When you pet your dog, does it leave a white residue on your hands or does your pet’s fur look like he or she just came in from a snowstorm? Pet dandruff is very common, especially in the summer months when the warmer, drier air can cause flaky skin. The good news is that dandruff is typically avoidable and treatable.
Just like in humans, dandruff is an accumulation of dead skin resulting from a lack of moisture. Also similar to humans, dandruff can be very itchy for pets. While any dog, or cat, can experience dandruff, puppies are most likely to accumulate the white flakes as their sebaceous glands, the glands in charge of producing essential oils and lubrication, are still in development.
Here are some tips for preventing and treating dog dandruff:
- Less baths
You would think that baths would bring more moisture to the skin, but most of the time they have the opposite effect, making dry skin worse. To allow your pet’s natural oils to replenish and moisten the skin, we recommend bathing your pet no more than twice a month. When you do decide to give your pet a bath, try using a moisturizing shampoo specifically designed for pet skin. If you have any questions, our knowledgeable staff can give you some recommendations.
- More brushing
The old wives tale says that one hundred strokes of a hairbrush a day will make for silky hair… Frequent brushing is beneficial to the health of your pet’s fur as well! One hundred strokes might be a bit much on a constant basis, but the bristles remove dead skin, which can lead to dandruff when it builds up. The motion of the brush can also help stimulate lubricating glands to keep working!
- Incorporate supplements
Some pet supplements contain necessary oils and vitamins, especially if your pet isn’t getting them naturally. To keep coats in tip-top shape, essential fatty acids are generally the most popular for dogs that can’t produce these oils on their own.
Sometimes, even if all of the home remedies are put in place, dandruff is persistent and accumulates anyway. If that’s the case, call our office and a staff member can suggest a shampoo remedy that best suits your pet’s special needs. Should you pet’s skin worsen, an exam can help determine if another skin issue is the culprit.
Pet dandruff happens and, in most cases, can be treated or prevented at home. It’s important to check your pet’s skin and under the fur often as you pet them to make sure that the skin is healthy, there aren’t any troubling regions and skin is moisturized. If you do find some white flake, don’t worry! Just call Los Banos Veterinary Clinic and we will be happy to help.