What Causes Dandruff in Dogs — And How to Treat It?

Dogs just like people can get dandruff which can be said as an irritating and uncomfortable skin conditions. This which is technically known as seborrhea is caused by dry skin. It is made up of dead skin cells that fall from skin.

If your dog is scratching more than usual then one of the reasons may be because of dandruff. If you find thinning or balding patches on the coat of your dog’s skin then it has a severe problem that worth looking into.

Having said that now let us consider some 5 possible causes of it.

Causes for Dog Dadtruff


Some common allergens are dust, pollen, household cleaners and certain foods. Sometimes an allergen will cause reaction when it touches the skin and sometimes it can affect an area which is not even touched.

Chyletiella mites:

This also known as ‘walking dandruffs’ will make themselves comfortable in a dog skin and coat while they lay eggs and make his life miserable.

Fungal skin infections/bacteria:

If your dog already has an underlying skin condition then it could affect his whole body rather than a specific area.

Low humidity:

The air in your home will be your dog’s worst enemy if you happen to live in a dry area because it might strip your dog’s skin of moisture. This will make your dog scratch more worsening his existing skin conditions.

Poor diet:

If your dog is not getting enough water, vitamins, minerals and fat from his food then his coat will suffer.




Regular bath will wash away the dandruff before it can accumulate on your dog’s coat. During winter it is enough if you give him 1 bath a month but during summer 2 baths a month will keep his coat healthy and clean. And while bathing, use warm water and mild shampoo and thoroughly rinse and dry your dog.

Dandruff shampoo for dogs:

Certain pet shampoos are available in the market to prevent and eliminate dandruff. The active ingredient present in that shampoo will either be sulfur or salicylic acid. And using shampoo designed for humans on dogs will be harsh. So using Head & Shoulders on your dog is a bad idea.

Improve the diet:

Switching to a high quality brand pet food that contains enough fat and investing in a good nutritional supplement is a good idea. Put several water dishes throughout your house so that your dog has always access to fresh water.

See your vet:

Your veterinarian will be the best person to diagnose and advise on treatment and prevention. If for example, your dog has allergies then your vet might prescribe a topical ointment or a fish oil capsule. If the allergen can be eliminated then it is the best option.

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