Just like humans, dogs can suffer from dandruff which results in white flakes falling from their coat, particularly during brushing. Severe cases can cause inflammation, scabs, hair loss, and bald patches.
If your dog has dandruff then you should try to understand what is causing this condition. While the cause may be as simple as exposure to dry air, dandruff may also be a sign of more serious underlying health issues.
Here are some common causes:
Your dog may not be receiving the right level of nutrients to develop a healthy coat. Dog food should contain fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6, as well as the right level of protein. Your dog’s skin and hair can use a whopping 30% of their daily protein intake to grow and develop!
Sudden shifts in temperature (either hot or cold) can cause reactions in their skin and interrupt the normal rhythm of oil production – resulting in dry skin.
These mites make themselves at home on your dog’s skin where they quickly lay eggs and multiply. Cheyletiella mites cause extreme discomfort and itching for your dog.
Other health issues
Dandruff can be a sign of more serious health issues such as hypothyroidism and auto-immune conditions.
There are some relatively easy things you can do to try and alleviate your dogs dandruff
1. Grooming: Brushing your dog's coat daily will distribute natural oils evenly and stimulate blood supply to the skin (which promotes oil production).
2. Diet supplements: If you think your dog isn’t receiving the right level of nutrition, evolve their diet to include omega-3 fatty acids or supplement this into their diet.
3. Increase air moisture levels: If you live in a particularly dry area, increase the moisture levels in the air by using a humidifier at night.
4. Specialty shampoo: There are shampoos on the market that have been specifically designed to moisturise and soothe your dogs skin
As always, your vet should be your first port of call to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment program that is best suited for your dog.