Can Dogs Get Dandruff? 5 Major Causes Explained!

Can Dogs Get Dandruff?

Absolutely YES! just like us humans, dogs have very sensitive skin underneath their coat. A dog’s skin is prone to a lot of diseases if not handled with care. There numerous causes of dandruff your dog’s skin and as Smart Dog Owners you should know all about them!

In this article we are going to discuss every single possible cause of dandruff in dogs and try to answer some questions  like “Can dogs get dandruff?” or “what causes dandruff in dogs?”. It is because of their skin that dogs have dandruff to begin with.

What Causes Dandruff in Dogs?

Several things can lead to dandruff in your dog. Any breed can become affected. This is a significant problem in a few circumstances due to a genetic disorder such as primary seborrhea (most commonly Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, Basset Hounds). Or juveniles (affected varieties include Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier). However, in most cases, it is caused by the environment or an underlying medical condition.

Dandruff (seborrhea) in dogs is rare. Oily, flaky skin is less likely to be a genetic problem or the result of a systemic condition such as adrenal disease, hypothyroidism, or diabetes. However, dandruff in dogs is more likely due to one of the following:

  1. Allergies – Dogs may be allergic to outdoor activities, ingredients in dog food, or care products that contain toxins that cause skin irritation. Excessive washing of your dog with soap can also dry out the skin.
  2. Cheyletiella yasguri mite Unlike the sarcoptic scabies mite, the Cheyletiella mite does not penetrate the skin but hangs on the surface of the dog’s coat. They cause dandruff, often referred to as “walking dandruff,” due to the way mites travel through pieces of skin.
  3. Fungal or bacterial infection. Infections irritate and dry the skin, sometimes causing more skin cells to grow too quickly, causing the excess skin cells to fall off. It includes many diseases and parasites, from ringworm to impetigo (a bacterial infection with red, inflamed sores).
  4. Environmental Factors If you live in a dry climate, the air can dry out your dog’s skin.
  5. Over-vaccination or suppressed immune health could be the cause, especially if your pup were rescued or adopted recently.

What Cause Dandruff in Dogs? – Dry Air

Like us, dogs can suffer from dry skin during the winter months when the air is drier than usual. Forced heating of the air can make the problem worse. If you’ve noticed your dog’s dandruff only in winter, this could be the cause of a lack of moisture in the air.

Obesity and Nutritional Issues

An improper diet can make your dog miss out on nutrients needed to maintain healthy skin and coat. Make sure your dog is eating quality, balanced dog food. Fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 play an essential role in skin health. Some dogs benefit from adding it to their diet.

However, it is necessary to check with your veterinarian before introducing anything new to your dog’s diet. As you know, obesity puts dogs at risk for a variety of diseases. Poor skin condition is just the tip of the iceberg.

What Causes Dandruff in Dogs? – Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections of the skin can also cause dandruff. This tiny intruder can also use your dog’s weakened skin to generate a secondary infection due to other conditions. Bacterial and fungal infections, whether or not they develop dandruff or skin infections, require appropriate treatment to restore the dog’s skin to a healthy state.

Allergies Leading To Dandruff in Dogs

Environmental allergies and food allergies in dogs usually manifest themselves as skin problems. Affected dogs may itch, suffer from chronic ear and skin infections, or constantly lick their paws at certain times of the year. Dandruff is usually just one of the symptoms of an allergy in dogs.

Now let’s talk about allergies. Allergy is a broad term that includes many potential irritants that can scare you to see. But the solution is as easy as improving your best friend’s diet with a natural, organic, basic diet that provides essential vitamins and minerals from processed foods that include common stimulants (grains, dairy, soy, etc.).

Genetics and Hormonal Conditions

Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease can change the shape of your dog’s skin. A weakened immune system also makes him more susceptible to secondary infections.

Some varieties, such as Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, and Dachshund, are naturally prone to dandruff. However, finding that your dog breed is vulnerable to this condition doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to alleviate it. A healthy diet and gentle brushing and bathing with appropriate skincare products should improve the situation.

What Causes Dandruff in dogs? – Idiopathic Seborrhea

The term “idiopathic” or spontaneous is used because the cause of seborrheic dermatitis may not be known. Dogs of unknown cause of peeling can be treated to relieve the symptoms and provide additional care as needed.

What Is Walking Dandruff in Dogs? 

Walking Dandruff and Other Parasites

Cheyletiella mites are big enough to be seen with the naked eye and look like white dandruff flakes. Like other ectoparasites such as fleas, ticks, Demodex, and Sarcoptes, these unwanted guests feed on your dog’s skin and cause it to itch badly.

First, if the dog’s itching on the dry, inflamed skin and the white scales characteristic of dandruff is not seen, the dog is more than any other, such as mange caused by sarcoptic mites and Demodex mites. You may be in serious condition.

Mange can expose dogs to severe complications such as bacterial infections and wounds. If you’re not sure if the problem you’re looking at is just dandruff. If you suspect that your dog has mange, consult a general veterinarian before the condition worsens.

As mentioned above, you can see movement along with dog fur that could indicate the presence of a Heiletiella mite (again, this is not the same as a scabies mite). Ticks are too small to see with the naked eye, but you can see their eggs by brushing your dog’s fur with a fine comb or smearing it with clear tape.

If you suspect this type of tick, you do not need to rush to the vet right away. First, wash your dog’s bedding, plush toys, and any furniture, rugs, or sheets your dog may have come into contact with. Wash your dog with warm water and a mild shampoo. Comb your hair patiently and rinse again.

How Would I Know What’s Causing My Dog’s Dandruff?

If your dog has mild dandruff, mild itching, and no open pain, you do not need to see a veterinarian find out the cause of dandruff in your dog. There are several safe and natural tactics you can try at home to identify the cause and help your puppy overcome this unpleasant and itchy problem.

You can try these one at a time, from “most likely” to “less likely.” This makes it easy to observe the exact cause of dandruff, eliminate unlikely factors, and prevent the condition from recurring in the future.

Dogs can get ticks through close contact with other dogs (and cats), so keep your pets away from kindergartens, dog parks, and boarding schools and see if the condition goes away.

Humans can become infected with heiletiella mites but cannot complete their life cycle in human skin.They may cause short-term, mild skin irritation to you or other family members, but this will go away on its own, especially by washing your face with warm water.

What Causes Dandruff In Dogs?

Another possibility is that your dog has allergic flea dermatitis. If you see tiny, resilient, wingless insects ranging in color from reddish-brown to black, you may need to remove fleas from your dog and home before investigating other potential causes of dandruff.

Suppose you think your dog may suffer from allergies but don’t see any improvement after switching to quality food, healthier treats, and natural skincare products. If so, you may need to see a veterinarian who can help diagnose allergies and causes in your dog.

Puppies are more likely to contract infectious bacterial infections due to developing their immune system and close contact with other dogs. If your dog is less than a year old, It is advisable to see a veterinarian before trying home remedies.

How to Treat Dog Dandruff Treatment with Home Remedies!

Depending on the severity of your dog’s dandruff, you can often treat it at home. Incorporate some of these tips into your regular grooming routine to help manage your dog’s dandruff and make him feel comfortable again.

Grooming For Dogs

Regular grooming is a cornerstone of your dog’s skin and coat health and plays an essential role in fighting dandruff. Brushing your dog will help dissipate excess sebum throughout the coat, preventing and removing dead hair from clumps. What kind of clippers you use on your dog matters! Here are the best clippers out their in the market today. 

Brush your dog daily while dandruff develops and weekly for regular grooming. Spraying water can help reduce static on long-haired dogs, or you can use a conditioning spray made for dogs. However, you should first check with your veterinarian to ensure that the grooming products you use will not interfere with other treatments your dog is receiving.

Bathing For Dogs

It is best not to bathe your dog in soapy water more than once or twice a month. Frequent bathing can cause an imbalanced pH and skin irritation. This is especially true if your shampoo is free of toxins or artificial fragrances.

Use a milder dog shampoo or stop bathing your dog for a few weeks to see if the product may be irritating. If you regularly do professional grooming for your dog, wait a bit and see what happens.

Dog bathing can help with the development of seborrhea, bacterial and fungal infections. Once your veterinarian has determined and analyzed the cause of your dog’s skin problems, they can prescribe an appropriate medicated shampoo. Follow the bottle’s instructions carefully. Can you use Dandruff Shampoo on dogs? Do they even make them for dogs? Here’s what you need to know about Dog Dandruff Shampoos! 

Some shampoos require your dog to have a few minutes for it to work. Also, pay attention to how often you need to bathe your dog, as bathing too often can dry out your dog’s skin and make current symptoms worse or create additional problems.

Rinse thoroughly after every bath, whether you use a dandruff treatment shampoo or a regular hair care shampoo. Many shampoos can be irritating if left unrinsed.

Supplements For Dogs

Your veterinarian may also include giving your dog a fatty acid supplement, such as omega-3 and omega-6. These products are not usually regulated as tightly as pharmaceuticals, so always be careful when choosing a supplement. Look for products certified by the National Council on Animal Supplement Quality or recommended by your veterinarian.

Healthy Diet For Dogs

Feed your puppy a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Choose a diet that has AAFCO on the label. This indicates that the food meets the nutritional profile for your dog’s life cycle or has passed the feeding test.

Switching to high-quality nutrition is a crucial step in comprehensive treatment and is preferable to simply treating the superficial symptoms of the problem. In turn, eating a healthy diet will help your dog maintain a healthy, shiny coat.

Humidifier Usage For Dogs

(For you and your pets!) if you reside in a dry region or during the winter, using a humidifier in your home or apartment can help. The steam soothes and hydrates dry skin, making your dog more comfortable and itchy.

If the climate seems to dry your dog’s skin, try buying a home humidifier to see if it helps. You can also try a moisturizing dog shampoo that uses oatmeal and plant-derived honey.

Honey is a natural moisturizer. In other words, it helps the skin retain moisture. Regardless of the root cause of dandruff, a gentle shampoo free of toxins and artificial fragrances is a surefire way to relieve symptoms.

Treating Other Health Conditions That Come with Dandruff in Dogs!

In addition to caring for dandruff at home, your dog needs to treat the underlying condition. These may include antibiotics for bacterial infections, antifungals for fungal infections, steroids, immunosuppressants for immune-mediated disorders, allergy tests, and medications. When the underlying condition is treated, your dog’s skin will be much healthier.


When to See the Vet for Your Dog’s Dandruff Problem

If your dog has mild seasonal or intermittent dandruff, there’s probably nothing to worry about. However, an appointment should be made for your dog with your veterinarian if the dog is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  1. Itchiness
  2. An odor to the skin
  3. Excessive amounts of dandruff
  4. Hair loss
  5. Red, irritated skin
  6. Other signs of illness or discomfort

Diagnosing the cause of dog dandruff depends on the veterinarian’s suspicion of a problem based on the dog’s exact symptoms and physical examination. The veterinarian may scrape the skin for parasites, do cultures to check for fungal and bacterial infections, and do blood tests for underlying systemic conditions.

Common Causes of Dog Dandruff (And How to Treat It)

Can dogs get dandruff too? Yes, even dogs like us are prone to this skin condition. Possible causes of dandruff in dogs include seborrhea or dry air. Dogs, like humans, can develop dandruff, an irritating and unsightly skin condition. Dandruff is dry, flaky skin.

It consists of dead skin cells that break away from the skin and look like white flakes. Dandruff occurs irregularly and should be monitored. However, simple things like brushing your teeth every day, a balanced diet, and nutritional supplements can resolve the problem.

How to Cure Dandruff In Dogs (4 Simple Ways)

  1. Brushing: Give your dog a good brushing session once a day. It distributes natural oils from the fur, helps stimulate blood flow to the skin, and helps increase oil production.
  2. Improve the diet: Switch to high-quality pet food and consider investing in an excellent nutritional supplement. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements help provide at least 35 mg of omega-3 per kilogram of animal body weight. Also, keep several bowls throughout the house, so your dog always has access to freshwater.
  3. Specialized shampoo: Certain pet shampoos are designed to re-moisturize the skin and relieve flakiness and irritation caused by dandruff. Human-designed dandruff shampoo is too harsh for dogs, so using Head & Shoulders is not recommended. Find a natural shampoo that doesn’t use American soap.
  4. See your veterinarian: Your vet will be able to diagnose your dog and advise on treatment and prevention properly. Remember, dandruff could indicate that your pet has an infection and needs medical management, so don’t ignore this vital sign.

The small white patches you see on your dog’s coat may not be a severe problem, but underneath the surface, it can signify that your dog’s health is being threatened. Dandruff in dogs is a secondary condition that usually results from more profound problems. Even if your puppy looks perfectly healthy, you should figure it out before permanently removing the flakes and dry skin.

There are two types of dandruff: dry (dry seborrhea) and oily. The two can work together. Dandruff is usually very easy to spot. Dry skin or excess production of skin cells causes the skin to peel, and extra oil produced by the sebaceous glands is oily and odorless. The itch can cause your dog to scratch, gnaw and lick the skin, leading to further irritation.

If you suspect a severe condition and think it may be a chronic underlying cause, skip home treatment and see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may need a skin scrape or blood test to diagnose the cause of the problem and suggest appropriate treatment for your dog’s dandruff. Please don’t wait for your dog to feel increasingly uncomfortable as his symptoms worsen.

Smart Precautions For Dog Dandruff Treatment and Helpful Tips

Finding the cause of dog dandruff takes a bit of experimentation. Here is a list of tips to keep in mind to keep your puppy healthy and comfortable while waiting and observing.

  1. Make sure your dog gets access to clean, fresh water at all times. Dehydration makes the skin dry.
  2. If you plan to shift your dog’s food to a healthier, more natural brand or type, you should move slowly and mix the new and old food for several days. This will prevent digestive problems.
  3. Brush your dog daily and do it carefully. This will help remove flakes, prevent excessive shedding, and disperse the natural oils throughout the coat.
  4. Choose a dog food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is a suitable type of fat your dog needs to thrive.
  5. Use a mild skin toning spray formulated to treat dry, itchy skin. It can be sprayed directly on the affected area.
  6. Just as you choose a gentle, natural product for your dog’s skin, choose a gentle cleanser for your home. Cleaning products often contain toxins, which can cause respiratory symptoms and skin irritation.
  7. The same goes for any pest control products you use on your lawn and garden. You can use natural essential oils instead. An effective alternative! Quality food will not only protect you and your pets, but it will also get rid of beneficial insects like pollinators that are trying to do their job!
  8. For a quick and easy natural home remedy for dandruff in dogs, mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and apply a cloth or cotton swab to wipe the solution off your dog’s skin. This gentle remedy is a great last-minute helper for many skin conditions.
  9. If you bathe your dog frequently with an anti-dandruff shampoo, keep his ears dry to avoid the risk of ear infections.
  10. Walk and exercise regularly with your dog, as exercise is good for overall health, including the immune system.
  11. Dogs bite, chew, and lick the affected area, aggravating and aggravating skin conditions. While waiting for the new food and habit to work wonders, divert your dog’s attention away from solving the problem by offering him a new chewing toy, such as elk antlers that flow naturally.
  12. Do not air-dry your dog after bathing. This can make her skin dry.
  13. If you think your dog has heiletiella mites, treat other pets (and cats too!) and their belongings.
  14. Do not treat two breeds automatically as the same. If you have multiple dogs, consider the individual needs of each dog. Investigate the health of each breed and find solutions specifically designed to address common skin problems.
  15. Pet dander can cause allergic reactions in humans. If you suspect that you are allergic to pet dander, be careful and take good care of your dog!
  16. The best way to prevent your dog from constantly suffering from dandruff and other skin conditions is to treat it comprehensively and change your lifestyle. From diet, exercise, and snacks to dog shampoo, every food choice affects your dog’s overall health. Don’t fight dandruff symptoms. Make sure your puppy is living a healthy lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

I hope now we have answer the question, “Can dogs get dandruff or not?”.

Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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