Dog Dandruff: What is it and how to get rid of it?

Dog scratching from dog dandruff

Dog Dandruff: What is it and how to get rid of it?

This blog is for educational purposes only. The VMD considers that veterinary products containing Cannabidiol are veterinary medicines that require a prescription in the UK. 

You have noticed your dog has dry flaky skin on their back or has been leaving flakes around the house and now you are wondering what it is. Like humans, dandruff is a common issue for pets. It can be caused by a variety of things, which we will take a look at in more detail later. Some dogs might only experience occasional flare ups however persistent flaking and/or itchiness may indicate that something else is going on.

In this blog post we will discuss the different causes of dog dandruff, as well as some home remedies you can use to treat it. We will also cover when to see a vet if your dog’s dandruff isn’t getting better.


Dog dandruff in black Labrador

What is dog dandruff?

Dandruff is a condition that causes flaky, dry skin on the scalp. While it is most common in humans, it can also affect dogs, and can have a variety of different causes. Dandruff is medically referred to as seborrheic dermatitis. Sebaceous glands on your dog’s skin create sebum, an oil that keeps the skin supple and moisturised. A skin imbalance results from these glands overproducing sebum. Seborrhea sicca (dry seborrhea) and seborrhea oleosa are the two types of seborrheic dermatitis (oily seborrhea). Dogs may possess a mix of the two.


Is dog dandruff the same as human dandruff?

No, dog dandruff is not the same as human dandruff. While both conditions can cause flaky skin on the scalp, they are caused by different factors and respond to different treatments.


What causes dog dandruff?

Dog skin irritations, like dandruff, have a number of different causes with the most common including dry air, seborrhea, skin infections, allergies, and more.

It is important to identify what may be causing your dog’s dandruff, as different conditions will require different treatments:

Dog dandruff

Dogs with dry skin, or those exposed to dry air, are more prone to dandruff. This is especially common during the winter months when humidity levels are low and heaters are running.


Seborrhea is a condition that causes excessive skin shedding and can lead to dandruff. It can be caused by hormonal changes, allergies, or skin infections.


Dogs with underlying skin infections can also develop dandruff as the infection spreads over the surface of the skin.


Allergic reactions are another possible cause of dandruff in dogs. Dog dandruff caused by allergies will often be accompanied by other allergy symptoms, such as itchiness, redness, and irritation.

In addition to these common causes, there are also a number of home remedies that can help reduce or treat your dog.


Possible Treatments for dog dandruff

If your dog is struggling with dandruff, there are a number of home remedies that you can try. Some effective options include bathing and grooming regularly, applying aloe vera or rosehip oil, using oatmeal to help relieve itchiness or exploring other potential natural remedies, including CBD and CBDA.

However, if your dog’s dandruff does not improve with these home remedies, it is important to see a vet for further treatment.


medical dog bath against dandruff
Bath & Grooming

Regular bathing and grooming sessions can help remove dead skin cells from your dog’s coat, as well as keep their skin healthy and hydrated.

When looking for dog dandruff shampoo, you want to look for a hypoallergenic formulation that can wash away surface level dog skin irritations and offer a relief from dog itchy skin and dryness. Check out our eco-friendly dog shampoo bar.



CBD and CBDA are natural cannabinoids that may ave the potential to reduce pruritus(1). Pruritus is the medical term for that irritating sensation that makes your pet want to scratch which is associated with itchy skin. Pruritus is also coupled with dry, flaky skin that you see in dog dandruff.

CBD and CBDA affect your dog’s CB1 and CB1 receptors differently and may aid their bodies in different ways. Potential benefits of activating these receptors is relieving dog skin irritations and reducing inflammation which makes this combination a potentially good candidate as a natural remedy for dog dandruff.. Check out our blog on CBD & CBDA to learn more about these cannabinoids.

Aloe Vera & Rosehip oil
Aloe vera & Rosehip OIl

Both aloe vera and rosehip oil are natural moisturisers that can help keep your dog’s skin hydrated and prevent dandruff. 

Rosehip oil contains carotenoids, which help keep your skin fresh and healthy by creating new skin cells. Rosehip oil also contains vitamin F, which helps trap moisture in your skin and protect your skin against damage.



Oatmeal is a gentle and effective treatment for itchiness, making it a great option for dog dandruff. How to apply oatmeal on your dog will depend on their skin type and condition, so be sure to check with your vet for guidance.

You can either use oatmeal on its own, for example an oatmeal bath, or find a product that contains oatmeal and other natural ingredients to support their skin. 

When to see a vet?

If your dog is struggling with dandruff, it is important to see a vet as soon as possible. This will allow them to assess the underlying cause of your dog’s dandruff and recommend the best treatment options. Some conditions, such as skin infections or allergies, may require prescription medications or advanced treatments, so it is important to seek professional help when necessary. With the right care and attention, your dog can say goodbye to dandruff for good!


Looking to learn more about pet wellness?

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Whether your dog is scared of fireworks or left alone, there are many ways you can help them feel more relaxed. 

Read our blog to find out more.

Is your dog struggling to get up off its bed, reluctant to move, and losing interest in their favourite things? Learn about the early research into CBD and how it may help.

Read our blog to find out more.

Emily Clarke

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