We all love our fur lovers shiny and glossy, don’t we? But dandruff is generally a secondary condition in dogs that has different underlying causes.
None of us like watching our handsome pup in white specks. Let’s begin with why it happens, and then we'll talk about how to resolve them?
- WHAT CAUSES YOUR DOG DANDRUFF?
Winters are the prime time of causing dandruff as the temperature and air moisture level drops, resulting in the skin drying. Dust and pollen can also drop the indoor temperature leading to dandruff. 50% is the ideal amount of humidity.
Good nutrition is always crucial for good health, be it humans or dogs. Dehydration can lead to dry skin in dogs that might lead to dandruff. Food allergies might also make the skin flaky. They look identical hence, the diagnosis is tricky. So there must be a strict change in the diet. Few healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids can make the skin flake.
Dogs tend to groom themselves to keep their coats shiny and healthy. However, under or overgrooming can lead to dandruff development in dogs as well. Overgrooming, like excessive bathing, might strip the skin of its essential and natural oils, leaving the skin dry and hence, causing dandruff.
Overactive skin oil glands in dogs cause Seborrhea. It makes their skin scaly and greasy. A common cause for canine seborrhea is Malassezia.
- EXTERNAL PARASITES
External parasites like fleas and lice can make the dogs' skin itchy or flaky. The Cheyletiella mite is called, ‘walking dandruff' despite it not causing any dandruff because it resembles flaking skin as it marches down the dogs' back.
Some dog breeds like Golden Retriever, Cocker, and Spaniels are more prone to dandruff than the rest.
- SKIN INFECTION
Bacterial or yeast infections particularly the ones with the presence of staph can cause dandruff. Vets say that these are not particularly picked from anywhere, these are normal inhabitants of dog skin.
- ENDOCRINE DISORDERS
Endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroxine hormone or Cushing’s disease where the dog’s body produces excess steroid also cause dandruff.
- Dandruff is mild and one can treat it at home without involving veterinary care for many dogs. Proper grooming and diet can fix the situation. If you are however, unsure about treating dandruff at home, do schedule an appointment with a vet. They can help you figure out the cause of dandruff and recommend the correct treatment.
- A grooming routine is necessary and can help you in eliminating dandruff from your pups’ skin irrespective of the underlying cause. What you need to make sure of is to bathe them once or twice a month using a dog moisturizing shampoo like oatmeal or colloidal shampoo to relieve them of dry skin. Do not use a human dandruff shampoo on a dog ever – the composition can harm their skin because the pH of a dogs’ skin is different from the pH of human skin. The next thing you can do is wear a rubber nubbed pet-grooming glove and rub the skin in a circular motion to remove dandruff and distribute their natural skin oils. Brush their coat daily in the direction of their hair growth and finish by adding coconut or tea tree oil onto the skin.
- For food allergies, you might need to change the diet. You can look for more options online for dog food nz. There are multiple treatment strategies for managing dog allergies.
- For skin infections, once the vet identifies it- they treat it with either oral medications or topical antiseptics depending on the severity of the infection. For environmental allergies, some medications can help.
- To resolve endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism a thyroid hormone supplement is introduced. To cure Cushing’s disease, they can be treated by giving oral medication that will reduce the amount of cortisol or steroid the body is producing.
- Introducing or increasing the omega-3 fatty acid supplement in your dog’s diet can also promote their coat and skin health. But make sure to get it verified by a vet before introducing any supplements or vitamins to your dog’s diet, especially the ones that are in liquid or capsule form.
- By now we know that low humidity can affect the dog’s skin. So for times when the temperature is low or the weather is dry, it is good to keep a humidifier going, especially in their sleeping area. Increasing the humidity can counter the growth of hormones.
So now that you know of the causes and the solution to prevent dandruff from your dog, we are sure you are going to take better care of it, and their coat looks as new as ever.