Help My Dog has Dandruff!

Help my Dog Has Dandruff

Help My Dog has Dandruff!

I have an Australian Shepherd and she has extremely dry skin. I live in Nevada where the weather is hot and dry. All over his coat is a bunch of white flakes. I’ve used a dry skin dog shampoo a few times now, but it’s not working. Do you have any suggestions?
– Nick

Hello Nick,

It’s always troubling when our pets have problems. I can also understand your frustration when you think you’re trying the right things but not getting the right results.

First off have you had a vet look at your dog? Some mite infestations can resemble dandruff. I don’t think that’s your case since you live in a particularly dry climate (mites prefer damp locations) but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Second, stop the shampooing. While an occasional shampoo with product meant for dogs is OK, over-shampooing even with a product designed for dogs can often lead to further problems. Shampoos strip the skin of vital oils, and even the gentlest ones if used too often can have a negative impact.

You didn’t mention what your dog is eating. This is important; one of the leading causes of skin problems is nutritional deficiencies. Make sure your food has protein as its first ingredient. If it doesn’t I’d encourage you to look at this article dealing with proper food choices.

Since the damage is done already, we are looking for the right way to treat the problem. I’d suggest starting her out on an Omega-3 supplementation routine and make sure she is getting sufficient Vitamin A in her diet. The best Omega-3 source is fish oil; you should be able to get it at your local pet food store. I prefer wild salmon oil but ultimately you need to choose one your dog will like. Try taking your dog with you and having her smell the cap, if she wants to lick it then she should eat it.

As far as the Vitamin A you have a couple choices. You can supplement her food with a bit of extra liver once or twice a week. Liver is a great source of Vitamin A. Or you could add a daily vitamin supplement into her diet. Pet-Tabs original formula has 1000IU of vitamin A per tablet along with a good amount of vitamins D and E.

Do you groom your dog regularly? Regular grooming is essential for good coat health. Make sure you are grooming her on a regular basis and I would suggest massaging some liquid vitamin E into her skin during your grooming sessions. Vitamin E is great for healing dry and chapped skin. Vitamin E oil can be found at most department stores or your local drug store. The same Vitamin E that works for humans is fine for dogs.

Make sure you continue to supplement once her coat has cleared up! By continuing on the plan above you can prevent future occurrences of dry skin and dandruff.