Why Does My Dog Have Dandruff? How to Get Rid of Dog Dandruff Fast?

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The critical takeaway you can get from this post:

  • Dogs want to keep themselves clean, so if you see your dog’s skin is dry and flaky or has dandruff, there may be an issue.
  • Fortunately, most potential reasons for dry skin and dandruff aren’t significant and get better with therapy.
  • If you discover your dog has dandruff, make a non-urgent consultation with your veterinarian.

What Is Dandruff? 

Dandruff is the presence of dead skin cells on your dog’s fur with itching, skin irritation, and hair loss. 

Dandruff on dog’s fur.

However, not all dandruff in dogs appears as white flakes. It may be dry, oily, or may not be dandruff at all. There’s a chance that hair loss has left the underlying skin red or uneven. The most typical varieties are listed below:

  • Dry seborrhea, also known as seborrhea sicca, can manifest as white flakes on crusty skin.
  • Seborrhea oleosa, known as greasy seborrhea, can cause the skin of your dog to be oily and have a smell.
  • Walking dandruff, known as a type of mite called Cheyletiella, occurs when dandruff appears to be moving.

Because skin conditions might have hormonal, environmental, dietary, or parasite origins, it may be necessary to consider a number of different therapeutic approaches.

What Are Causes of Dog Dandruff? Why Does My Dog Have Dandruff?

What causes dog dandruff? Dogs of any breed or mix might get dandruff for a number of reasons. Here are 9 explanations for severe dandruff in dogs.

Dry Air

Similar to humans, dogs might have dry skin during the winter when the air is drier than usual. Forced air heating may make the problem worse. Lack of humidity in the air may be to fault if you only see dandruff on your dog during the winter.

Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal skin diseases can result in dandruff. These little invaders could also leverage the skin’s vulnerability as a result of your dog’s other health issues to spread an infection. Bacterial and fungal infections need to be treated properly to restore your dog’s skin to a healthy state, regardless of whether dandruff or the skin infection appeared first.

Walking Dandruff and Other Parasites

You can easily see Cheyletiella mites, the white dandruff flakes in the dog’s fur. These unwanted visitors, which dwell and feed on your dog’s skin like fleas, ticks, and Demodex and Sarcoptes mites, will make him extremely itchy.


The sensitivity to food and environment can make the dog frequently experience skin issues. Affected dogs may have persistent ear and skin infections, seasonal itching, or a propensity to lick their paws. Dandruff only is known as one indication of allergies in dogs.

Obesity and Nutritional Issues

One reason why your dog has dandruff is the deficiencies in necessary nutrients for the skin and hair due to an inappropriate diet. Make sure that your dog is having balanced and highest-caliber food. 

Obesity can lead to dandruff in dogs.

Some dogs benefit from omega-3s and omega-6s since they have great function in skin health. But before adding anything new to your dog’s food, it’s crucial to ask your veterinarian.

Idiopathic Seborrhea

The term “idiopathic” or “spontaneous” is used when we don’t know the exact etiology of seborrheic dermatitis in some cases. When a dog develops flaky skin with an unknown cause, the symptoms can be managed and further maintenance care can be provided as needed.

Too Much Bathing

Every dog has to be bathed occasionally, though perhaps not as frequently as you may imagine. Ask your veterinarian about the proper washing regimen for your dog’s breed because many dog breeds might lose important skin oils from over-bathing.

Hormonal Disorders

Conditions like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease may cause changes in your dog’s skin’s health. Due to a weak immune system, the dog might also be more vulnerable to the secondary illnesses.

Health Conditions

Scaling of the skin and dandruff can be brought on by issues including hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland, and pemphigus, an autoimmune disease.

Genetic Condition 

There are dog breeds that tend to be more susceptible to dandruff, such as West Highland White Terriers, American Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, and English Springer Spaniels.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dog Dandruff? 

You are probably aware that the main symptom of dandruff on your dog is flaky skin, which is easy to spot. These flakes can detach and stick to many home goods, including furniture, bedding, and upholstery.

Beyond that, though, how can you know if your dog genuinely has dandruff or if they are only displaying a few scattered flakes of dry skin? The following are the main signs of dog dandruff:

  • Visible dry skin flakes all over the coat: While the odd skin fleck on a dog is natural, dandruff is indicated by thick flakes all over the coat.
  • More scratching as a result of increased itching: Your dog will scratch themselves repeatedly and forcefully if their skin is really irritated.
  • Hair loss: Constant scratching can cause bald spots or patches of hair loss all over the body.
  • Scabs on the skin: When your dog is itching intensely, you may discover scabs on its skin as a consequence of its vigorous scratching.
  • Red, irritated-looking skin: If your dog scratches a lot in reaction to itching, you may notice red, irritated skin beneath its coat.

Even though dandruff isn’t hazardous in and of itself, it is ugly. Since dandruff frequently arises as a secondary issue, it’s critical to address the underlying source of the issue as well as dandruff itself.

How to Diagnose Dandruff in Dogs?

How to identify dog dandruff?

If you have understood what causes dandruff in dogs, the next step is diagnosing your dog’s problem. To identify the underlying reason for dandruff in your pet’s coat, you should:

  • Make a physical assessment.
  • Inquire about your dog’s nutrition and water consumption as well as how long dandruff has been there, and whether your dog has been scratching (or exhibiting other behaviors that suggest discomfort).
  • To check for mites or lice, take skin samples (skin scrapings) and material from your dog’s fur.
  • If an allergen is thought to exist, suggest allergy testing, such as a food exclusion diet or an intradermal skin test.
  • Look for yeast or germs in your dog’s ears by examining skin cells and other debris there.
  • To check for malignancy, do a tissue biopsy.
  • Perform blood tests to look for: sweet diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and Hypothyroidism (low amounts of thyroid hormone).

How Do You Get Rid of Dandruff on a Dog? Dog Dandruff Treatment and Home Remedies

Do not freak out if your dog has dandruff because there are several solutions you may take to cure dog dandruff. The best course of action for your dog will ultimately depend on the underlying problem.

Here are 7 effective ways to treat dandruff in dogs.

Continual Grooming and Bathing

Dogs who have inconsistent grooming frequently develop dandruff. Consistent bathing and grooming are essential to keeping your dog clean and lowering the risk of illnesses. 

You should wash your dog by giving their coat long, sweeping strokes. In addition to picking up any dirt and debris, this will also activate the oil glands on their skin’s top layer. These oils are released when their fur is brushed, giving it a shiny appearance.

On the dog’s fur, you should use both a brush and a comb. It’s advisable to comb your dog’s fur after brushing it since doing so will aid in removing flakes and dead skin cells. You should start with a rough brush for your dog, then use a softer one and a towel to finish.

Depending on what’s causing your dog’s dandruff, your veterinarian may virtually strongly suggest utilizing an itch relief cream.

Shampoo, Cream, and Lotions

The non-irritating shampoo is recommended for your dog, even at home or in a professional salon for dogs. Do not give your dog your own anti-dandruff shampoo. There are several manufacturers of dog shampoos designed expressly to cure dandruff.

There are certain shampoos made specifically for pets that can assist with dandruff. To avoid aggravating the issue, it is advised to stick to water until your veterinarian recommends a specific product.

Creams and lotions are also important. Try applying a tiny quantity of a pet-safe moisturizer (like Vaseline) to your dog’s nose or elbow if there is a small patch of dry skin there. This will keep the area moist and stop it from cracking. You can ask your veterinarian first to decide which product is suitable to use,

Avoid Allergens

If you find out that allergies are to blame for severe dandruff in dogs, you should try to keep your furry friend away from the allergens. If your dog has food allergies, changing your diet may be necessary. If your dog is allergic to the surroundings, you should regularly clean to get rid of dust, wash their pet bedding often, and give them a bath once a week.

Reduce Anxiety

Maybe you don’t know that stress can cause dandruff in dogs. A dog might become stressed when moving into a new home or adopting a new pet, which will result in dandruff.

Your dog may be nervous if you observe them moving around a lot, whimpering, or shaking, in addition to having dandruff. Dogs can be treated for stress by being taken away from the source of the stress. 

Additionally, you ought to encourage them to exercise, which may aid your dog’s stress relief. To assist them to manage their stress, medication may be required in some circumstances.

Purchase a Humidifier

A humidifier will provide a better atmosphere for your dog.

Using a humidifier is another technique to cure dandruff on your dog. Dandruff can become worse with temperature and humidity. The occurrence of dandruff increases throughout the winter because of the lack of moisture in the air, resulting in the dryness of your dog’s skin, coat, and hair.

Therefore, if your dog’s dandruff worsens during the winter, get a humidifier. This will moisten the air and aid in removing those bothersome white flakes from your dog’s coat.

Healthy Diet

Feeding your dog a balanced food that satisfies his or her nutritional requirements is important. Select a diet that either has an AAFCO Statement on the label stating that it has undergone feeding trials or that it satisfies the nutritional profiles for the life stage of your dog.

Combine Fatty Acids Into Your Pup’s Diet

Your dog’s dandruff may also be brought on by a deficiency in omega fatty acids in its diet. If your dog suffers from this condition, consider adding additional fatty acids to its diet. With medications or by putting oil in their meal, you may do this. Overall, it’s only critical to give your dog nutritious, balanced food as a top priority.


Furthermore, your veterinarian could advise supplementing your dog’s diet with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Always use caution while selecting supplements because they are less strictly controlled than pharmaceuticals. If your veterinarian suggests a product, look for one that bears the National Animal Supplement Council Quality Seal.

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

Your dog’s dandruff may be treatable on your own at home, depending on how the condition is. However you get rid of dandruff on a dog, it is still recommended for you to talk to your vet first.

If your dog exhibits any of the following, you should take them to the vet immediately:

  • There are enormous flakes that appear out of nowhere.
  • Itching seems to be bothersome or severe on your dog’s skin.
  • Under the flakes, there is very red skin.
  • There is a smell that is connected to dandruff.
  • You witness limping or stiffness, alopecia (fur loss), and a greasy coat in your pet.

Any of these signs might point to a more serious condition in your dog. It is a must to take your dog to the vet right away if your pet has any of the above symptoms.

In Conclusion

It’s nothing to worry about if you occasionally notice a white flake around your dog’s coat. However, it’s time to take action if you see many flaking or associated symptoms like itchy skin and persistent, severe scratching. You should know how to cure dandruff in dogs.

Try using natural solutions like a humidifier, frequent brushing, adding a nutritional supplement, and using high-quality medicated dog shampoo. In the event that this has no effect on your dog’s dandruff, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Dandruff in dogs is more than just an aesthetic problem, but it can represent a serious health issue. However, as long as you keep a careful watch on the condition of your dog’s skin and hair and take action when you see dandruff, your pet should be OK.