What is dandruff in dogs?

Just like us dandruff in dogs is an overproduction if oil on the scalp. Usually, dandruff is not serious and shouldn’t be cause for concern. We would recommend seeking vet advice if the dandruff doesn’t improve or you are worried about other symptoms.

Most dogs will clean themselves routinely and this will remove a small amount of dandruff. If you see a lot of dandruff this could be a sign of an underlying cause or a lack of self- grooming (due to another condition).

What are the causes?

Causes of dandruff in dogs are varied. The major causes include:


During winter months you may notice and increase in dandruff due to heating being use more and a therefore drier environment.


Mites, fleas, and ringworm can cause dandruff. You may notice excessive itching and even bald patches. 


Itchiness can be a sign of an allergy and dandruff could be part of that reaction. Allergies in dogs can be related to different seasons and there may be other symptoms present (infections for example). 

Hormonal conditions

Diseases that can lead to a comprised immune system such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome also cause dandruff in dogs.


If you dog isn’t getting a balanced diet this can impact on your dog’s skin condition.  Ensuring you dog is getting plenty of omega 3 oils is important. You should seek nutritional advice from your vet if you are unsure.

Lack of grooming

If your dog seems unable to self-groom, then this could be related to other conditions. Pain linked to arthritis could be a cause. You should seek veterinary advice.

How do you treat your dogs dandruff?

Treatment of dandruff in dogs is dependent on the cause of the dandruff. Seeking vet advice is helpful in ensuring you give the appropriate treatment to suit your dog’s circumstances.

Treatments recommended include specialist shampoos, nutritional advice, supplements, and cream to apply to affected areas. Check with your vet first, there are lots of products available online that may not be highly regulated and could make the condition worse.