Pet skin conditions are some of the most irritating to treat, especially dog dandruff. It can literally have you “scratching” your head for treatments for dog dandruff!
However, most cases of dog dandruff can be treated with home remedies by pet parents.
Flaky itchy skin usually occurs because of skin cells that have died and are flaking off the dog’s skin.
Just like in humans, some dogs have worse cases of dandruff than others and with most dogs, the dry skin flakes are easily visible.
You may be wondering if there are any home remedy treatments for dog dandruff, right?
Dandruff is an unwelcome sight on your beloved furry friend, but there are a few natural home remedies you can try to help soothe and treat your pup’s dandruff.
From dietary changes to daily brushing and more, read on for some tips on how to care for a dog with dandruff.
What Does Dog Dandruff Look Like?
The primary symptom of dog dandruff is flaky or dry skin, which may appear as white, (sometimes yellowish) flakes on the fur.
In severe cases, dandruff flakes can be more visible on a darker-colored coat.
Other symptoms that may indicate dandruff include itching, especially around the ears and neck, excess shedding, redness of the skin, and bald patches.
Symptoms of Dog Dandruff
Some common symptoms of dog dandruff may include
- flakiness of the skin
- itchy skin
- red patches on the skin
- excessive shedding or hair loss
- visible flakes in the fur
- crusty or scaly areas on the skin
If a dog’s dandruff is left untreated, it can lead to an increased risk of infection due to other bacteria and fungi taking advantage of the weakened skin.
What Causes Dog Dandruff?
Dog dandruff can be caused by a number of different factors, including:
- Environmental Factors: Dry and low-humidity environments can lead to dandruff in dogs. This is more common in the winter when indoor heating systems can dry out the air.
- Improper Nutrition: A poor diet lacking essential nutrients, particularly fatty acids, can lead to dry skin and dandruff. Ensure your dog is getting a balanced diet with the right amount of fats and oils.
- Allergies: Allergies to environmental factors like pollen, dust mites, or food can lead to skin issues and dandruff in dogs. Identifying and managing these allergies can help alleviate the condition.
- Parasites: External parasites like fleas and ticks can cause skin irritation and lead to dandruff. Regular parasite control and prevention can help avoid this issue.
- Fungal or Bacterial Infections: Infections of the skin, such as yeast or bacterial infections, can result in flaky skin and dandruff. These infections may need treatment with medication.
- Underlying Health Issues: Some underlying health conditions, like thyroid problems or autoimmune diseases, can affect a dog’s skin and lead to dandruff.
- Lack of Grooming: Inadequate grooming or infrequent bathing can result in the buildup of dead skin cells and dandruff. Regular grooming and appropriate bathing can help prevent this.
- Genetics: Some breeds are more prone to skin issues and dandruff due to their genetics.
Home Remedies for Dog Dandruff
If your furry friend is suffering from dog dandruff, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate the problem.
These remedies are not only effective but also safe and natural, ensuring your dog’s well-being.
While these home remedies can provide relief for dog dandruff, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian if the condition persists or worsens.
They can provide further guidance and recommend additional treatments if necessary.
Your first course of action against doggie dandruff is regular baths.
Once a month using a mild baby shampoo will help remove the flakes and moisturize the skin.
When dandruff is at its worst, bathing may be required twice monthly.
If baby shampoo doesn’t appear to be resolving the problem, a dog dandruff shampoo that contains sulfur or salicylic acid can be used.
Avoid Using Flea-Treatment Shampoos
On another note, avoid using shampoos with insecticides on dogs that are prone to dandruff.
Flea-treatment shampoos are known for drying the skin.
It is not advisable to use a human shampoo or human dandruff shampoo on your pet as some ingredients in these products can be harmful.
Adding Moisturing Products to Bath
You can also try an oatmeal bath or add colloidal oatmeal to the bath as it is known to soothe and heal dry skin.
Aveeno is one colloidal oatmeal product that will relieve dry skin and add moisture to a dog’s skin.
The Aveeno should be worked into the dog’s coat to reach the skin and left for approximately 10 minutes before rinsing away.
Brushing and Grooming
After bathing, give your dog a thorough grooming session to remove dead skin cells.
For in-between baths, groom your dog several times a week with regular brushing. You should brush thoroughly to get rid of excess dandruff and distribute the natural oils of their skin.
Dog moisturizing sprays are also available at major pet stores.
Applying this to a dog’s skin, especially in dry climates can add needed moisture and help alleviate dandruff.
If a dog is scratching because of dandruff, use aloe vera on the skin to help relieve the irritation.
Dogs prone to dandruff could have an underlying problem with their dog food.
Dogs need an adequate amount of fat in their diet.
Owners can add 1/2 teaspoon of fish, safflower, or corn oil to their dog’s meal once a day.
Pet supplements are also available which can be recommended by a veterinarian.
Sometimes just providing a good-quality dog food can make a difference in a dog’s skin and coat.
Consider Anti-Fungal or Anti-Bacterial Treatments
If regular grooming and moisturizing routines don’t improve the health of your pup’s skin, consider looking into anti-fungal or anti-bacterial treatments, such as medicated shampoos and sprays.
These treatments can be effective in treating bacterial infections that are causing your pup’s dandruff.
Be sure to consult with your vet before taking any steps toward this kind of treatment for dog dandruff.
Most importantly, dogs need adequate supplies of fresh water daily to keep their skin hydrated.
Indoor dogs may need humidity added to the air which can be achieved with an indoor humidifier.
Typically dandruff can be cured by simply changing a dog’s environment, good grooming practices, and a high-quality diet.
You should keep your pet’s bedding clean and provide baths whenever your dog has become dirty.
However, some dandruff can be caused by more serious problems like allergies, parasites, or an infection.
If your dog is not improving with these home treatments for dog dandruff, seek professional veterinary care for your pet.