How to Prevent Dog Dandruff

Medium
30 - 60 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Dandruff isn't just for people, dogs can get it too. In fact, dogs get two types of dandruff, oily dandruff and dry dandruff, also referred to as seborrhea. If you see flakes of white scaly skin on your dog's hair coat you will need to figure out what type of dandruff your dog has, and what is causing it, to address and prevent it from occurring. Preventing parasitic, yeast or bacterial infections, endocrine disorders, dietary issues, allergy flare-ups, dry skin, or oily skin will help prevent dandruff from developing. If your dog has problem dandruff you should take him to a veterinarian to determine if medical conditions are present that need to be treated. Preventing the medical condition will help prevent the dandruff. For dogs that are just prone to dandruff due to skin type (excessively oily or dry), there are several grooming methods and steps you can take to prevent dandruff on your dog.

Dog's Perspective

Dogs experiencing dandruff are also experiencing oily or dry skin conditions that are resulting in the dandruff. Diet, weather, environment, or medical conditions can all be contributing factors, but some dogs are simply more prone than others due to the chemical makeup of their skin.  If your dog is experiencing dandruff from either oily or dry skin, he will also probably be experiencing itchiness and skin irritation, which may result in your dog chewing or scratching incessantly.  Either way, he will be uncomfortable and steps you take to prevent dandruff and underlying skin conditions from occurring will be greatly appreciated.

The Baths and Rinses Method

Effective
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Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Use appropriate shampoo
Determine the type of dandruff your dog has, either oily or dry. Dry dandruff should be treated with dog appropriate anti-dandruff shampoo containing sulfur, iodine or salicylic acid. Oily dandruff should be treated with shampoo containing coal tar, benzoyl peroxide or selenium sulfide.
Step
2
Bathe with anti-dandruff shampoo
Bath your dog every 2-4 weeks to prevent dandruff, more often if dandruff is active, to eradicate it. Do not use human dandruff shampoo.
Step
3
Dry
Dry your dog with a towel and blow dry on a low heat setting to avoid your dog's skin remaining damp, which can contribute to dandruff . Avoid over-blowing or high heat, which has a drying effect on skin.
Step
4
Use a rinse
Between baths you can try rinsing your dog with a lime juice mixture.
Step
5
Use moisturizing treatment
Once a week, add 10 drops of coconut oil to 1 cup warm water, apply to your dog's coat, leave on 5 minutes, then rinse off.
Recommend grooming method?

The Daily Care Method

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Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Step
1
Brush
Brush your dog daily to remove debris, dead skin, and dead hair. Use an appropriate brush for your dog's coat type.
Step
2
Treat conditions
Check your dog's skin for infections, allergies, and parasites daily, while grooming, and treat immediately if found.
Step
3
Massage
Use a rubber grooming mitt to distribute natural body oils evenly. Massaging your dog will also increase blood flow to his skin.
Step
4
Apply leave-on treatment
Mix apple cider vinegar with water ½ and ½. With a cotton ball or cloth, rub on your dog's skin and leave on to dry and/or rub olive oil on skin daily.
Step
5
Provide humidity and promote good health
Provide daily exercise and a good quality diet with supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids if necessary. Make sure your dog's environment has the correct humidity; use a humidifier or dehumidifier in your home if appropriate.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Check dandruff to see if your dog has a case of walking dandruff or Cheyletiella mites, which are a parasite that resembles dandruff. Treat with anti-parasitics and remove eggs if present.

  • Make sure you address underlying medical conditions such as infections, dietary issues, allergies, or endocrine and metabolic disorders by seeking veterinary advice.

  • Use the correct, dog-appropriate, anti-dandruff shampoo for your dog's skin condition and dandruff, either oily or dry seborrhea.

  • Ensure that bathing is conducted with non-slip mats and with water of the appropriate temperature, not too hot or too cold.

  • Address any secondary infections that occur due to your dog scratching or chewing at itchy dandruff conditions.

Conclusion

Dandruff is not fun for your dog. Besides being unsightly, it is uncomfortable and may be accompanied by underlying medical conditions or secondary infections. Preventing dandruff with regular daily grooming and care is possible with regular brushing, correct humidity, and diet and exercise. Medicated anti-dandruff bathing on a regular basis will also address your dog's skin condition and prevent dandruff from proliferating. Dandruff can be a vicious cycle, with outbreaks leading to irritation, and scratching, which causes more dandruff. Breaking that cycle with medicated anti-dandruff shampoos will prevent the cycle from continuing.  Maintaining good skin health for your dog will make him a happier and flake free friend.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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