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Dog dandruff is very similar to dandruff that people get and in most cases is easily treatable. Dandruff is just a pile-up of dead skin cells that the body has shed and because a dog is not usually bathed every couple of days dandruff can build up and be more noticeable.
Dandruff can be caused due to many reasons but more prominent are the following
These being the most common reasons, some typical home remedy would follow the same lines.
In most cases daily brushing and regular baths can help minimize dandruff. Using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner made especially for dogs are also helpful. Some people have suggested rubbing a small amount of olive or vegetable oil on the dog’s skin once a week. Keeping the dog’s skin moisturized and brushing out dandruff that is accumulating seems to be the best way to combat the problem. Making sure your dog is getting enough fluids and the humidity isn’t too low is also another way to help with excess dandruff. Although most dog dandruff is usually just from a regular build-up of dead skin cells, it can also be a symptom of other problems too. Dogs who have fleas tend to have higher levels of dandruff. When the dog is constantly scratching to try and get at the fleas, it is pulling at the skin and flakes are coming off. The tail is one of the most common areas for fleas to be hanging out and the most common place to see dandruff on dogs with fleas. Brushing the area above the dogs tail with a sturdy brush and a spray to get rid of fleas is the fastest way to ease your dog’s discomfort.
Another cause of dog dandruff is an infestation of mites. One of these mites is called Cheyletiella mite. When a dog is infested with these mites it can lead to cheyletiellosis, which is a skin disease that is not only very itchy but produces very scaly skin. This disease is commonly known as ”walking dandruff”. The disease is spread by close contact with other affected pets. The mites can live several days off of the host pet without dying, this makes the disease very contagious, but with quick treatment, it can be cured using topical medications.
First, we need an explanation of what dandruff is. It’s simply dry, dead, skin cells, normally readily visible on short-haired dogs, and especially noticeable if the dog has black hair. There are numerous reasons for dandruff, but I will discuss the most common one. It is lack of grooming. Dogs have oil in their skin and to have it distributed throughout the body, the dog showed be brushed regularly. Another common cause is a poor diet for that particular breed. A lot of people just give their dog a dry food that lacks fat. If you try several weeks of adding some cooking oil, you may see remarkable results. It is not uncommon for a dog to develop dandruff in the winter due to low humidity and dry heat, especially in the north.
Again, trying simple remedies like using small doses of cooking oil may help, along with more frequent brushing. Watch, too, for oily patches as you are grooming. Usually, a change in diet will help, along with bathing the dog with a mild shampoo specifically made for the dog. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the dog after bathing, or the shampoo can irritate the skin if left on and cause dandruff to get worse simply because it can become an irritant, and any skin irritant can cause dandruff. Just be sure you use dog shampoo, not human shampoo, as dog shampoo contains a different ph level than what a human has. Unfortunately, there are some diseases that can cause this problem, but it is rare.
These diseases include diabetes or kidney failure. If your dog suffers from any condition that causes it to lose a lot of fluid, such as diarrhea, it could lose hydration and develop dandruff. If this is the case, the dog should be examined by your veterinarian. Sometimes dandruff can be caused by allergies, too. If you have given your dog proper nourishment, groomed it regularly and made sure it has had plenty of water to keep up good hydration, and it still exhibits signs of dandruff, you should bring your faithful friend to the veterinarian to see if he can pinpoint the problem. Dandruff is very itchy, which will make your dog scratch and then compound the problem, so do your best
While basic grooming is the main key to cleanliness, sometimes it is not enough:, especially for dogs. Like humans, dogs can get shafted in the hygiene department even with the best grooming policies. Dog dandruff is an annoyance some pet owners cannot seem to dismiss, no matter how extensive or expensive the treatment turns out to be.
Thankfully, there is a simple [and inexpensive!] natural home remedy: a simple combination lemon juice mixed with vinegar. It’s true, vinegar dogs are not the best smelling dogs in the world, but thankfully, if the mixture is allowed to set in for only 5 minutes, you can wash your dog with the best smelling shampoo while still fighting that pesky dandruff and removing the pungent smell of vinegar. The execution is fairly simple and not very time-consuming. Get your dog wet, then get your lemon juice and vinegar mixture ready. The amount needed is dependent on the size of the dog, so guess according to your pet size. In this case, less is not always more, so make sure you have enough to cover the entire dog’s hairy body. Simply deep rub the mixture into your dog’s hair and let it set in for 5 minutes. Beware of the smell! Make sure to keep the dog isolated in the washing vessel being used so the mixture isn’t spread throughout.
After 5 minutes, rinse the mixture out and let it sit for 2 more minutes. After the two minutes, feel free to re-wash the dog with any flowery-scented shampoo you like. Let the dog naturally dry, preferably outdoors, and all your dog dandruff problems were just mixed away! Your dog will be happy and carefree without dandruff there to cause problems, simply because of an inexpensive home remedy. Experiment on your own hair at your own risk!
When not writing about himself in the third person, Andy spends many an hour walking his dog Mr Wox, aka Soxy Woxy, a mischievous, mixed breed rescue. A leading authority on dog-related topics, Andy is highly respected, deeply appreciated and widely admired.