Like people, dogs and puppies are prone to dry skin, especially during winter months. Sometimes, dog dry skin results in visible white flakes all over the fur, especially if your pup is scratching frequently. Sometimes, these flakes aren't visible until they're all over the couch or dog bed.
Naturally, this leads to a search for puppy dandruff remedies, such as brushing, dietary changes, and washing with medicated shampoo. What will solve dog dry skin issues depends on what is causing them. Note that human shampoo should never be used on dogs or puppies because dog skin pH levels are significantly different than that of humans.
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Dog dry skin causes
Dry air and itching are usually the cause of dog dandruff. Dead skins cells shed from the surface of the skin and flake, sometimes on the fur or furniture. Dietary deficits can contribute to dog dry skin too. For instance, both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E promote a healthy coat and immune system. Check if your dog's food is deficient in these nutrients or consider adding supplements, like cod liver oil, to your dog's diet after veterinary or nutritional consultation.
A vet visit is definitely in order if the situation persists. Some dog dry skin and dandruff issues are a result of more serious illnesses, such as food allergies or intolerances; parasites, like fleas or worms; or an immune system problem, such as thyroid disease. Biting the skin as well as scratching is a problem and might be "walking dandruff." This condition is actually an infestation of highly contagious mites, specifically cheyletiella mites, that can spread to other pets. Clearly, all these issues require advanced medical diagnosis and treatments.
Puppy dandruff remedies
Sometimes, dog dry skin issues resulting in puppy dandruff are caused by a buildup of a dead coat — an undercoat of shed fur that needs to be released along with dead skin cells. Daily brushing will not only reduce fur buildup but will add shine and luster to your dog's coat. Brushing helps remove dirt, debris, and excess fur and stimulates the top layer of the skin, called the epidermis. Increased oil production results, which adds shine to the fur and moisture to the skin, reducing flaking.
A regular brushing routine helps. If you can brush your dog with one hand and comb with the other, that's even better. Start with the coarsest brush first and then use a softer brush. End with a final rub with a cloth or towel, which removes dirt, stimulates oil glands, and increases blood circulation. Also, increasing the humidity level of the air at home can help both you and your dog feel less dry.
Dog dandruff shampoo
Sometimes, simply bathing your dog more frequently can help cure or prevent dry, flaky skin. However, sometimes bathing your dog less frequently is the answer because excessive bathing can dry out skin. Experimentation might be necessary along with documenting the number of days between baths, noting the results. Only use dog shampoo on dogs — not shampoo intended for humans — and this includes dandruff shampoo.
There is such a thing as specially formulated dog dandruff shampoo, but medicated dog shampoos might not be necessary. First, try dog shampoos designed to relieve itchy skin and promote moisture retention, such as oatmeal-based shampoos. Most canine hypoallergenic shampoos include oatmeal as an active ingredient because of its soothing properties. Look for dog shampoos that are detergent-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free because these chemicals are very drying for a dog's skin.