Your dog's dandruff may not show up on dark clothing and embarrass it on a date, but the flakes do indicate a problem beyond just looks. Dandruff on dogs occurs for many reasons. Medications, such as antifungal medications, produce possible side effects such as thinning hair and dandruff, according to University of Arizona. (See Reference 1) One form of mites, Cheyetiella, looks like dandruff, reports University of California Davis. (See Reference 2) Other medical conditions, including thyroid disorders and food allergies, may cause dandruff. Although underlying medical conditions require treatment by your veterinarian, many natural remedies provide help in getting rid of the dandruff and restoring your dog's coat and skin.
Take your dog to the veterinarian to evaluate the cause for dandruff and determine any necessary medical treatment. Discuss your plans for natural treatment for the dandruff with the veterinarian to make sure no treatments conflict with your dog's health needs.
Brush or comb your dog and bathe to soak the dandruff, advises VeterinaryPartner. (See Rerence 4) Comb out the coat thoroughly to help remove dandruff. Use veterinary formulated soaps, not harsh solutions or a product made for humans, on your dog, advises Washington State University. (See Reference 6)
Groom your dog daily to help keep the skin clean and spread its body oil evenly on the skin, suggests Vetinfo. (See Reference 3) Use a brush or comb suited to the length and texture of your dog's coat. Do not use harsh or abrasive grooming tools.
Change or supplement your dog's food. For food allergies, consult with your veterinarian about elimination diet protocols. Consider adding fatty acids to the diet to help aid in dry skin, allergies, skin inflammation, yeast skin infections and other health problems, according to PetEducation. (See Reference 5) Discuss supplements with your veterinarian.
Add nutritional supplements to help control dandruff and improve your dog's skin condition. Recommended supplements include vitamin A, zinc and vitamin E, according to VeterinaryPartner. (See Reference 4)
Evaluate the environment for conditions that create dry skin and dandruff. Treat dry air with a humidifier. Avoid your dog contacting lawn or carpet cleaning chemicals that might cause skin reactions.
Items You Will Need
- Shampoo or soap
- Fatty acids (optional)
- Vitamin supplements (optional)
- Humidifier (optional)
- Bathe your dog only when necessary, since bathing dries out the skin and removes necessary body oils. Most dogs that receive routine brushing and grooming need baths only if they get something on their coats that brushing or wiping cannot remove.
- Use oil supplements with higher omega-6 and omega-3, such as sunflower oil and cold-water fish oils.
- Consult your veterinarian immediately for dandruff with hair loss. Symptoms of Cushing's disease, diabetes or other serious diseases include hair loss with dandruff, according to Vetinfo. (See Reference 3)
- University of Arizona-Valley Fever Center: Valley Fever in Dogs
- University of California Davis: Cheyletiella spp.
- Vetinfo: Dog Dandruff: Yes, Dogs do get Dandruff Too! Read more: Dog Dandruff: Yes, Dogs do get Dandruff Too!
- VeterinaryPartner.com: Sebaceous Adenitis
- PetEducation.com: Omega Fatty Acids: Sources, Effects, and Therapeutic Uses in Dogs
- Washington State University: Bathing Your Dog
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images