Got Dandruff?

We all love our pets. Even though we often walk away with a new layer of dog or cat fur attached our clothing, that doesn’t stop us from petting or getting sloppy puppy kisses!

Of course, if your dog or cat suffers from dandruff, you walk away with more than just fur. Often you’ll walk away with your clothing speckled with white, flaky, skin particles, that make your friends and family cringe.

But what if there was a way to greatly reduce the amount of dandruff your pet has or even get rid of it all together? The first step is knowing WHY your pet has dandruff.

What is Dandruff?

Don’t be alarmed. Those white flaky spots you see littering your clothes and furniture are nothing more than clumps of skin cells that have dried up and fallen off of your pet’s skin. This is a common condition sometimes referred to seborrhea and many pets suffer from it. It is not typically painful for your pet, but it can lead to itching and excessive scratching in severe cases, and lead to allergic reactions for those pet owners that who are susceptible.

What Causes Dandruff?

Pet dandruff is common and has many different causes. It is important to understand why your pet has dandruff before you can safely and effectively treat it. ALWAYS make sure you consult your veterinarian before trying any new product on your pet.

Grooming

When a pet has dandruff, it is tempting to constantly bathe and groom them to get rid of the debris, but this is likely to actually make it worse. The most common cause of pet dandruff is over or under-grooming your pet and the products you use to groom them. Washing your pet too often and using soaps or shampoos that contain harsh chemicals, can change the pH of your dog or cats skin and cause it to dry out, leading to flaky dandruff and dry itchy patches. Try to find a shampoo or conditioner that is specifically made for dry skin. Oatmeal is great for skin as well as aloe.

If switching to a moisturizing shampoo doesn’t work, then you can also try one that is soap free. Those are typically better for the skin and will dry them out much less. Remember to wash your pet about once a month unless there is a special incidence that requires more frequently. If you do have to bathe more often, then make sure you are using a soap-free shampoo. If that still doesn’t work, your pet’s dandruff may be caused by factors other than grooming.

If the smell is the reason you bathe your pet frequently, then try switching to using a spray "pet cologne" or body spray instead of bathing.

Climate

Just like with humans, weather can greatly affect our skin. If you live in an arid, dry climate, then your pet is going to need a high-quality moisturizing, soap-free shampoo. Likewise, if you live somewhere that has harsh winters, again a soap-free shampoo would be the way to go. Check out our DERMA-SOOTHE Mega Moisture Shampoo. It is soap-free and hypoallergenic. It has Oatmeal and Aloe to hydrate and moisturize your pet's skin, as well as leave them smelling AMAZING! (Pina Colada).

 

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Allergies

Yes, dogs and cats can have allergies. Pet allergies are often caused by the allergens found in pollen, animal dander, plants, and insects, but they can also be allergic to food and medication as well. These allergies can cause symptoms such as excessive itching, scratching, and grooming; rashes; sneezing; watery eyes; paw chewing; and skin inflammation and DANDRUFF. In some cases, dogs have conditions, such as atopic dermatitis that can lead to rashy, itchy skin, dandruff and even behavioral changes such as excessive scratching and licking.

If you suspect this may be the cause of your pets dandruff or skin issues, then make sure you work with your vet in order to identify and rectify the problem.

Diet

Yep. Just like with humans, dogs or cats diet can determine the quality of skin and coat health, not to mention their overall health in general. Most commercial dog foods consist of mostly of low-grade proteins from the recycled scraps at meat processing plants and the “junk” grains that can not be considered safe or acceptable for human consumption. Of course, not all dog foods are created equal and there are some very good, really high-quality foods out there that can cost a pretty penny to feed to your pet regularly. An alternative option would be to give your dog a supplement. You can get them in just about any form, liquid to squirt on food, soft chews like a treat, pills and even powders.

If your pet suffers from dandruff, it may be a good idea to look at trying an Omega Fatty Acid Supplement like our OMEGA MAXX soft chews. Just once a day to help your pet get the nutrition they need to keep their skin and coat looking and feeling healthier, and your pet thinks they are getting a treat!

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So no matter what is causing your pets dry skin and dandruff, it is always important to make sure you discuss the issue with your veterinarian and find possible solutions. The Lively Pets Team is always open and happy to help in any way we can!