Dog Dandruff: Symptoms and Causes

Does your dog have dry white flakes appearing on its coat? If you are seeing such for the first time, we are pretty sure it has you worried. This issue can be quite annoying both for you who has to clean up your pet every now and then and for your dog that has to face the discomfort the dandruff is causing. Yes, you read that right; dogs can also get dandruff.

Interestingly, just as it is common among humans, this annoying phenomenon is quite common among man’s best friend. Dandruff are dry white flakes that are composed of skin cells that died, dried off, and have fallen off your dog’s body.

Apart from the appearance of the dry white flakes, there are other symptoms that announce the presence of dandruff in your Fido. To ensure that you don’t miss these, we’ve decided to discuss these symptoms in this article. After that, we turn our attention to the causes of dog dandruff to help you check future reoccurrence. Sounds like a lot to talk about right? So, why don’t we get started right away?


The following are common dog dandruff symptoms:

1. Excessive Flakes

Dogs are known to scratch themselves from time to time which can lead to the appearance of flakes on their coating. However, when the flakes are excessive and appear all across the fur, then it’s a sign that needs to be attended to.

2. Excessive Itching and Scratching

Dogs naturally get itchy which causes them to scratch themselves a lot. However, if your furry pal begins to get itchy and scratchy more than normal, it could be a sign of dandruff which might be caused by an infection, discomfort, etc.

3. Skin Redness

If you notice that your tyke is having red patches on some skin areas, then it could be from excess scratching or an infection. In either case, you need to get your dog medically treated.

4. Hair Loss

Pay close attention to your dog to see if it is losing hair or the fur is getting thin or dull. Sometimes, dandruff just like other skin and medical conditions could be responsible.

5. Odor

When we talk about this, we don’t mean that your pet will have a repulsive and pungent smell. However, its odor/scent will be different especially if it is infected.

6. Discomfort

Your pet might become uncomfortable as a result of dandruff. Some might outrightly refuse to play oreat and will rather lie down lazily.


Now that we know what the symptoms of dog dandruff are, let us look at the causes…

1. Dry Air

It is more likely that that the skin of your pet becomes more dry or cracked during the winter months just like that of humans: Hence, the drier the air, the higher the risk of dandruff.

Therefore, if you live in a dry area, do not place your canine bud close to a heater. Rather than doing that to warm them up, use a blanket. Another thing you can do is to install a humidifier.

2. Poor Diet

If your pup’s diet is poor, it becomes more susceptible to this problem. Always ensure that your pet’s diet is balanced and rich in fatty acids.

While you need your dog to eat well, it shouldn’t overeat as this could lead to obesity or overweight and that is another problem on its own. Click here to read more on how obesity can reduce your dog’s lifespan. You should visit the vet to discuss what food requirements your pal needs so that it has the proper diet.

3. Allergies

This is one of the reasons you should see a vet as they will help you check for any allergies your dog might have. If your Fido has any kind of allergy; be it food or environmental particles such as pollen or dust, it could cause the problem under discussion to arise.

4. Parasites

Parasites such as ticks, fleas, mites, etc. can cause the skin of your tyke to get irritated which, in turn, can cause him to scratch and produce flaking skin.

You should also check carefully to ensure that what you think is just flakes aren’t Cheyletiella mites also known as walker dandruff. You need to discuss with your vet to find a way to treat this; if this is what your dog is facing.

5. Skin Infections

Your canine buddy might have dry, flaky, or irritated skin if it is infected. This infection can be caused by fungus or bacteria. Apart from dryness, flakiness, and irritation, the skin can also get sores, swollen, and even cuts. When this happens, you need to visit a veterinarian.

6. Seborrhea

In some cases, the appearance of dog dandruff is a reaction due to certain medical or genetic conditions. A well-known condition that plagues dogs is seborrhea.

Seborrhea causes young skin cells to move to the skin’s surface way too fast before being matured. As a result of poor development, their cellular structure isn’t strong; hence, they begin to break apart. Oily or greasy skin due to a grease gland that is overactive is another indication that your pooch is suffering from seborrhea. Visit to read more about this condition. This genetic condition is most common in American Cocker Spaniel, West Highland Whiter Terrie, English springer spaniel, and Doberman pinscher than in other dogs.


Dog dandruff is as common among dogs as it is among humans. The symptoms include excessive flakes, excessive scratching, skin redness, hair loss, odor, and discomfort.

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