Did you know that your dog could get dandruff? It’s those annoying white flakes of skin in your hair that fall on your shoulders. They might even make you think that it’s snowing outside. Like for humans, dog dandruff can be unpleasant and sometimes even a cause for concern. 

So, we’ve prepared all the vital information you’ll need if your dog experiences this problem. Here’s what you’ll find out:

Dandruff — Fur’s Number One Enemy

Is your dog licking or scratching a certain spot on its body? Are there white flakes flying around or covering the place your dog usually lies at? Then, you might be dealing with dog dandruff.

What Is Dandruff?

Dandruff is dead skin cells that fall off. They can look like white dust if they’re smaller or white flakes if bigger. Depending on your dog’s breed and coat, dandruff can be less or more visible. The main reasons that cause it are excessive or insufficient oil production.

Places Where Pet Dandruff Can Appear

Human dandruff appears mainly on the head as that’s the body part with the most hair. But does this mean pet dandruff will appear only on the head? Can it occur anywhere else? Unlike human dandruff, it doesn’t only show on the head of dogs. 

The most common dog body parts where dandruff appears are the back and the area around the tail. But it might also occur on the face and flanks.

Look for the spots your dog is licking or scratching. If you notice redness or hair loss there, you’re probably dealing with some type of severe dog dandruff, also called walking dandruff. If that’s the case, you may need to consult your vet.

Types of Dandruff

The two types of dandruff on dogs are Seborrhea sicca and Seborrhea oleosa.

Seborrhea Sicca — Dry Dandruff

Dry pet dandruff usually happens due to a lack of oil production. That means your dog’s oil (sebaceous) glands don’t produce enough. As a result, your dog’s skin dries out and starts flaking.

Seborrhea Oleosa — Oily Dandruff

This type of pet dandruff is due to oil overproduction. In this case, the sebaceous glands produce more oil than necessary.

Signs Your Dog Has Dandruff

So how do you know if you’re dealing with doggy dandruff? It’s usually pretty easy to detect. You’ll see small white specks on your dog’s fur or its bed. Although dandruff isn’t contagious, it can be pretty unpleasant, especially if it clings onto bedding covers or household items.

If your dog’s coat or bed is white, it might be challenging to detect the condition. The best way to find it is through combing. If you see white flakes on your dog after combing it, your pet has dandruff.

Another sign of this annoying skin problem is redness or even patches of coat loss. In this case, you might be dealing with walking dandruff.

Dandruff vs. Walking Dandruff

Unlike the normal type, Cheyletiella Mites, or walking dandruff, is a dog skin condition. What causes it is parasites and mites in particular. If that’s the case, your dog will lick, bite, or scratch certain spots on its body. Some redness, or even big flakes of skin falling, are also very likely to occur on these spots.

You need to know that walking dandruff, unlike the regular one, is contagious. It can spread among other pets, including cats or rabbits. There are even some cases in which humans got infected through their dogs.

If your pet has walking dandruff, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. They can prescribe a topical treatment, like medicine that kills mites. Unfortunately, healing may take some time. If you want to speed up the process, you can spray your house with a product that kills mites, flea eggs, and larvae.

What Causes Dandruff in Dogs?

When looking for a solution to any problem, the first step is defining the cause. That way, you’ll deal with it faster and effortlessly. There are several potential causes of pet dandruff, including:


It’s a condition that causes new skin cells to travel very quickly. The adhesive material holding them together weakens and cannot contain them anymore. As a result, skin cells flake away as dandruff.

Specialists still haven’t identified the main reason for seborrhea. Most believe it’s a genetic condition to which some breeds are predisposed.

Bacterial or Fungal Infections

These are among the top reasons you see dry skin on your dogs. Bacteria or fungi can affect certain areas of your pet’s body, but you’ll see the flakes all over it. Other health conditions, like endocrine disorders, can also lead to this unpleasant skin problem.

Poor Diet

An imbalanced diet is another widespread reason for dandruff. If the skin doesn’t receive the nutrients it needs, that could result in doggy dandruff. Obesity also has an impact, and you may need to change your pup’s diet. If that’s the case, ensure the dog food you choose is entirely grain-free, as grains could cause food sensitivity.

If you’re looking for good dog food for dandruff, you could try a vet-recommended, human-grade brand, like Honest Kitchen. The company has a range of recipes, including turkey, salmon, beef, chicken, and vegetables. Overall, the Honest Kitchen ingredients are healthy and beneficial for your dog.

Low Humidity

One of the reasons with a simple solution on this list is low humidity. People often don’t realize the air in their homes is dry. It happens exclusively during the winter months when heating additionally dries out the air. Also, you’re likely to see some changes in your own skin condition. You can quickly solve this problem by getting a humidifier.


Another reason for crusty dog dandruff is allergies. The most common dog allergy symptoms include dryness, itchiness, and redness. They’re a sign of not so simple problem that needs healing.

There are different types of allergies. Food and environmental ones are among the most common. If your pet gets scratchy at certain periods of the year, you might want to test your dog for allergies and consult your vet.


Believe it or not, dogs can be stressed, too. It’s usually due to significant life changes, like moving to a new home, and your dog can end up having dandruff as a result. 

The good news is that a dog dandruff remedy can help deal with stress. For instance, you can give your pup HonestPaws Calm Peanut Butter.  It can make your pet relax, and it’s yummy, too!


While keeping your furry friend clean is crucial, you need to do it moderately. Dog dandruff after bath is a very common condition. By overly washing your dog, you strip the natural oils that lubricate the skin. It’s best to ask your vet for advice on the frequency of bath times.

How to Get Rid of Dog Dandruff

Based on the dandruff reason, you can easily find the perfect cure for your dog. In any case, you must first try the following: 

Stick to a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Giving your furry pal the nutrients it needs will help it stay healthy and strong. Plus, your dog will look shiny and polished. You can try giving it Omega SkinHealth. It contains the Omega 3  fatty acids your dog might lack in its diet. Also, it’ll support joint health, the immune system, and the skin.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo 

Another dog dandruff treatment you could try is an anti-dandruff shampoo. We like Veterinary Formula Medicated Dog Shampoo on Amazon. It’s an Amazon bestseller with a massive number of positive reviews. Wash your dog with it as usual. Then, wait for 10 minutes and rinse it off well. 

Don’t do it more than twice a week. After a few weeks, cut down the baths to once a week. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner like Warren London Hydrating Butter on Amazon. You’ll see the results in no time.

Regular Brushings

After you bathe your dog properly, you also need to take care of the coat with a special brush like HERTZKO for Dogs on Amazon. That way, you’ll get rid of the dead skin flakes. Also, the brush will help distribute your dog’s natural oils evenly on its coat. When you use the right tools and brush your pet regularly, you may even avoid dandruff in the first place. 

Oatmeal Baths 

An excellent DIY dog dandruff treatment is oatmeal baths. What you need to do is mix one cup of oatmeal (make sure it’s nicely ground) with a quarter liter of warm water and half a cup of baking soda. Then, stir everything well. 

When the bathing time comes, rinse your dog with warm water and slowly add the oatmeal mixture. After that, you need to lather your dog with shampoo and let it stay for several minutes. In the end, rinse thoroughly.

Get a Humidifier

An easy dog dandruff remedy for your home, and especially the dog’s sleeping area, is a humidifier. For an extra boost, you can add about 20 drops of lavender essential oil to the machine’s water. It’s not harmful to dogs. It can help with dry, irritated, and itchy skin. Plus, it adds freshness to the scent. 

Consult a Veterinarian 

If you’ve tried all of the remedies above but you saw no difference in your dog’s skin condition, you’re better off consulting a specialist. A vet will be most aware of your dog’s health history and can recommend special nutrition or even home remedies for dog dandruff and itching. 

Wrap Up 

Dandruff is a common skin condition. Also, it can be a sign of a deeper problem you need to take care of. But before you search for solutions, you need to find the cause. Check the list above, and you’ll find the most common reasons and the best remedies for dog dandruff.

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