You can generally treat dog dandruff by brushing the dog and bathing it regularly. If there is an underlying medical condition...
Dog Care

How Can I Treat Dog Dandruff?

Susana Bradford
2 minute read
September 6, 2021

When a dog has dandruff, there are a few easy ways to rid a pet of these flaky annoyances. It is a good idea to rule out any other medical conditions that may be causing the dandruff, such as fleas, skin allergies, or eczema, that would require specific medication. Once a medical condition has been ruled out, the first line of attack is to bath the dog using a pet shampoo. In addition, the use of olive oil and frequent grooming will often resolve the issue, but with persistent problems, a visit to the veterinarian may be in order.

Many dogs suffer from pet dandruff due to irregular baths or infrequent brushing to get the flakes of dead skin off a dog's coat. Similar to human dandruff, dog dandruff is dead skin that flakes off and remains on the coat. This dead skin also promotes itching, which can cause a viscous cycle of more dandruff that then causes more itching. If a regular dog shampoo does not seem to be relieving the dog's skin from the dandruff, choosing a natural oatmeal dog shampoo may work better because of its natural soothing effects. It is important not to use human shampoo on a dog with dandruff because the chemicals may be too harsh for the skin and could cause further irritation.

Sometimes, a dog's skin requires moisture, especially if it lives in a dry climate. A good way to prevent dog dandruff is to include a teaspoon of cooking oil, such as olive oil, in the dog's food each day. The oil can be used directly on the dog's coat to moisturize the skin and coat of fur. This acts as a conditioning treatment, which treats the skin as well.

treating dog dandruff

Canine dandruff can be uncomfortable for dogs, and daily brushing of their fur and skin can relive the discomfort. It is natural for some dead skin to flake off because dogs are constantly reproducing new and healthy skin cells to replace the old cells. Brushing the dog's fur coat can be beneficial in spreading the dog's natural oils around to the skin and hair.

In extreme cases that don't respond to over-the-counter dog shampoos, monthly baths, regular brushing, and the use of oils, it would be wise to consult a veterinarian. Special medication may be necessary for treatment. There are a few dog dandruff medications that are used in the most severe cases, such as steroids, but this should only be a last resort because of the health risks associated with long-term use. A veterinarian should be able to assess the pet's condition and determine the best treatment plan possible.

For more information on pet care and other helpful resources, visit Pettable's blog.

Meet the author:

Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.