If you find small white dots in your dog's fur, these are probably dandruff. However, the dead skin cells are nothing to worry about. There are numerous reasons for dandruff and many of them are completely harmless. What are the causes and when you should go to the vet - time for an overview!
Help! Where does dandruff in dogs come from?
Tiny white scales in the fur of your four-legged friend are completely normal at first. Dandruff is nothing more than dead skin. The skin cells regularly form new ones and the old skin cells are shed. Every dog gets dandruff from time to time and they usually go away on their own.
However, if your four-legged friend has a particularly large number or very frequent dandruff, you should start looking for the cause. This is all the more true if you notice other changes in your fur nose.
Possible causes of dandruff in dogs
Dandruff in your four-legged friend's fur can have many reasons. External factors often play a role, but sometimes diet or mental stress also play a role.
Dandruff usually occurs when your dog also suffers from dry skin. The explanation is very simple: Dry skin causes a nasty itch. Bello, Luna and Co scratch the dry spots, the dead skin cells come off and end up in the fur.
heating air in winter
Does your darling start producing dandruff as soon as you turn on the heating in the fall? If you can answer this question with "yes", your dog is probably reacting to the lack of humidity at home.
If your dog slowly loses its winter coat with the first rays of spring, it can also lead to dandruff. The skin also prepares for the change of seasons and rejects old cells.
New or wrong diet
Have you tried a new food recently? Each feed is composed differently, has different ingredients and nutritional values. If important nutrients are missing, dandruff can form due to an undersupply. This is especially the case with older dogs.
Dandruff in puppies
Dandruff is nothing to worry about in puppies. The little four-legged friends are in the middle of growth and the nutrition has to level off first. So, as long as your little family member doesn't have any other symptoms, dandruff in puppies is completely normal and will go away on its own over time.
Too frequent or incorrect grooming
Do you bathe your dog very often? Then the skin and fur of your four-legged friend may simply be overused. Do not bathe the fur nose too often and then let the fur air dry. Only use special shampoos that are suitable for dogs. Conventional shampoos have a different pH value, destroying the coat's natural protective function and drying out the skin.
Moving, new environment, stress
Have you recently moved? Or do you have new roommates or pets? Psychological causes such as stress can also lead to increased dandruff formation.
Allergies, skin diseases, parasites
Certain diseases or allergies also cause dandruff and dry skin. Mites, fleas or other uninvited guests can also be triggers. If you have such a suspicion: off to the vet!
Dandruff and dry skin – tips and home remedies to try
Dandruff usually occurs when your fur nose also has dry skin. However, you should go straight to the vet if your fur nose shows other symptoms, the skin is already bleeding or bald spots have formed. If your darling is behaving normally except for the dandruff, try the following tips:
Brush the fur
Regular grooming is the A&O - this also includes brushing the fur. This not only removes the scales in the fur, but also stimulates blood circulation and accelerates cell renewal. When the coat is changing, regularly use the brush to help your four-legged friend change their coat. Make sure the brush is soft and gives way so you don't irritate the skin.
Keep your paws off conventional shampoos
Every now and then your four-legged friend also needs to be bathed. Do not use a conventional shampoo for your fur nose. This usually contains soap, perfumes and other additives and leads to irritation and allergies. Use neutral dog shampoos or our shower tabs. They are perfume and odor-free and care for the fur without disturbing the natural protective function. With the Shower Tabs the smells that your four-legged friend has collected in his fur on all his adventures also disappear.
Watch the humidity
If you notice the dandruff problem, especially in winter, the heating air is probably drying out the skin of your four-legged friend. Set up a humidifier so that your loved one's skin doesn't dry out any further. If you don't have one, place bowls of water near the heater and air several times a day. A pleasant level of humidity is also beneficial for all residents of the house.
Care for the dog's skin
For dry skin, special sprays are suitable for moisturizing your dog's skin. Our Skin Care Pro Spray against dry and scaly skin is ideal here. Due to the natural ingredients, there is no further irritation of the skin and with the spray head you can get through even the fluffiest of fur. Provide the dry skin of your four-legged friend with sufficient moisture and care. Goodbye itching!
Salmon oil as a feed additive
When choosing the food, make sure that it contains all the nutrients your darling needs. An undersupply of nutrients also leads to dandruff formation. salmon oil for example, contains polyunsaturated omega fatty acids, strengthens skin, coat and bones and tastes super delicious. Hmmm!
Do you suspect an allergy as the cause of the dandruff? Then rinse the paws of your fur nose with clear water after the walk. In this way you avoid that certain grasses or pollen are dragged into the dog basket. You can find out what to look out for if you suspect an allergy in our related blog post “allergies in dogs” read.
My dog has dandruff - do I need to go to the vet?
As you can see, the dandruff on your four-legged friend can have many different reasons. Fortunately, most of these are harmless and disappear quickly. So if your darling only has dandruff every now and then, there is no reason to panic. Try our tips and the dandruff will soon be forgotten.
However, if you notice the following symptoms or behavior with your fur nose, you should make an appointment with the uncle doctor as soon as possible:
- Your dog regularly has a lot of scales
- The skin of your fur nose is inflamed
- The skin is bloody or has a scab on it
- Your dog has bald patches on its fur
- Your dog scratches frequently
- Your dog is behaving differently than usual
- Someone else in your family has skin problems
Dandruff and dry skin – usually nothing to worry about
In summary: There are a variety of possible causes for dry skin or dandruff on your dog and most of them are harmless. So there's no need to panic if you come across some dandruff. However, keep a close eye on your dog - if you notice any other behavioral changes, you should go to the vet.