Dandruff on your dog: what you can do

Dandruff on your dog isn’t something you might feel comfortable with taking to the vet. She’ll think you’re fussing about nothing, that you’re making a big deal about a silly cosmetic issue. Not true. Dandruff-like debris on your dog’s coat could be the sign of a condition that goes beyond simple cosmetics. And if it is ordinary dandruff, there are things you can do at home to help banish the frustrating flakes.

Dandruff on your dog: the details

Dandruff is a common condition in which flakes of dead skin become noticeable in a dog’s coat. Just like some dogs will shed according to the seasons, some dogs also tend to show seasonal dandruff patterns that possibly relate to changing weather conditions (such as temperature or humidity). Dandruff can also appear when a pet is overdue for grooming or brushing and when it could benefit from a fatty acid supplement.

A crustier issue

Sometimes, what looks like dandruff is actually crust. Crusts are formed by dried serum (the clear liquid you’d find inside of a blister) or pus on the skin’s surface and are often the result of a pustule that has burst open.

Dandruff or crusts?

To determine whether your dog has dandruff or crusts, your veterinarian will perform a quick check of your dog’s underlying skin to check for things like pustules and lesions, and to look at the colour of your dog’s skin to make sure it hasn’t changed. If your veterinarian sees signs of crusts, he or she will perform tests to find out the cause of your dog’s skin issues and will develop a treatment plan based on the findings.

How to help dandruff at home
If your veterinarian determines that your dog has simple dandruff , he or she may recommend the following at-home remedies:

>Bathing your dog with an oatmeal- based shampoo in lukewarm water to gently remove the dandruff  without drying out the dog’s skin. How often you bathe your dog will depend on the product and your veterinarian’s recommendation (and perhaps how well your dog tolerates baths).

>Supplementing your dog with fatty acids (such as omega-3 and omega-6) in the form of a liquid that you add to your pet’s food, gel capsules, chews or even a special food to help improve your dog’s skin and hair coat quality. Generally speaking, providing fatty acid supplementation by mouth instead of by rubbing it on your dog’s skin is more effective (and a lot less messy!). EberVet Vetshops stock vet-recommended supplementation and food containing all those valuable omega vitamins but before you buy, have your vet diagnose the problem first.

Whatever you do, don’t dismiss dandruff as a silly cosmetic issue. Your veterinary team is ready to partner with you to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.

article supplied by DVM360