Have you noticed your dog starting to scratch more but you can’t find any fleas? Well, it could be dog dandruff. That’s right, small Size dogs get dandruff too; and even though it might not be as embarrassing for Fido to scratch his head in public, dry skin could be making your dog’s life a misery.
So what exactly is dog dandruff? It’s dander which is dead dry skin that that occurs when there is a lack of moisture. Similar to human dandruff, white flakes become visible and the skin gets dry and uncomfortable.
According to Veterinarian Race Foster, puppies suffer from dog dandruff more often than adult dogs. What’s more surprising is that pups with darker fur (like black and chocolate) seem to suffer more than their lighter fur counterparts because the white flakes are more noticeable; however, that doesn’t mean dark-coated dogs actually suffer more from dog dandruff.
One reason puppies suffer from dog dandruff more than adult dogs is because their sebaceous glands are not as active. Dr. Foster states that once these glands mature, the number of lubrication changes to meet the puppy’s needs. Wouldn’t it be cool if human skin did the same thing?
Treating Dog Dandruff Inside and Out
So now that you know your dog has dry skin you need to moisturize it – inside and out. Start with essential fatty acids because dogs cannot produce these on their own yet they are necessary to maintain a healthy coat. Try giving your dog a supplement with his food like Nordic Natural’s cod liver oil or even omega-3 pet capsules for dogs on the go.
Once you’ve nourished your dog internally, now it’s time to concentrate on his coat to combat dog dandruff. Do not bathe your dog more than once every two weeks as this can dry out the skin. Use a moisturizing shampoo like Bio-Groom natural oatmeal and anti-itch which contains a natural, soap-free formula that cleans, soothes, and leaves your dog’s coat and skin in healthy condition.
The shampoo isn’t enough to treat dog dandruff though; conditioner needs to be applied and left on for three to five minutes to give it a chance to penetrate your dog’s fur. Look for a conditioner that contains oatmeal which will also soothe your dog’s skin. In between baths, use a conditioning spray daily to coat your dog’s fur. A good one to try is EQyss Avocado Mist Detangler which is a conditioning spray that does not have to wash out of your dog’s coat and it smells great too.
Don’t forget to brush your dog regularly to remove the dead fur which can also help dog dandruff. If your dog has an undercoat, use the Mars Coat King which is an effective hand-stripping tool when used on a regular basis.
If your pet continues to suffer from dog dandruff, consult with a veterinarian as this could be an indication of an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism.