Dandruff remedy for dogs: How To Get Rid Of Dandruff in Dogs: Causes & Treatment

Опубликовано: August 25, 2023 в 4:51 pm


Категории: Dog

How To Get Rid Of Dandruff in Dogs: Causes & Treatment

Has your dog been leaving behind white flakes on their favorite spot on the couch? Your canine companion might have dandruff, which could be a sign of health problems. Join our Gaithersburg vets to learn about signs and treatments for dandruff in dogs. 

Do Dogs get Dandruff?

Yes, they do! Like their human companions, dogs experience dandruff when dead skill cells flake off at a more prolific rate than usual, settling on the fur or hair on your pet’s body. In dogs, these dry flakes tend to accumulate on the back (particularly near the tail), and you might even notice them when you’re petting or scratching your dog. 
Just like your own skin, your dog’s skin has glands that produce iul (sebum), which helps to keep the skin hydrated and supple. If the glands overproduce sebum, this can lead to imbalances and dandruff. Dogs can experience both forms of seborrheic dermatitis: seborrhea sicca (dry) and seborrhea (oily).  

Causes of Dog Dandruff 

Any breed of dog can experience dandruff, and it can stem from several causes including genetic conditions (e..g primary seborrhea, seen in Basset Hounds and Cocker spaniels), but is often caused by factors impacting the dog’s environment or health. 

Although not exhaustive, here are some common causes of dandruff in dogs:

Dry Air

Dogs are more prone to dry skin in winter months, just like their human families; in areas where central (‘forced’) heat is the main source of warming the home, the issue can be worsened. If your dog seems to be flaky in the winter, dry air could be the cause. 

External Parasites

Dogs might itch from dry skin, but several external parasites can live on your dog’s skin and make them very unhappy indeed. Infamous parasites Cheyletiella mites are large enough to see without a microscope and look very much like white flakes of dandruff – hence the moniker ‘Walking Dandruff.’ If your dog’s ‘dandruff flakes’ are moving on their own – get to your vet for parasite prevention right away. Some parasites (like mites) are easily transmitted to other pets living in the household. 

Nutrition Issues

An unbalanced or improper food or overall diet can affect your dog’s skin and coat. To keep your pet’s skin and hair in good shape, foods with fatty acids (e.g. omega-3s, omega-6s) are important – but only your veterinarian is qualified to let you know if your pet requires supplemental nutrients. 

Skin Infections

Skin bacterial and fungal infections can also be the cause of dandruff on your dog, as they are adept at taking advantage of damage or weaknesses in your dog’s skin. These underlying conditions will have to be treated appropriately to address the dandruff issue. 


Skin problems are usually one of the first signs of an allergic reaction to food or something in your dog’s environment. Dogs with allergies may be flakier and itchier at different times of the year, and dandruff usually appears alongside other symptoms like recurring ear and skin infections.  

Hormonal Conditions

Diseases like Cushing’s or hypothyroidism can affect your dog’s skin health, which, along with a compromised immune system, can make them more susceptible to secondary infections.

Idiopathic (Spontaneous) Seborrhea

If the cause of your dog’s dandruff can’t be determined, it may be classified as ‘idiopathic,’ which means that while treatment for symptoms of dogs with dry, flaky skin can be effective, the underlying cause might not be identified. Your vet will be able to give you more advice on the management of your pet’s condition.

Although dandruff is annoying and can be uncomfortable for many dogs if it is mild or seasonal it is usually not a cause for concern. If, however, your pet exhibits signs of dry, flaky skin along with these symptoms, head to the vet for a physical examination:

  • Itchiness
  • Skin odor
  • Excessive dandruff
  • Loss of hair/fur
  • Irritated, red skin
  • Excessive licking of paws or legs
  • Signs of feeling unwell or being uncomfortable

Your dog’s symptoms and your vet’s findings will determine the next course of action, which could include further diagnostic testing to confirm any issues such as underlying health problems, allergic reactions, or potential parasites.  

Treatment for Dog Dandruff

Luckily, most milder cases of dog dandruff can be treated at home with a combination of instructions and guidelines from your primary vet, and these helpful tips:

  • Groom your pet regularly to ensure their skin isn’t overly oily and removes dead hair. Check with your vet before using grooming products on your dog.
  • Bathing your dog can help with dandruff outbreaks and bacterial and fungal skin infections. Your vet may prescribe a medicated shampoo for your dog; follow the instructions carefully. Don’t over-bathe your dog, as this could make dandruff worse!
  • Supplements can be helpful, but be aware that many commercial supplements are not heavily regulated for pets. Ask your vet for recommendations.
  • Use a humidifier in your home if the air is dry. During winter months especially, your dog (and your family!) could find this helpful for preventing dry skin.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you have noticed your dog scratching more than normal or white flakes on your furniture than they may have dandruff. Contact our Gaithersburg vets today for an appointment.

5 Home Remedies To Help Get Rid Of Dog Dandruff

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charnsitr / Shutterstock.com

Did you know that dogs, just like humans, can get dandruff too? However, rather than on their heads, dogs get dandruff on their back, face and flank.

And while dandruff in dogs is common, it’s not normal for them to have it. But there’s no need to panic! In most cases, dog dandruff can be very manageable.

You can get rid of it and help your dog’s coat regain its health and shine with a number of home remedies. And below, we have listed the best home remedies to help you get rid of dog dandruff before it gets worse!

What Is Dog Dandruff?

Dog dandruff is simply dead skin cells on your dog’s fur. And it appears as small, white, dry and flaky skin.

It is triggered by sebaceous glands, which are the glands responsible for producing the oil that keeps the dog’s skin moist.

And when these glands produce too much oil (also called Seborrhoea), it causes an imbalance in the dog’s skin that results to the small flakes of dried skin.

Furthermore, dog dandruff can be an indication of other problems. So, if you ever notice flaky dandruff on your dog’s coat, it’s best to figure out the reason behind it and get rid of it immediately.

Why Does My Dog Have Dandruff?

Dog dandruff can be caused by various reasons. It can be something from the environment or an underlying health problem.

Phatthanun.R / Shutterstock.com

But among these, the most common factors include:

Improper & Unbalanced Diet

Like us humans, nutrition also plays a critical role in our furry friends’ overall well-being. If your dog doesn’t get the right amount of water, vitamins, fatty acids and minerals, it’ll show up on their coat as dandruff.


Dogs can be allergic to certain foods, molds or pollens. And usually, such allergies show up as skin problems and cause dry, flaky and itchy skin.

Bacterial & Fungal Infections

Dandruff in dogs can also be caused by different infections. For example, yeast infections can mimic allergies and cause itchy and flaky skin.

Excessive Grooming & Bathing

Bathing and grooming is essential for dogs. However, too much of it can strip their coat of their natural oils. For example, since Great Danes are prone to dry skin, they ideally only need to be bathed twice a month.

Underlying conditions

Some health problems’ symptoms, such as Hyperthyroidism or Cushing’s disease, include excessive dog dandruff, shedding and even hair loss.

Dry air

When the air becomes dry, especially during the winter season, it can strip your dog’s skin of its natural oils, resulting in dry and flaky skin.

5 Home Remedies To Treat Dog Dandruff

dezy / Shutterstock. com

Now that you’re familiar with some of the most common causes of dog dandruff, you’ll be able to deal with and get rid of it easily. And if your dog is suffering from mild dog dandruff, these 5 home remedies can help treat it.

1. Proper Grooming & Bathing

Grooming might be one of the easiest home remedies in treating dog dandruff.

Proper grooming should include brushing your dog’s coat daily. This is because brushing helps remove dandruff and distribute the skin’s natural oils evenly through the dog’s coat.

Meanwhile, bathing should not be done daily. This should depend on your dogs’ size, coat and how active they can get. Generally, you should bathe your dog at least once every two to three months.

Furthermore, when bathing your dog, you should use a mild and/or natural dog shampoo. Avoid using human shampoos since these are not formulated for dogs and can actually dry out the dog’s coat.

Here’s one of our favorite natural dog shampoo to use that helps get rid of dog dandruff:

# Preview Product Price
“>1 Burt’s Bees for Pets Oatmeal Dog Shampoo | With Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey | Moisturizing &… Buy on Amazon

2. Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths are a well-known remedy to itchy skin and dandruff. This is because oatmeal helps soothe, nourish and moisturize the dog’s skin.

There are a lot of Oatmeal bath recipes out there, but generally, you just need to blend plain and unflavored oatmeal until you get a very fine, consistent oatmeal powder.

After that, mix the powder into a tub of warm water. And then pour and gently rub the oatmeal directly to affected areas.

Alternatively, you can buy natural oatmeal dog soap bars to help give your furry friend a nice oatmeal bath. Here’s one of our recommendations:

# Preview Product Price
“>1 Wondercide – Pet Shampoo Bar for Dogs and Cats – Gentle, Plant-Based, Easy-to-Use with Natural… $14.99 Buy on Amazon

3. Balanced & Healthy Diet

As we’ve mentioned, nutrition plays an important role in your dog’s overall well-being, including their coat’s health.

If you suspect that your dog’s diet is what’s causing dandruff, then it’s time to switch things up. Whether it’s dry, wet or raw food, make sure that your dog is getting all the necessary nutrition from the food they eat.

If you must, consult with your dog’s veterinarian to ensure that your dog’s diet is balanced and healthy.

4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids Supplements

Omega 3 deficiency is a common cause of dandruff and dry skin. And adding Omega 3 supplements to your dog’s food will help keep their coat shiny and healthy.

Of course, before proceeding, it’s best to consult with your dog’s veterinarian what fish oil supplements are best for your pooch.

5. Humidifiers

Since dry air can largely impact your dog’s skin and coat, it’s best to have humidifiers at home.

They increase the moisture in the air inside your home, which can help the skin from drying out. To ensure this happens, place the humidifier in the room where your dog sleeps.

Furthermore, a humidifier is not only good for your dog’s skin, but also for yours!

Here’s a humidifier we love that can definitely help you and your pooch’s skin stay healthy:

# Preview Product Price
1 AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier (2. 2L Water Tank) Quiet Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom & Large… $29.97 Buy on Amazon


135pixels / Shutterstock.com

There are a lot of natural and home remedies you can use to help get rid of dog dandruff, but not all of them will solve the problem.

If you notice that your fur baby is suffering from mild dandruff, then with patience, determination and the remedies we listed above, you’ll be able to get rid of it in no time!

However, if you see that your dog is excessively itching and getting raw spots and rashes due to their dandruff, then it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

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    Shampoo for dogs: benefits and harms for humans

    Why did you do it?

    Lizaveta Shaturova

    December 13, 2021 17:58

    A few years ago, bloggers advised using horse shampoo for strong and shiny hair. This year, tiktok gave us a new dubious trick – a product for dog hair, after which you can not wash your hair for a week. Together with a specialist, we analyze the consequences of such an experiment and find out how to safely extend the freshness of your hair.

    Hair that instantly loses volume and becomes dirty as soon as you touch it is a common complaint. Therefore, it is not surprising that the video, where the girl says that after washing her hair with dog shampoo, her hair looks fresh for a week, went viral on Tiktok and gained half a million likes.

    In other videos, the tiktoker notes that in addition to deep cleansing, the product gives the effect of smooth hair, and does not sting the eyes. At the same time, the girl says that the composition of shampoo for dogs is alkaline, so you should use it rarely, once every few weeks, and do not forget about the conditioner.

    In the comments to the video, other tiktok users share their experiences: someone gratefully reports that they abandoned keratin straightening in favor of a product for animals, others, on the contrary, complain that the shampoo dried and tangled their hair. Nevertheless, many viewers decided to repeat this technique on themselves, and some of them were interested in whether the shampoo would cope with itching, dandruff and even psoriasis.

    Trichologist, dermatologist, specialist of the clinic “SM-Cosmetology”

    Will dog shampoo harm humans?

    Dog skin and coat are very different from human skin and hair in terms of the pH and microbiome that protect us. The acid-lipid mantle in humans is naturally more sensitive.

    Dog shampoos have a more alkaline environment and aggressive cleaners in the composition, because their task is to thoroughly rinse the thick coat from dirt and sweat after walks. What is not at all characteristic of human hair, we simply do not have such needs.

    Harsh surfactants in dog products are safe for pets, but can damage the acid-lipid mantle, natural skin barrier, and human microbiome, leading to problems. At best, you will get degreased scalp, tightness and discomfort. At worst, damage to the acid-lipid mantle and the occurrence of contact dermatitis .

    Severe degreasing of the scalp and additional exposure to irritating shampoo components can lead to redness and irritation. If the scalp is initially dry or aged, then additional damage to the acid-lipid mantle and some potentially allergenic components can cause not only tightness and itching, but also rashes.

    Why does dog shampoo work so well, but human shampoos don’t work so well?

    More aggressive cleaners degrease better, but damage both skin and hair. Hair may become drier and more brittle after prolonged use . There are “human” deep cleansing shampoos that can create a similar effect. It cannot be argued that the means we are accustomed to deal with oiliness worse, but if there is such a problem, you need to contact a specialist and select competent care that will work most effectively for your type of scalp and hair.

    How to prolong the freshness of hair safely?

    Hair freshness problem is more common in people with oily scalp. Usually it is they who like the effect of aggressive shampoos – dog or horse. In such cases, we often diagnose seborrhea (increased oiliness of the scalp). Such skin is often prone to chronic inflammation, the hair quickly loses its attractive appearance, and an odor may appear.

    First of all, we recommend to such patients shampoos for oily scalp . As a rule, such products contain antifungal and anti-inflammatory components.

    It is more effective to rub the shampoo into the scalp, hair roots and hold for three to five minutes to dissolve sebum, and then rinse. If the hair is of medium length or long, then it is worth using another product for the length, already selected according to the type of hair (for example: for thin, dyed, damaged, etc.).

    Wash your oily scalp either daily or every other day, depending on your needs.

    For deeper cleansing, we recommend additional products: peeling masks or mask balms that perform the peeling function.