It’s a discovery to stop us in our tracks. But finding those white flakes in their coat can have us pressing the dandruff panic button. So what is it really? And can pets even get dandruff?
The answer is below...
Promise not to freak out? Good. Ok…so pets do get dandruff.
But before you hyperventilate, it’s going to be fine.
There are two kinds of seborrhoea (the fancy vet name for dandruff). And only one of them is the fungal type that we humans worry about.
First of all, there’s the DRY dandruff.
And this is what the majority of dogs and cats experience.
The tell-tale signs? Dry white flakes of skin that appear in their fur or on their belly. Just patting them sends these flakes flying! Lovely.
The cause? Well, quite simply, their skin is dry. And those flakes are a sign they’re missing the oils needed to keep the outer layers hydrated. And it’s where 99% of the pet washes on the market do damage. Because they’re detergent based (with coco-glucosides or sodium lauryl sulfates), they actually strip the much needed oils out. It’s also why I created my Drool Nourish My Coat Washes and No Time to Wash sprays to work differently. And nourish these outer layers instead.
The treatment: Bathe them in a nourishing wash that hydrates their skin, rather than drying it out. You can also add additional fish oils to their diet.
Then, there’s the OILY dandruff.
This is more like the human kind of dandruff.
The tell-tale signs? White flakes in their coat but their skin is more greasy, smelly and they’re often itchy.
The cause? Well, this one is usually kicked off by a reaction to what's in the air and what they're walking through. Like hay-fever in people, your dog or cat is reacting to those pollens and spores. The ‘dandruff’ here is their body producing extra skin cells in response to this process.
What to do... I find a twice weekly wash with Drool “Soothe My Skin” can really help. Just leave the foam for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate and remove the loose dandruff. For more extreme, greasy and yeasty skin, your vet can help with tablets and washes.
And yes, the fact your own head is now itchy is definitely ALL in your mind. I’m at least 95% sure anyway…