28 July, 2021

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Dog Dandruff 

Dog Dandruff 

Dogs get dandruff too. They appear like white flakes on their coat and skin. If you notice your dog scratching away too often, your pet might have dandruff. There are several causes of dandruff. It could be skin irritation, a skin infection, dry skin, or they are suffering from allergies. 

Dog dandruff is a minor condition, and it can easily be cured. Proper grooming is important. Changing their shampoo might also be a good idea. However, it is better to bring your pet to the vet to make sure that their condition is accurately diagnosed so they can immediately prescribe an effective treatment. 

What is dog dandruff? 

Dog dandruff is dead skin cells on your dog’s skin and coat. It is difficult to immediately notice the flakes, but you might be able to see them when they play on the couch. Check your dog’s beddings too. 

Why does my dog have dandruff? 

Your dog’s skin might be irritated or caught an infection. Skin cells die as a natural process and will be replaced by new and healthy skin. Dogs, like cats, have the habit of grooming themselves. 

If dogs are not properly groomed, their skin might dry out, and dog dandruff could form. 

Seborrhea

When the sebaceous glands in the skin excessively produce sebum, it can cause skin redness, itchiness, flaking, and scaling. You’ll notice skin redness on your dog’s face, on their back, and in the folds of the skin. There are two types of seborrhea, dry seborrhea or oily seborrhea. 

Mites

These are tiny parasites that are less than one millimeter long. They are typically nestled into your dog’s skin. You’ll see mites on your dog’s ears, and fur and infestation can cause discomfort to your pet. 

Cheyletiellosis

Cheyletiellosis is commonly known as “walking dandruff.” You’ll notice large, white mites crawling all over your dog’s skin and coat. This condition is rare but extremely contagious. It can cause excessive scaling.  

Demodectic Mange

Mange (demodicosis) is an inflammatory infection. It is caused by Demodex mite. These rapidly producing mites can be seen hiding in your dog’s hair follicles and skin. They can cause skin lesions, infections, and hair loss (alopecia). Infection can be found only in specific areas of the dog’s body, it can also affect their entire body. 

Skin Infections 

Bacterial skin infection is common in dogs. Their symptoms are similar to that of dandruff and other infections, that is important that your dog sees a vet immediately when you notice that your dog is constantly scratching their skin.  You’ll need to get an accurate diagnosis from the vet. 

Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungus. It looks like a raised, round, red ring. Ringworm can grow in the outermost part of the skin. And hair follicles. This is a superficial infection. In most cases, the infection may be localized in an area of the dog’s body. You might have come in contact with another dog suffering from ringworm. 

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections typically affect a dog’s ears. They are easy to spot. Yeast infection can cause discomfort. Symptoms include scabbing on the opening to the ears. It can also because of water being trapped inside the ear canal. 

Grooming 

Dogs, like cats, naturally self-groom. A good groom helps keep the coat and skin healthy. 

Allergies

Most allergens are insects, other animals, or food. Allergies are a normal response of the immune system to a foreign substance. 

Diet 

Dogs should eat a balanced diet to ensure that their skin is healthy. You can add fish oil to their diet, too. Give them the needed vitamins and minerals to keep their skin well-nourished. Give them more water during the hot summer months. 

Low Humidity

When there is less moisture in the air, it can cause skin dryness. Give your dog more water during this time. Allow them to play outside. Dry skin can be extremely itchy causing discomfort to your pet. 

Genetics

Seborrhea can either be primary or secondary, with primary categorized as a rare case and is hereditary. Secondary seborrhea is caused by parasites, bacterial or yeast infections, obesity, endocrine disorders, allergies, and dietary abnormalities.

Endocrine Disorders 

Endocrine disorders are a result of an imbalance in hormone levels. 

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Diabetes mellitus – insufficient insulin. In dogs, signs and symptoms include rapid weight loss, frequent urination, excessive thirst, and excessive hunger. 

Hypothyroidism 

Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid that results in a decrease in the production of the thyroid hormone in the thyroid glands. Commonly affected are middle-aged and older dogs. Symptoms include lethargy, changes in the skin and coat, and unexplained weight gain. 

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease occurs when there is excessive production of cortisol, the chemical the responds to stress. Cortisol also helps control a dog’s weight and keeps blood sugar at acceptable levels. It is also known as hypercortisolism. 

Symptoms of Dandruff in Dogs

  • Discomfort 
  • Flaking
  • Skin redness 
  • Itchiness

How to Get Rid of Dog Dandruff 

For most do breeds, dandruff can be treated at home. If you aren’t sure what to do, it is best to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. 

The following are the most common ways to treat dandruff. 

Shampoo for Dog Dandruff

There are specially formulated shampoos in the market that specifically treat dog dandruff. Look for ingredients like coal tar, salicylic acid, sulfur, and benzoyl peroxide. 

CBD Shampoo (for Dogs) 

CBD shampoo is good for dogs struggling with skin irritation or dryness. CBD shampoo has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps prevent skin irritation and manage itchiness. 

Oatmeal Shampoo (for Dogs) 

Oatmeal shampoo is effective in soothing skin irritation. It helps reduce inflammation and manage itchiness. It keeps the skin hydrated, thus preventing extreme dryness. It also helps soften your dog’s coat. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids help in the treatment of dog allergies. 

Grooming

Regular dog grooming helps clear up dandruff. Regularly brush your dog’s coat to help distribute the skin’s natural oils to keep their skin soft and healthy. 

Diet and Hydration

A balanced diet helps keep your dog healthy and strong in fighting off diseases and infections. Add fish oil to their diet to treat inflammation. Keep them hydrated at all times. 

Preventing Dog Dandruff

Regular grooming is recommended. At home, you can remove matter hair to prevent the growth of mites and parasites. Brush their fur regularly. Bathing more frequently is important, especially if they have extremely dry skin. Use a good anti-dandruff shampoo. 

Buy a humidifier 

Low humidity can cause dryness and dandruff. If you still don’t have a humidifier yet, you should get one to maintain air moisture inside the house. 

How to Treat Your Pooch to a Massage 

Body massage is also good for your pet dog. Using your palm, gently massage through every part of their body, slowly and gently. Focus on giving love as you go through their entire body. This may take about 10 minutes. It helps relieve stress, helps soothe inflammation, and eases itchiness caused by dandruff. 

Homemade Leave-on Treatment

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup water 
  • ¼ cup oatmeal (finely ground) 
  • 2-3 drops essential oils (of your choice, optional) 

Instructions: 

  • Mix all the ingredients before transferring to a clean bottle. 

Massage your dog with this concoction and let it stay on the coat for 5 to 10 minutes before bathing them. 

Final Thoughts

Dog dandruff is easily treated. It is not a major condition, but you have to make sure that you provide your dog the right treatment. Maintain regular basic grooming. Make sure they eat a balanced diet. 

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