Dandruff in dogs: this could be the reason

Help, my dog ​​has dandruff! When bored and bored. Canine dandruff occurs in all age groups and breeds. The skin is the body’s largest organ and is often referred to as the “mirror of the inside”. In this post, we’ll break down what causes scaly skin and what you can do to prevent dandruff in dogs.

Dandruff is eliminated, that is, dead skin cells. In the simplest case, they can be caused by dry skin in dogs. Especially in winter due to the dry air from the heating. However, dandruff in dogs is usually the result of other causes, including skin and metabolic diseases.

If dry, itchy, or scaly skin is a big problem for your dog, you need to educate yourself about the causes, symptoms, and best treatment options for your pet. It’s best to visit a vet to discuss the excuse and proper treatment.

recognize scales

If you’re not sure if your dog has dandruff, check the coat and skin for white and/or yellow patches on various parts of the body. With dark hairs these are fairly easy to recognize, with light hairs you have to look a little closer. If you clearly see dry, visible scaling, this is called seborrhea sicca (keratinization disorders).

If you unravel a lot of sticky spots in the fur, it could also be mites. They feed on the scales and also lay their eggs in the fur. Mites and seborrhea can also encourage itching in your dog.

causes of dandruff

Like humans, dandruff is dead skin cells that occur after the skin naturally regenerates. So a small amount of scale is not a big problem and can be removed quite easily by brushing with a Brush* (from Amazon) to be brushed. At the same time, the skin is massaged and blood circulation is improved.

However, dry skin could actually be a sign of a bigger problem with your four-legged comrade. Dry skin is often a symptom with many causes. Allergies, parasites, metabolic disorders or poor nutrition are just some of these causes. Does your dog shed all year round or only at certain times of the year?

A dog sheds its coat twice a year. In spring and autumn. Which is a big burden on your four-legged comrade’s body and skin. For this, he needs, among other things, a lot of protein and zinc, as well as certain fatty substances. Furthermore, the skin benefits from unsaturated fatty acids, found mainly in rapeseed, linseed or salmon oil. You should ask your veterinarian about possible dietary supplements.

Sometimes dandruff in dogs is also caused by environmental conditions such as insensitive weather, dry air heating and excessive bathing. Many dog ​​shampoos are based on the same chemical-soaked formula as cheap discount store soaps. Absolutely zero that the dog’s skin tolerates too much.

The shampoos you use are also not suitable for your four-legged friend. Human skin is more acidic than that of dogs, depending on the breed and size, in the alkaline fillet.

Inappropriate substances can not only dry out the skin and promote dandruff, but also trigger allergies. Here we recommend you to read our article on “Dog care – natural cosmetics instead of chemical club”. Here is a brief summary of the most common causes of dandruff in dogs:

  • Hunger: lack of vitamin A or zinc​
  • stress or boredom
  • dry heating air
  • metabolic disorder
  • Inflammation of the sebaceous glands
  • Infections, fungal infection
  • allergies
  • Seborrhoe
  • parasites like dog fleas
  • hormonal imbalance
  • coat change


Dogs, like humans, can have allergies. They are even one of the most common skin diseases in dogs. Dry skin, and therefore dandruff, can be triggered by victuals, pollen, dust, grass, pet dander, victual components and flea sap, among other things. We have published a complete article on dog allergies for you here.

If left untreated, an allergy can lead to skin infection, causing dry skin, itching, redness and inflammation. A veterinarian should be consulted here.

Treat dandruff in dogs

Since the causes are multiple, some of which are dangerous, it is important that you take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice a change in the coat or skin or an increase in itching, itching, redness or excessive licking.

You should provide the veterinarian with a detailed account of when the symptoms started, why they developed, and why your dog’s behavior has changed recently. The appearance of skin problems can change very quickly with minor changes, licking or scratching, so your veterinarian is dependent on your explanations as to why the changes are developing.

The vet can do a blood test to check for a metabolic disorder or starvation. If an allergy is suspected, an allergy test can be carried out, which can often only be interpreted in connection with the corresponding time course or the corresponding food and symptoms.

Unfortunately, testing alone is often not meaningful enough. Especially in the case of developing intolerance, often only the elimination diet (with further provocation) can promise a definitive diagnosis


There are many causes that can trigger canine dandruff. It is important that you discover the causes and seek the judgment of the veterinarian in order to rule out diseases. This text was written by the veterinarian Dr. Berit Ullmann revised.

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