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How to Treat Dog and Cat Dandruff

Treatments for Pets With Flaky Skin and Dandruff

By Gina Carey. November 06, 2012 | See Comments

How to Treat Dog and Cat Dandruff

Dandruff in cats and dogs can be treated by changing grooming, diet, and other routines. Read more about treating flaky skin in pets.

While all pets experience some amount of dandruff, excessive dander can be a sign that a pet's skin is overly dry, lacking nutrients, or irritated by an elemental cause. Treatment of pet dandruff will help relieve the itching and pain caused by dry, flaking skin.

In most cases, medicine is not needed to treat dandruff in pets. If the cause of cat or dog dandruff is due to grooming, climate, or nutritional issues, the following changes are suggested:

Grooming treatments for pet dandruff

With the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian, you can determine the amount of grooming your pet needs, including baths and brushing. The amount of grooming needed will vary by breed, and you should determine if the grooming products you’re using, such as shampoo, are the cause of dandruff. In some cases, switching products may eliminate dandruff completely. Medical shampoos and moisturizers are available, but consult your veterinarian before testing them.

Climate alleviation for pet dandruff

Overly dry climate conditions don't just affect human skin. Pets that experience dandruff and flaky skin in these conditions may benefit from a humidifier in the home to help circulate moisture in the air.

Dietary treatments for pet dandruff

A simple change in diet can nip dandruff in the bud after just a few weeks. Processed dog food that doesn't provide a balanced amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can result in dry, scaly skin. Deficiency in essential fatty acids like omega-3s is also a common reasons pets develop dandruff. Switching up pet food, providing dietary supplements, and making sure that pets drink enough water are all ways in which you can eliminate dandruff and itchy, flaking skin.

If the cause of pet dandruff is a symptom to a separate medical condition, treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if dandruff persists or is accompanied by other symptoms.

Your vet will do a thorough checkup, and may run tests for thyroid or adrenal issues, such as Cushing's Disease. They may also do a skin scraping and check for parasites such as mites, ringworm, or fleas.

More on Skin Health

Common Skin Problems in Dogs
Food Allergies in Dogs and Cats

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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