You’re scratching your dog behind the ears when you notice a lot of white specks on his dark fur. These are more than just unsightly spots on his otherwise gleaming coat – it’s dandruff, and it could be a sign of other problems. Dog dandruff is a common problem. What causes it, and what are some home remedies that can rid your pup of this condition?
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What causes dog dandruff?
Dandruff is generally a secondary condition caused by allergies or more serious skin problems. “Dandruff or seborrhea can be a primary cause or a secondary cause,” explains Dr. Jennifer Niedziela of Countryside Veterinary Clinic. “Primary seborrhea is very rare and inherited in nature.
Secondary seborrhea can be caused by allergies, internal or external parasites (Demodex, Cheyletiella), bacterial or yeast infections, certain endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease), dietary abnormalities, obesity and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.”
When it comes to weather, the winter months can be particularly challenging for dogs who are susceptible to dandruff. The low humidity amplifies skin conditions. Spring and summer can also be tough for dogs who may have seasonal allergies to contend with as well. “If your pet’s skin is overly flaky, it is important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any medical causes,” warns Dr. Jennifer Johnson of South Hingham Veterinary Services. If you notice certain seasonal patterns, be sure to mention this to your vet.
Home remedies for dog dandruff
Thankfully, there are many remedies for dog dandruff available to make your pup more comfortable and get his fur back to its perfect shine. With these few simple tips to try, your pup will have a dandruff-free coat in no time:
1. Groom your pup
This is a simple way to maintain your dog’s coat and keep dandruff at bay. Dr. Niedziela recommends regular grooming and brushing to “distribute the coat’s natural oils and massage the skin.” Make this part of a regular care routine for your dog.
2. Supplement Omega-3 fatty acids
Adding an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to your pet’s diet can also promote skin and coat health, resulting in less dandruff. Before feeding your pet any supplements or vitamins, make sure to speak with your veterinarian.
3. Wash with lime juice
Lime juice can be an effective remedy for dandruff in human as well as dogs due to the positive effects of vitamin C. As Evolution Supply suggests, after shampooing your dog, rinse with a mixture of water and lime juice.
4. Use a humidifier
Since low humidity can have an impact on dog dandruff, keep a humidifier going — particularly in your dog’s sleeping area. Increasing the moisture in the air will soothe your pup’s skin and could even counter seasonal dandruff.
5. Buy anti-dandruff dog shampoo
Using an anti-dandruff shampoo made for dogs can help. “Make sure it is made for dogs, as the pH of dog skin is different from the pH of human skin,” Dr. Niedziela cautions.”Using human shampoos can make things worse.” Replace your normal pet shampoo with the anti-dandruff product until the condition resolves.
6. Soothe with oatmeal
Oatmeal can be very comforting to itchy skin, which is helpful because the irritation or constant scratching can be a cause of dog dandruff.
7. Feed dogs a good diet
Make sure your dog has a balanced diet with the proper nutrients. If she has any food allergies, make sure you are taking this into account when selecting the food. The right nutrition and avoidance of any triggers — both dietary and environmental — can make for better skin and less dandruff. Be sure to consult with a veterinarian if you’re unsure what should make up a healthy, balanced diet.
Text source: Jacqueline LaVana is a pet lover from Boston, Massachusetts.
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