moisture to the air around your dog can provide them a lot of comfort. It can help your skin too!

Natural Options For Dogs

In addition to the standard care options, there are also a number of natural remedies you can use to help with handling dandruff. For the most part, these are all options that tend to be very safe for dogs. These home remedies are great for dogs experiencing skin allergies and itching. However, if you notice that your dog has an adverse reaction or their dandruff gets worse, cease the treatment right away.

A natural home remedy can also help to stop dog shedding.

1. Lime Juice

Vitamin C can be quite helpful in getting rid of dandruff on dogs, and lime juice is full of it! After giving your dog a bath with a gentle shampoo (ideally something like an oatmeal shampoo that is organic), rinse them off with a mixture with equal parts water and lime juice.

2. Olive Oil And Coconut Oil

Both of these oils can be highly useful in giving your dog's skin some healthy moisture. Dogs can have olive oil rubbed onto their skin on a daily basis, or use the coconut oil in combination with water as a rinse after shampooing your dog. For dogs with dry skin, olive oil can be a blessing!

3. Milk Of Magnesia

Another great option for dry skin on your dog is milk of magnesia. You can use it prior to bathing your dog. Just make sure to allow it to soak into their skin for half an hour. Then, shampoo your dog thoroughly with the shampoo as you would normally.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

This is another product you can use as a rinse to help with dandruff. It's also able to calm down skin that has become irritated, itchy and flaky. Nobody likes when their dog is itchy! Make sure to mix it with an equal amount of water and use it as either a rinse after shampooing, or just on the spots that need it.

CBD For Dogs

If you haven't already heard about the benefits of CBD for dogs, then now is a good time to learn about the benefits this product can provide.

In combination with other healthy ingredients, CBD can be a highly useful tool in managing a number of problems in your dog, from anxiety to seizures and even skin problems. It's a natural, useful substance that allows you to avoid medications with side effects that may leave your dog unhappy. Furthermore, it's completely legal and safe for your dog.

CBD For Dog Dandruff

When you're looking for home remedies to help with dog dandruff, it's a good idea to seek out CBD products that contain or can easily be combined with omega-6 supplements. The extra fatty acids has been shown to do your dog good and the CBD only adds to the overall benefits.

Top CBD Products

There are some truly great CBD products out there, from CBD dog treats to CBD oil for dogs, cats and horses alike. Furthermore, the products listed here are high quality and contain no THC. That way, you get benefits only, and your dog doesn't experience any “high”.

CBD Oil


CBD Oil for Dogs & CatsCBD oil for dogs is a fantastic option for dogs that are dealing with dandruff. It's very easy to dose out and you can slowly increase the dose as they get used to it. Alongside regular bathing and grooming, and perhaps some fatty acid supplements, CBD oil for dogs is a great choice!

CBD Treats

Hemp Pet ProductsCBD treats for dogs can also be a reliable solution for a number of problems. Not to mention, dogs tend to love the flavors and don't realize they're getting anything more than a tasty treat.

Dog Dandruff: The Bottom Line

You can feel free to take a deep breath, because most cases of dandruff come down to a little bit of skin irritation that can be cleared up relatively easily. There are many options you can look into for getting your dog's skin back into great shape. If you try them out without success, then make sure to get a vet to check out your dog to find the source of the problem.
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