7 Reasons Why Dogs Get Dry Skin Dandruff And How To Treat It

7 Reasons Why Dogs Get Dry Skin Dandruff And How To Treat It

One of the things that a visit to a dog grooming service will often highlight is that the dog in question is suffering from dry skin and dandruff. Just as dandruff can be an annoyance to humans, which doubtless accounts for the number of anti-dandruff shampoos which are advertised, dandruff is also a problem for dogs and one which they rely on their owners to resolve for them.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Dry skin and the dandruff which can follow, will occur for several reasons, and the seven most common are outlined below.

  • Skin Infections: Fungal and bacterial skin infections are the primary reason why your dog might suffer from dry skin and dandruff. These infections can make their skin scaly and flaky, and this occurs especially in the folds of their skin. This can also be accompanied by unpleasant skin odours. In the worst cases, you might see evidence of bleeding, pus, and fur loss.
  • Changes in Weather: Although there is much in the news about climate change, we are not suggesting that it is responsible for your dog’s dandruff. However, when the local weather is changeable it can affect your dog’s skin, especially in extremes of hot and cold weather which can cause dry skin and itchiness.

  • Parasites: The usual suspects are ticks, mites, lice, and fleas. We hope you have your dog treated regularly to prevent parasites, however, they may still survive long enough in your dog’s coat to bite them which can cause crusting, rashes, and loss of fur. Infections can result from a bite from a parasite.
  • Allergies: As with humans, dogs can suffer from allergies that result in redness in their eyes, sneezing, and sadly, dry skin and itchiness. Your dog’s vet might recommend antihistamines or immunotherapy to overcome or at least suppress the allergies your dog has.
  • Hormone Imbalances: Unfortunately, some dogs have hormone disorders that are not caused by anything external but rather by their genes. These can include Cushing’s Syndrome and hypothyroidism which lead them to have skin and fur that is less than healthy and prone to dryness and dandruff.
  • Poor Diet: This is a problem where it is the dog’s owner that has caused the issue. A poor diet does nothing to stop a dog’s skin and coat from having problems which include dryness, fur loss, and dandruff. Also, a dog not having enough drinking water can cause dehydration and ultimately dry skin.
  • Substandard Shampoos: Again, we have owners at fault as they give their dogs a bath, which is fine, but instead of using a healthy, natural shampoo they use a shampoo that has harmful chemicals or a human shampoo that is not designed for a dog’s coat.

How To Treat Your Dog’s Dry Skin & Dandruff

There are several ways that you can either prevent or treat dry skin and dandruff in your dog.

  • Improve your dog’s nutrition by providing them with a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Ensure that your dog always has a plentiful supply of fresh water.
  • Bath them regularly and use a natural shampoo. One which is often recommended by vets is aloe vera and coconut shampoo.
  • Ensure that they have regular flea and parasite treatment which is usually administered on their coat behind the neck.
  • Brush them daily and have them professionally groomed regularly.
  • Give them supplements that are proven to promote healthy skin and coat such as Omega-3 and Omega-6.
  • Seek advice from your vet as they can recommend a course of treatment or medication, especially if your dog’s dry skin and dandruff are severe.