Dandruff in dogs: causes, treatment and do-it-yourself remedies

The dandruff in dogs, as in humans, is caused by the fall of dead cells that detach from the skin. They look like small white flakes , but at other times they can also have a different appearance, almost like scales . Mainly dandruff is a cosmetic problem, as it appears evident on your dog’s coat.

Sometimes, this troublesome condition is accompanied by other symptoms. For example, it is also possible to notice small bumps at the level of the animal’s epidermis. In severe cases, scabs also appear  with subsequent hair loss in some areas of the head and body.

One of  the main causes of dandruff in dogs is dry skin. But even oily skin can give rise to this scalp pathology. Some breeds are prone to dry skin, for example the German Shepherd . Still others tend to develop oily skin, such as Labradors.

In any case, the first thing to do is to determine what is causing the dandruff. If this is not done, it is very difficult to carry out the appropriate treatment and fix the problem once and for all.

Causes of dandruff in dogs

The origin of dandruff in dogs can be due to poor hygiene habits, a dry environment, nutritional deficiencies, infections and allergies. The specific cause determines the characteristics of the treatment you will need to follow.

The most frequent causes are:

  • Poor hygiene practices . This could mean that you bathe your dog with the wrong frequency: either too often or almost never. The products you use also play a crucial role: poor quality shampoo and shower gel or for humans, they can cause problems for your pet.
  • Dry climate . Regions with a dry climate favor the appearance of dandruff in dogs. This occurs, in a more evident way, during the winter.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. Lack of Omega 3 fatty acids affects dog skin health and induces dryness.
  • Bacterial and fungal infections . In this case, it is normal for dandruff to be accompanied by blisters that burst and form scabs.
  • Allergy . Dandruff is sometimes caused by exposure to certain allergens such as pollen, household cleaning products, chemicals, or more.
  • Mites . The Cheyletiella mite can cause dandruff in dogs. It generates the so-called “walking dandruff” and it is possible to notice a small scale that moves between the hair of the animal.

In principle, dandruff is not a serious disease. Therefore, its treatment is not binding. However, when it is caused by factors such as fungi, bacteria or mites, it may require the intervention of a veterinarian.

How to cure dandruff in dogs

Treatment of dandruff depends on the factor that causes it. If a cause of poor or excessive hygiene is found, the cleaning routine must be changed. Your vet can tell you the ideal bath frequency, depending on the breed of the dog. Also ask him which products are most suitable for washing.

Don’t forget to brush your best friend on a regular basis. This simple operation stimulates the production of natural skin oils that help eliminate dandruff.

If the problem originates in a dry climate, the best thing to do is to buy a humidifier . This aspect is particularly necessary in the winter seasons.

If the dandruff is due to a nutritional deficiency, it is advisable to reinforce the diet with zinc and vitamins A and E. Fish-based foods are ideal.

If the disease is caused by bacteria, fungi and mites, seek professional assistance . In no way will you ever have to administer medicines at random: contact your veterinarian. As a mandatory measure, you will need to wash sheets and blankets, used by the dog, in boiling water and vacuuming carpets, sofas and areas of the house where the dog spends more time.

Do-it-yourself remedies for dandruff

When dandruff in dogs is mild, good results can be achieved by using simple home remedies . These have the advantage of being less heavy for the animal, without side effects and very economical .

One of the best solutions is to use apple cider vinegar . It simply has to be mixed, in equal parts, with water. Then, rub the ointment on the dog’s skin with a clean cotton cloth. It is necessary to repeat this application once a day until the problem goes away.

L ‘ olive oil is another of the remedies  DIY that work to eliminate dandruff. Just rub a little bit into your dog’s skin and hair once a day.

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