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Dogs & Puppies : Health & Vet Care Last Updated: Oct 25th, 2006 - 08:57:26



How to Treat Your Dog's Dandruff: 7 Tips
By Chester Duke
Feb 12, 2006, 22:44

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Dandruff mostly occurs when the dog’s skin cells naturally form, die, and flake off at a very fast rate.  The following are seven suggestions on how to keep your dog’s coat clean and dandruff free:

1.  Because dandruff is a sign of flaky skin, you need to give your dog regular baths to wash away the flakes before they start to accumulate.  Giving your dog a bath once a month during the winter season and twice a month in the summer time will help clear up the problem for good.  Always use warm (not very hot) water to bathe your dog.  Use a mild shampoo like regular baby shampoo and massage it thoroughly into his skin.  Make sure that you rinse and dry well.

2.  If using a regular baby shampoo does not get rid of the dandruff, try using a pet dandruff shampoo that contains sulfur or salicylic acid.  Leave the lather on for about 5 minutes to give the active ingredients time to work.  Medicated shampoos are available online and in pet stores.  Do not use medicated shampoos intended for humans since they can be harmful to your dog.  In addition, to prevent the dandruff from getting worse, do not use shampoos that contain insecticide such as most flea shampoos.  These shampoos leave your dog’s skin very dry, even those with added moisturizers.

3.  You may use the same colloidal oatmeal soap that people use for dry skin to help relieve flaking.  Oatmeal soap is great for dogs with dandruff because it moisturizes dry skin.

4.  You can spray your dog’s coat with an oil rinse, available online and in pet stores.  Spraying him with an oil rinse helps lubricate the skin and lock in moisture.  This is especially important if you live in a dry climate.

5.  You can also rub your dog’s coat with the same moisturizing lotion or cream that you use on your hands; this gets the moisture down really deep. 

6.  Regular grooming is also necessary in order to help distribute natural oils evenly over your pet’s dry skin, which helps keep dandruff down.  You need to choose a brush that is not too harsh.  Test the softness of the brush by rubbing it on the back of your hand to see if it hurts.  If it is soft enough to use on your own head, then it is going to feel good for your dog.

7.  Some generic foods do not provide the full amount of vitamins and minerals that your dog needs in order to maintain a healthy skin.  Switching to a high quality name brand food will help eliminate the problem.  Sometimes, dandruff occurs because dogs are not getting enough fat in their diets.  You need to consult with a vet before giving your dog any kind of supplement.

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