How To Get Rid of Dog Dandruff

By Roxi & Huck •  Updated: 06/30/21 •  11 min read

How to get rid of dog dandruff starts with ensuring your dog stays in optimal health. Vitamins are a great way to keep on top of your dog’s overall health and the best way to head off more significant issues from raising their ugly head.

While dog dandruff can seem like a minor issue in pets, it can actually be a symptom of much bigger problems. It needs to be taken seriously and handled with care. This article takes a look at 5 treatments for how to get rid of dog dandruff.

Preventing or stopping dog dandruff and other forms of dermatitis may be as simple as ensuring your dog stays in optimal health. Being aware of diet, making sure your pet gets enough exercise, and proper grooming are all essential parts of owning a dog and can be rewarding for you and your dog.

How To Get Rid of Dog Dandruff – The Top 5 Treatments

Seborrheic dermatitis or dog dandruff can be a problematic issue for many pet parents. Numerous causes can cause Fido to experience dandruff. However, here are the leading five treatments and solutions on the market to help ease your dog’s problematic coat:

  1. Vitamins and Supplements – Omega-3 fatty acids work best for dog dandruff.
  2. Dog Shampoo – Medicated vs. All-Natural.
  3. Diet – Food and dietary additives have a significant impact on dog dandruff.
  4. Grooming – Unruly coat of hair attracts skin problems.
  5. Anxiety Relief – Yes! It is the most overlooked cause of dog dandruff.

brown puppy outside - how to treat dog dandruff

The Top 3 Vitamins and Supplements To Get Rid of Dog Dandruff

Multi-Vitamin With Fish Oil
Look for a soft chew multi-vitamin that is all-natural and has human-grade (non-synthetic) ingredients. For all dogs, the one we recommend does not have any adverse reactions with any other medications your pet may be taking.

Fish Oil can help reduce the effects of dandruff caused by allergies and provide the much-needed oil your dog needs. It has cardiac benefits, as it does in humans, and can slow the progress of kidney disease. Fish oil has also known to help improve cognitive function in dogs, particularly ones suffering from age-related symptoms.

Coconut Oil
It seems like coconut oil is everywhere– and it’s a great addition to canine diets. It helps with dental health as well as dermatitis and dandruff. There is strong evidence that coconut oil can increase the energy levels of dogs as well.

When applied to the skin, coconut oil is a soothing agent, especially if the cause for concern is allergies. As a bonus, coconut oil also helps to prevent infections from parasitic mites and fungi.

Hemp Seed Oil

The benefits of hemp oil go far beyond just the dandruff issue. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and there is evidence that it promotes good cardiac health. The oil is harvested from industrial hemp plants, so there is no THC or psychotropic properties.

Hemp oil can also reduce the amount of anxiety a dog is experiencing and may have even more benefits. It can reduce inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and even has some benefits for dogs who have epileptic seizures.

Your vet may recommend specific dietary supplements for your dog, including ones with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Make sure to look for supplements formulated especially for dogs. Not all human supplements are suitable for pets. Some formulations may be too potent for our canine friends and can cause deadly toxicity.

Supplements include drops and powders, which you can easily mix into your dog’s food. Or they can be in easy to administer chews that your dog will see as a real treat.

Remember to be careful with simply adding oil to your dog’s food as a supplement. Because too much oil can cause acute pancreatitis, your vet is your best source of information on adding it safely.

The Top 3 Shampoos To Get Rid of Dog Dandruff

Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Oatmeal shampoos are the first step for many pet owners looking for home remedies to treat dog dandruff. It has the soothing and calming effects of oatmeal without being overly medicated.

Most oatmeal shampoos are antibacterial, making them beneficial for killing any infection in the skin that may have set up causing or due to the dermatological issue they are experiencing.

Medicated Dog Shampoo

Medicated shampoos take dandruff treatment to the next level and can treat specific issues, especially with infections such as mites, where precise ingredients are needed to kill the cause.

Medicated shampoos are often applied, and then a period of waiting is needed before rinsing your dog clean. These specialty shampoos can provide much-needed relief quickly. Speak to your vet about which medicated shampoo is the best option for your dog’s specific needs.

Natural Tea Tree Dog Shampoo – Oil Based

Just as people have used tea tree oil-based products for human skin for years, tea tree oil is also good for dogs’ itchy skin. Tea has inflammatory benefits, and can its natural tannins can help get your dog relief without all of the chemicals.

Look for tea tree oil shampoos that are dog-formulated so that adverse skin reactions do not occur. Another benefit– tea tree oil is known to kill the yeast. So if the dandruff is a result of a yeast infection, it should do the trick.

The Best Dog Food For Sensitive Skin To Treat Dandruff

Ensure your dog is eating a healthy diet and that all of its nutritional needs are being met. Just as humans have specific dietary needs, so do our dogs. High-quality pet food is worth the expense if it keeps you from having to see your vet more often.

Homemade Diets
There are many recipes online for homemade diets, and while these may be a good option, you will want to talk to your vet about it. If you do choose this option, be sure to feed your dog quality ingredients to promote health!

Some companies are offering homemade dog diets delivered to your door for your convenience. They use higher quality ingredients and know what breeds will benefit most from certain food elements.

Feeding Raw
Raw diets are becoming popular with pet owners, but veterinarians have mixed reviews on the benefits and risks. Some small companies make nutritionally complete raw food that they will ship to your house if you and your vet think this might be a good option.

This can be beneficial to pet owners because getting the right balance of raw food with vegetables and fruit is necessary to maximize the health benefits.

Allergy-Friendly Foods
Many dog food manufacturers are now going to allergy-friendly production that minimizes cross-contamination. This includes gluten and corn-free dog foods and dog foods made with only organic ingredients. Since those are common allergens, they likely could be the cause.
Feeding allergy-friendly foods can help you reduce skin-related reactions in your dog, especially if a food-related allergy is the cause of dandruff.

Anxiety Induced Dog Dandruff

The one source of pet dandruff that is overlooked despite being a leading cause is anxiety! Yes, anxiety can manifest itself into skin and coat problems. We bet you did not know curing your dog’s anxiety could be an easy way how to get rid of dog dandruff!

There are many supplements and medications available to dogs who suffer from anxiety. Anxiety can come in many forms, including depression and other psychological problems resulting from prior abuse.

These problems are common in rescued dogs, and the shelter or rescue group you adopted your dog from may have ideas to help. Many of these groups have behaviorists that they work with regularly to help you and your dog if anxiety is a problem.

A dog gets anxious for many reasons, but one of the most common is separation from people. It is always a good idea to get your dog socializing either through visits to dog-friendly places like dog parks or stores that welcome them or by simply going out for a nice walk in your neighborhood. Regular exercise reduces anxiety in humans and dogs alike!

brown dog with long hair - how to get rid of dog dandruff

Pet Grooming To Stop Dandruff

Grooming your pet regularly is an excellent way to recognize any issue that might be developing. Although many people consider a trip to the groomer a convenient option, regular grooming is a perfect way to establish a bond with your dog. It also helps you to notice any changes as they occur, whereas a groomer may not.

It is imperative to know your dog’s skin type, as dandruff results from too much oil or not enough oil on the skin and in the coat. You will need to examine your dog and be aware of how the skin appears, either too oily or too dry.

Look for gentle shampoos as an easy way how to get rid of dog dandruff. You want to soothe the skin during regular bathing. In the time of an outbreak, you may need to switch to a medicated shampoo.

Causes of Dog Dandruff

There are many causes of dog dandruff, often making it difficult to diagnose. One of the most common causes of skin and coat issues in dogs is allergies. Just like in humans, dogs can experience allergies from many different sources.

If you suspect allergens cause your dog’s problem, you may want to take an elimination approach when searching for how to get rid of dog dandruff. Start with anything new you may have introduced into your household, including laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and household cleaners.

If this does not solve your problem, look at your dog’s diet. Has it changed in any way? Just like in humans, allergies in dogs can develop suddenly. There are many dogs with food allergies to ingredients as common as chicken and corn.

Even if you suspect a dietary cause, be sure never to change your dog’s food quickly. Veterinarians recommend integrating a new food in 1/4 measures.

Start by making one-quarter of the food you serve the new diet. Then over a few days later, transition to half-and-half, a new diet to old. Keep adding a bit more every day until you have eliminated the old food.

This method will work best as a test if the food you switch to is hypoallergenic. Although hypoallergenic can be expensive, it will help eliminate food allergies from your list of possible causes.

Other sources of allergies may be unavoidable, such as grasses and pollens. If that is the case, your vet may recommend a day allergy medicine such as cetirizine.

Discuss any over-the-counter medication with your vet before giving it to any animal, especially if your pet has any underlying medical conditions. Not all human medications are safe for dogs, so a call to your veterinarian is always a smart idea. Usually, the staff can tell you the dosage to try for your dog’s specific weight and breed.

Endocrine Disorders
Endocrine disorders can also cause dog dandruff and can often be diagnosed with a few simple blood tests. Hypothyroidism, for example, is common in dogs and can be easily treated with inexpensive prescription medication.

Cushing’s disease is another disorder in the endocrinal system that can cause dog dandruff. Cushing’s is often caused by a tumor in the adrenal gland and can be severe.

It is a good idea to get your dog seen by your veterinarian if you notice changes in their skin and coat, along with weight gain, excessive water consumption, and shape- particularly in the belly. Cushing’s disease is easily treatable with medication administered twice a day.

There can also be infections that can cause your dog to have dandruff-filled skin and coat. These infections can be in the form of bacteria, fungus, yeast, or parasites. Your vet can diagnose these conditions and may have a simple solution to show you how to get rid of dog dandruff, such as a medication or medicated shampoos.

Your dog may recommend a test called a “skin scraping.” This test requires a sample of skin gently scraped from your dog, which is examined under a microscope to find any infection or parasites. A common parasite is a mite that feeds on your dog’s skin.

The Air We Breathe
Even the air can cause a dog’s skin to get dry and itchy, like when a human’s skin dries out in colder weather. Heating systems that dry out the air can add to this problem creating an environment that has very little humidity. A humidifier can easily be purchased for your home and make you and your furry friend more comfortable.

Dog Dandruff Treatment Conclusion

Because dandruff is the symptom of an underlying problem, an essential step in learning how to get rid of dog dandruff is to determine the cause of dandruff. It is crucial to have an excellent veterinary team that can help you with the diagnoses and any treatments that may be necessary. Having a veterinary team you trust is an essential element of good pet ownership!

Roxi & Huck

Hello, we're Roxi and Huck. Our passion lies in researching and understanding the compatibility between various dog breeds, both purebred and mixed, and the lifestyles and housing situations of potential owners. We work alongside Mom and Dad to uncover insights that facilitate ideal matches between dogs and their human companions.

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