Dogs, like people, can have dandruff. However, unlike people, they’re not at all embarrassed by it, and they don’t mind it showing up on their dark coat. For their owners, it’s more of a problem. It’s not fun to cuddle and play with your dog, and have little white flakes of skin fall all over you.
What Causes Dandruff In Dogs?
Dandruff and flaky skin in dogs are usually caused by a condition called seborrhea sicca.
Normal round skin cells become dry and flat scales of keratin as they age and move up to the surface of the skin. It’s normal for these scales to flake off. In dogs with seborrhea, the skin cells are too quick to turn into the keratin scales, so there’s an excess of these scales on the skin. They fall off in much larger quantities, causing small white dandruff flakes. These dogs also usually have abnormal oil glands in the skin. The glands don’t produce enough oils, which results in drying and scaling of the skin surface, flaky skin and dandruff.
Some breeds of dogs have a genetic tendency to seborrhea. This is called primary seborrhea, and it’s something that isn’t ever cured, but is just managed. Breeds which suffer from primary seborrhea include German Shepherd Dogs, American Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds and Dachshunds.
Most dogs with flaky skin suffer from secondary seborrhea, where there is a primary underlying disease causing the excessive skin flaking. The primary disease could be as common as a flea allergy, or could be an internal disorder such as an under active thyroid gland, or a nutritional deficiency.
In many cases, the changes to the surface of the skin allow the normal skin micro-organisms to multiply, causing infection. The result is red, itchy, irritated and often painful skin.
Controlling The Crusts
It can be very difficult to treat flaky skin in dogs, and it will take commitment from both you and your vet. It’s important to find out what the underlying cause is, because unless you treat that, you’ll never get the dandruff under control. This can mean blood tests to check hormone levels, low allergy food trials to see if a food allergy is involved, and in extreme cases, a skin biopsy.
While you’re working on that challenge, there are steps you can take to treat the secondary dryness and scaliness that’s affecting your dog’s good looks.
1. If your vet feels there is a secondary infection, he may prescribe antibiotics or anti fungal medication to get that under control.
2. An appropriate shampoo can work wonders in removing excessive skin flakes and making your dog much nicer to hug. Bubbles’n Beads contains some rain forest remedies to help combat skin infections, and also plant ingredients which reduce skin flaking and soothe inflammation. It’s micro beads deliver nourishing vitamins and conditioners to the skin, and it will replenish cells to heal damaged skin.
3. Because seborrhea is usually secondary to an internal problem, it’s important to also treat it internally. Healthy Skin Shiny Coat is an all natural supplement which works from the inside to eliminate toxins that affect your dog’s skin, and relieve itching and inflammation.
Your and your dog’s social life needn’t be affected by his dandruff. By using a combination of Bubbles’n Beads, and Healthy Skin Shiny Coat, you’ll find your dog’s skin is less flaky, and his coat is in great condition. You’ll be proud to be seen with him.