Dandruff in Dogs and Cats

You may have noticed what looks like dandruff on your pooch or kitty.  Pets can get dandruff just like we can, and its presence can indicate that your pet's skin or coat are dry.  A small amount of pet dandruff without other signs of itchiness or redness is usually not a clinical problem.  However, there are ways you can minimize ugly dandruff on your pet.

Regular brushing with an appropriate brush can help remove dead fur and dandruff.  You should get your pet used to brushing from puppy or kittenhood so that he/she does not object too much as an adult.

It is important to use a good quality moisturizing pet shampoo and conditioner on your dog.  Oatmeal based shampoos are both soothing and moisturising, and readily available.  Fight the urge to use human shampoos on your pets, including anti-dandruff ones!  Your pet should be washed no more than once a week or fortnight, as more frequent washing can strip the skin of its natural oils.

Healthy pet coats come from the inside.  Ensure your pet is on a good quality pet food appropriate to his/her age and breed.  Add omega 3 and 6 containing oils to improve skin and coat quality.  These can be in the form of small amounts of oily fish such as tinned sardines or by using supplements, such as fish oils and evening primrose oil.

More severe cases of dandruff may in fact not be dandruff at all, but a more serious skin condition.  Seborrhoea is a fungal infection of the skin and requires medicated shampoos and sometimes oral anti-fungal tablets to clear it up.  Cheyletiellosis, or 'walking dandruff' is a mite infestation that occurs occasionally in puppies.  Medicated shampoos and parasiticide treatments are needed to resolve this condition.

Did your pet ever have dandruff? How did you treat it? Tell us about it in the comments!

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