If you find small white dots in your dog's fur, they are probably dandruff. However, the dead skin cells are nothing to worry about. There are many reasons for dandruff and many of them are completely harmless. What are the causes and when should you take your dog to the vet - time for an overview!
Help! What causes dandruff in dogs?
Tiny white dandruff on your dog's coat is perfectly normal at first. Dandruff is nothing more than dead skin. The cells of the skin regularly regenerate and the old skin cells are shed. Every dog has dandruff from time to time and it usually disappears on its own. If your four-legged friend has dandruff, it is normal for it to disappear.
However, if your four-legged friend has particularly many or very frequent dandruff, you should start looking for the cause. This applies all the more if you notice other changes in your furry friend.
Possible causes of dandruff in dogs
Dandruff in your dog's coat can have many causes. Often, external factors play a role, but sometimes also nutrition or mental stress. Dry skin on your dog can cause dandruff.
Dandruff usually occurs when your dog also suffers from dry skin. The explanation is quite simple: dry skin causes a nasty itch. Bello, Luna and Co scratch at the dry spots, the dead skin cells come off and end up in the fur.
Heating air in winter
Does your pet start shedding as soon as you turn up the heating in autumn? If you can answer "yes" to this question, your dog is probably reacting to the lack of humidity at home
If your dog slowly loses his winter coat with the first rays of spring, dandruff can also occur. The skin also prepares for the change of season and sheds old cells
New or wrong diet
Have you tried a new food recently? Every food is different in composition, ingredients and nutritional values. If important nutrients are missing, dandruff can occur due to an undersupply. This is especially the case in older dogs.
Dandruff in puppies
With puppies, dandruff is no cause for concern. The little four-legged friends are in the middle of their growth and their diet has to settle down first. So as long as your little family member has no other complaints, dandruff is completely normal in puppies and will disappear on its own over time.
Too frequent or incorrect grooming
Do you bathe your dog very often? Then your dog's skin and coat may simply be overstressed. Don't bathe your dog too often and let the coat air dry afterwards. Only use special shampoos that are suitable for dogs. Conventional shampoos have a different pH value, destroy the coat's natural protective function and dry out the skin.
Moving house, new environment, stress
Have you recently moved house? Or do you have new flatmates or pets? Psychological causes such as stress can also lead to increased dandruff.
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 suspect this: take your pet to the vet!
Dandruff and dry skin - tips and home remedies to try
Dandruff usually occurs when your furry friend also has dry skin. However, you should go straight to the vet if your furry friend has other symptoms, the skin is already bleeding or bald patches have formed. If your pet is behaving normally except for the dandruff, try the following tips:
Brush the coat
Regular grooming is essential - this includes brushing the coat. This not only removes dandruff from the coat, but also stimulates blood circulation and accelerates cell renewal. Regularly brush your dog's coat during the shedding season to support the shedding process. Make sure the brush is soft and yielding so that you don't irritate the skin.
Get your paws away from conventional shampoos
Your four-legged friend will need a bath now and then. Don't use a conventional shampoo for your furry friend. It usually contains soap, perfumes and other additives and can cause irritation and allergies. Use neutral dog shampoos or our shower tabs. They are fragrance and odour-free and care for the coat without disturbing its natural protective function. With the shower tabs, the odours that your four-legged friend has collected in his coat on all his adventures will also disappear.
Watch the humidity
If you notice the dandruff problem especially in winter, the heating air is probably drying out your four-legged friend's skin. Set up a humidifier to prevent your pet's skin from drying out further. If you don't have one, place bowls of water near the heater and ventilate several times a day. A pleasant level of humidity is good for all the inhabitants of the house.
Care for the dog's skin
For dry skin, special sprays can be used to moisturise your dog's skin. Our Skin Care Pro spray is ideal for dry and flaky skin. Due to the natural ingredients, there is no further irritation of the skin and with the spray head you can even get through the fluffiest fur. Provide your four-legged friend's dry skin with sufficient moisture and care. No more itching!
Salmon oil as a food supplement
When choosing food, make sure that it contains all the nutrients your pet needs. An undersupply of nutrients will also lead to dandruff. Salmon oil, for example, contains polyunsaturated omega fatty acids, strengthens skin, coat and bones, and tastes super yummy.Hmmm!
Do you suspect an allergy is the cause of dandruff? Then rinse your cat's paws briefly with clean water after walking. This will prevent certain grasses or pollen from being carried into the dog's basket. You can read more about what to look out for if you suspect an allergy in our related blog post "Allergies in dogs".
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 causes. Fortunately, most of them are harmless and disappear quickly. So if your pet only has dandruff now and then, there's no need to panic. Try our tips and the dandruff will soon be forgotten.
However, if you notice the following symptoms or behaviour in your furry friend, you should make an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible:
- Your dog regularly has a lot of dandruff .
- Your dog's skin is inflamed .
- The skin is bloody or has formed scabs .
- Your dog's fur is bald
- 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 in your dog and most of them are harmless too. 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 behavioural changes, you should go to the vet.