Do Dogs Get Dandruff?
“Yes, it is very possible for dogs to get dandruff. We see quite a bit in the winter months in response to the dry air. They can also show dandruff if they are nervous. As long as your dog is not showing any hair loss or red/irritated skin, you can use selsun blue (that is available for humans) safely to help reduce the dandruff. Also be sure not to bathe too frequently, as it dries out the natural oils in the skin. I only recommend baths monthly in dogs.”
I know first hand Dr. Purcell is right about the dandruff. This time of the year my dogs shed a lot so I spend more time on brushing than usual. I was surprised to see all of the flakes while I was grooming them the other day.
I did some research and learned that dandruff, the accumulation of dead skin cells, is common in pets. Other possible causes of dog dandruff include inadequate rinsing after shampooing, allergies, lack of daily brushing to stimulate the skin, and a deficiency of fatty acids in the diet.
To help in preventing dog dandruff, choose a brush with bristles that are soft enough to feel good on the back of your hand and groom daily, don’t bathe oftener than once a month and be sure to thoroughly rinse out any shampoo, use a shampoo formulated only for dogs containing moisturizer, bathe your dog in lukewarm water only, add humidity to the air in your home in the winter, and choose a high quality dog food that contains fatty acid. Make sure to provide your dog with plenty of fresh water.
To treat dog dandruff, start by washing it away. Try using a baby shampoo. If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, apply a pet dandruff shampoo that contains sulfur or salicylic acid, carefully following the directions, and rinsing thoroughly. Do NOT use a dandruff shampoo formulated for people. They can be harmful to your dog. Also do NOT use a shampoo with insecticides such as flea shampoo. They are very drying to the skin even if they contain moisturizers. You could also use the same colloidal oatmeal soap often used by people to relieve dry flaking skin.
Next, spray your dog with an oil rinse, available in pet stores, or rub your dog’s coat with the same hand lotion or cream that you use. You could also try rubbing a small amount of olive or vegetable oil on the dog’s skin once a week.
Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of flax seed oil to your dog’s diet daily.
If dandruff doesn’t subside within a few days, consult a veterinarian. The dog may have parasites, seborrhea, psoriasis, or a disease.