Dandruff is a common skin condition in dogs. It occurs in the exact same way as human dandruff, with dry skin coming off in unsightly flakes. While there are no major health risks associated with dandruff, the dry skin that causes the condition may be itchy and uncomfortable for the dog. Luckily, there are steps that you can take as an owner to reduce or eliminate your dog's dandruff problem.
Brush your dog's coat regularly, preferably on a daily basis. This will help the natural oils in the dog's skin to be evenly distributed, which will reduce the occurrence of extreme dryness.
Bathe your dog once a month during the winter months and twice a month during the summer. Use water that is warm but not too hot to the touch. Regular baths will clean away any unsightly dandruff flakes that have accumulated in the dog's coat and make it easier to groom the dog.
Wash the dog's coat with a shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. Human shampoos, even those as gentle as baby shampoo, are often too harsh for a dog's skin and can lead to over-drying. Many pet stores carry special medicated shampoos that treat dog dandruff. Be sure to rinse the dog's coat thoroughly after shampooing so that no irritating residue is left behind.
Add supplements of fatty acids and flax seed oil to your dog's diet. These supplements will work from within the body to moisturize the dog's skin, reducing the likelihood of the dog experiencing dryness and flakes.
Take your dog to the veterinarian if the dandruff problem persists even after making changes to the dog's grooming and diet. Dog dandruff is sometimes caused by skin parasites or an allergy to food or the environment, but only your veterinarian will be able to tell you with certainty what is causing your dog's dandruff problem.
- Dandruff is very common in puppies younger than four weeks of age because their oil glands are not yet fully active. Often, puppy dandruff will clear up on its own as the dog ages.
- If you encounter any mattes in your dog's coat while brushing, work them out with a comb. If they are too stubborn to come out that way, they can be carefully removed with a pair of scissors.
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