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Best Dog Shampoo for Dandruff: Dog Dandruff Causes and Treatment

Unfortunately, dandruff isn’t a condition that can affect only people. As a matter of fact, your dog is not protected against dandruff at all. Like in humans, dandruff is a very typical skin condition dogs have. Yes, you’ve read it correctly: it’s a skin condition, but not a matter of poor and or thin hair. Anyway, you are about to learn even more important facts about dog’s dandruff now, as well as some good alternatives that can help you eliminate it. Because, here’s one more common thing between dogs and humans: they both suffer the same way from this really annoying and nasty skin condition. If not treated, dandruff can turn into a real hell for your dog, no matter how strong, what breed or how old it is.

Our Top 5 Choices for the Best dog shampoo for dandruff

NameQualityOur Rating
Pet MD Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo for DogsA+
SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care - Medicated Shampoo for DogsA
Malaseb Shampoo Bayer HealthcareA+
Fresh 'n Clean Fresh ’n Clean® Coat Essentials Purifying Medicated shampooB
Pet Shampoo with Oatmeal & Aloe - Natural Shampoo for All Dogs & CatsB+

Best dog shampoo for dandruff - picture

What is dog dandruff?

The process of shedding the dead skin cells in dogs is called dander, which completely normal, but there are times where the production is getting out of hand.

This is a condition known as seborrhea, as it is referred to as dandruff. The reason behind this health issue is a disorder of the sebaceous glands.

There are two types of dog dandruff- dry and oily, as most animals suffer from both forms.

How can you tell your dog has dandruff?

There’s no such a big difference between dog’s and human dandruff. In both cases, the condition is linked to extra dry skin on the scalp. Dandruff is also a sign for flaky skin. Experts compare it with snow, because when gathered together, the fallen dead cells turn into snow flakes and fall in large pieces. This is dandruff we know in both: humans and dogs.

The first visible signs are clear: that white flakes you see falling on dark surfaces. If your dog has black or brown hair, the dandruff can be seen even, while it’s yet on the skin. However, you can find out about the condition before the flakes become so big. Itching is the top common symptom that occurs due to flaky skin. The drier the dog’s skin becomes, the more often you’ll see it itching. Irritation can become so unbearable sometimes, that you might even see big red rash spots on your dog’s skin, as well as lack of desire to be bathed and played with.

What are the main dog dandruff causes?

If dog has dandruff, it can be spotted way easier than when it occurs with humans, as our furry friends have coats covering their whole bodies.

Sometimes, an inherited form of seborrhea can affect the dog.

The following breeds can inherit this condition more than others:

  • Shar- Peis
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Basset Hounds
  • Dachshunds
  • West Highland White terriers
  • American Cocker Spaniels


There are cases where the condition develops as a secondary symptom when there is an underlying cause. Such underlying causes that leads to dandruff can be the following ones:

  • Muscoloskeletal disease
  • Systemic illnesses
  • Poor diet
  • Infections
  • Parasites
  • Environmental factors
  • Allergies

Generally, the causes of dog’s dandruff are the same as those that cause dandruff to us, people. Below, you can see what the factors that can put your dog at risk of dandruff in advance. So, while there’s a chance, you might be able to stop this really repulsive and in many cases, painful skin condition:

Environmental factors and Allergic reactions

When the seasons change, the climate changes as well, as the cold air of the winter, or the spring allergies can affect seriously.

If you notice that the dandruff showed when the weather became colder, the humidity decreased, or the spring pollen is just around the corner, then the condition might be just in result of allergies or dry skin.

There is a seasonal shedding, which is known to bring dandruff. If you are not grooming your dog often, the built-up dead fur may lead to decreased coat luster, as well as dandruff.

A well-known condition the can affect your dog due to allergies is the atopic dermatitis. It can result in drying your dog’s skin, causing itching, dandruff, redness, inflammation, even infections.

The number of known and unknown allergies is countless, as the one that affect the skin and is very common is definitely flea allergy dermatitis.

If your dog suffers from this health problem, it will be allergic to flea saliva, which can be reason behind the dandruff, itchiness, dry skin and so on symptoms.

On the market, there are many anti-allergy medications, which can help you fight this health issue. But before doing anything, better make an appointment with your vet and find the reason behind the sickness.

It’s important to know that not only skin allergy, but also an inner organism allergic reaction can later cause dandruff. Of course, the most common reason is to see your dog getting an allergy that dries its skin and eventually lead to dandruff.

Allergens and pollens that can cause dandruff to your dog are in most cases the same as those that can cause you this condition. It is natural to see a dog getting dandruff after its owner has it.

However, allergic reaction with dandruff does not on mandatory mean that the dog made a direct contact with the allergen. Sometimes, a touch is not needed for the allergic dandruff to appear.


 The most common reason behind your dog’s dandruff can surely be the mange and other types of parasites. This makes a lot of owners to think about the phrase “mangy mutt”.

If you notice irritation, pimples, fur loss, itchiness, then you have work with sarcoptic mange. The other name of this mange is canine scabies, as it is more severe than the old dandruff, which is a regular one.

The mite placed in charge when it comes to fur loss, scaly and dry skin is known as Canine demodicosis, or mostly called Demodex, even Demodex mange. If this mite attacks the dog’s system, you will notice small lesions around the eyes and the face, as sometimes they can be spotted on other parts of the dog’s body.

Other form of dandruff is the cheyletiellosis, or the so called walking dandruff. The mite will affect your dog’s skin and lead to scaling and itchiness. Coming from its name, you should know that the condition is very contagious when it comes to animal communities.

Cheyletiella mites
These are living creatures, extra small that might recall you the nasty dusty mites. However, dusty mites are easier to be removed with material at hands, while once the Cheyletiella mites settle in dog’s coat, they start spreading extra fast and only a vet can usually help you. The Cheyletiella mites’ eggs are extra tiny, but they are also seen as the typical dandruff flakes.

Skin infection
Whether it is a sign of bacteria, or fungal disease, the skin infection is a serious condition that can lead at least to dandruff. So if you see dandruff, sometimes, it might be an alarm for even more serious illness you should be worrying about.

Extra dry air
The low humidity in the region, or the living space you live is a classical explanation of the nasty dandruff a dog might have. It is good to use air humidifiers at least at home – not only in the sake of your dog’s health, but also in the name of your family’s wellness.

Bad nutrition style
If you don’t feed your dog properly, not only dandruff, but its overall health will soon worsen. Of course, like in people, dog’s skin is the first area of its body that will show the lack of vitamins, important amino acids, fats and etc. If you are a newbie in taking care of a dog, there are dozens of simple alternatives to learn about the right way to properly feed your dog.

Do all dogs suffer from dandruff?

Naturally, if everything in your cares and dog’s environment is fine, it might not get any dandruff. However, there are dog breeds that are more likely to suffer from this skin condition. Speaking of which, there are two main groups of dandruff types: oily and dry dandruff.

Dog breeds that are prone to the first type of dandruff are, mainly, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Shar-Peis, West Highland and White Terrier. And dry dandruff is more likely to happen to Dachshunds, Dobermans, German Shepherds and Irish Setters.

Dog dandruff treatment and Remedy

Treating dandruff is not an easy task. You need to be extra patient. But remember: you can’t just let it go. The dandruff is painful and inconvenient for the normal dog’s life and growth. So make sure you read all of the following measures suitable for the dandruff treatment in dogs.

•Visit your vet
He will tell you the best decision especially for your dog’s case. First of all, only a specialist can confirm it’s, indeed, dandruff, and second of all, a vet is able to see those serious that lead to numerous consequences, including skin dehydration.

•Switch to a healthy diet

Making a nutritious diet can be a total game changer, as the lack of nutritious food can lead to dandruff. The level of minerals, proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats should be strictly tracked.

The best way to do that is to find food brand that offers everything in one. The good food is a must. If you prefer homemade foods, you should make an appointment and talk with your vet how to deliver all the important nutritious to your dog.

If your dog is an overweight one, a calorie controlled diet is necessary. The result will be solving related problems with your dog’s health and controlling its weight.

•Take special supplements
Like people, dogs can be also prescribed specially tailored food supplements, made to be added to the meal courses and to improve both: skin and hair condition. If not a vet, ask the drug store’s specialist at least for the best solution for your dog.

•Regular skin and hair cares
Do what you need to do like bathing the dog, gently brushing its coat regularly and applying nourishing conditioners.

Grooming is one of the key factors, if you want to maintain a healthy and shiny coat. You should also brush it once in a while, in order to stimulate the distribution of natural oils, as the massage makes the process even more faster. Natural oils are extremely beneficial, that’s why you should try your best to boost their production.

The way you brush the coat is also important, as you need right method and nice brush. You should find the golden mean, as soft brushing won’t be that efficient, as the stiff one may be too harsh.

•Specialized Anti- Dandruff dog shampoo
In most cases, dog owners are recommend to use dog shampoos for dandruff. They are effective and affordable. You can find a big variety of such products on the market.

On the market, you will be able to find variety of shampoos that will help you take control over the dandruff. The good thing about those shampoos is that they will immediately affect your dog’s skin and relieve the flakiness and irritation, as the skin will be moisturized.

When you are giving your dog a bath, use the dandruff shampoo, which will deal with the dandruff menace. You should use only shampoos specially made for dogs, as the human ones can be too harsh for the dog’s skin.

Ingredients in Dog Shampoos you should avoid

Recent research shows that parabens are able to act like the effects of estrogen, as this can contribute to breast cancer.

Although mineral oil that comes from petroleum are often seen on plenty of baby shampoos, it is for sure not recommended to use them on your dog’s coat and skin.

DEA cocamide or just DEA is known to make more foam in shampoos, but you should also be aware that a recent research showed it can act like a carcinogen.

Sodium laurel sulfate (sometimes spelled sulphate) can damage your dog’s digestive system, if somehow your dog intakes a part of the shampoo while you are giving it a bath. Sulfate is also known for causing eye irritation. If you are bringing your dog to the groomers, always ask them about the products they are about to use and discuss your dog’s skin conditions, just to be sure everything will go as planned.

The breed of the dog is also extremely important, as some of them need to have their coat brushed before getting a bath. Brushing your dog’s fur after their coat is already dried will stimulate the production of natural oils.

Using Human Shampoo?

 You should never attempt to try using human shampoo, as they are all specially made only for human’s needs. It is familiar to many that the top layer of the dog’s skin is acidic, as it protects all the other layers from variety of bacteria and viruses. You need to make sure that the top layer is always washed with proper products, as it affects the whole outer body and its hydration.

That’s why using dog shampoos is a must, as they are made in a way that will moisturize this layer enough, so that way the production of natural oils is stimulated. Bathing washes away a part of this layer, so making sure that you don’t damage the others is an important step.

Another important thing for you to know is the right pH the shampoo should have- for dogs, pH7 is just fine. If you cannot find information about the pH on the packaging, there should be a state which says the pH balance is good for your dog.

Dog’s skin has the same feature as ours- it absorbs the things it has contact with. Finding the right shampoo with proper scents and colors is also substantial factor. Some artificial colors and scents are known to contribute to allergies, even cancer.

The list of our pick-ups for the best dog dandruff shampoo

As the tradition goes, we will offer you an improvised list with our own pick-ups for the best dog shampoo for dandruff search. Here are the products we have come up after a detailed research of the market:

TrueBlue pure and sure puppy shampoo

One great suggestion you should definitely check out is the TrueBlue pure and sure puppy shampoo.

This particular product is perfect choice for every dog owner, as it is made only from natural and bio-degradable ingredients, such as oatmeal, sunflower, milk, honey. The combination is truly magnificent, as every ingredient plays a role: The delicate skin of your dog or puppy will be moisturized and cleaned gently thanks to the milk, as the nice smell and soft coat will be guaranteed from the honey. The shampoo is suitable for every type of breed and fur, because of the oats and their anti-inflammatory properties. The shampoo will deliver many vitamins to the skin, such as Vitamins A,D and E, all because of the sunflower.


  • Made only from natural and 100% Bio-Degradable ingredients.
  • It is easy to rinse, as it is also tear free.
  • The pH balance is perfect.


You just cannot go wrong with choosing this shampoo, as its beneficial sides are all you want. Your dog will get nice and shiny coat, that will smell unbelievably great. The milk and honey used in this product are the perfect combination, as they bring amazing results. If your puppy has a dense coat, this shampoo is definitely what you should try out. Last, but not least, the scent is remarkable.
Click Here to Buy from Amazon

Pet MD Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo for Dogs

Effective for Seborhhea, Dandruff, Mange, Itch Relief, Acne and Folliculitis, Citrus Scent,
Pet MD benzoyl peroxide shampoo is a great harmless and efficient degreasing shampoo that is also made to eliminate the causes and the signs of dandruff. Also, it offers fast itching relief, as well as deduction of scaling associated with skin infection, seborrheic disorders and follicular plugging on dogs and cats. The main ingredient: benzoyl peroxide is a typical agent that works against oily dandruff type. In addition to this element, the shampoo contains natural elements with antiseptic properties. There are no soaps that will dry your dog’s skin and the smell of the product is just wonderful!
Click Here to Buy from Amazon

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs

The product is made to deal with the most common skin issues that a dog may suffer from. Not only will it get your dog nice and clean, but it will also help them to feel better. It can treat mange, scaly skin, skin infections and much more. Of course, the effect against dandruff is the most impressive thing customers claim to observe after a month of usage. The formula has a nice smell that is combined with micro elements for deep cleansing and finest nourishment of the skin and the shed.
Click Here to Buy from Amazon

Malaseb Shampoo Bayer Healthcare

If you ask a vet what product to buy in order to help your dog with the dandruff, he or she might probably point you this one. Indeed, it is one of the most popular shampoos for clean and dandruff-free skin and hair a dog will enjoy. The big bottle is very optimal and budget-friendly. You can have it for half an year without even worrying about itching or unpleasant sense your dog might be disturbed by.
Click Here to Buy from Amazon

Fresh ‘n Clean Fresh ’n Clean® Skin & Coat Essentials Purifying Medicated shampoo

What we love about this product is its universal formula. It works with numerous skin conditions and is suitable for both: dogs and cats. The product is made of harmless non-toxic agents and it leaves the skin fresh and nice-smelling. Its salacity acid is the main ingredient that mainly fights dry dandruff.
Click Here to Buy from Amazon

Pet Shampoo with Oatmeal & Aloe – Natural Shampoo for All Dogs & Cats

Those of you, who prefer natural detergents against dandruff and dirt their pets carry, should be considering this product immediately. The shampoo smells wonderfully nice and it has only organic elements with fact action against itching, irritation and dryness. The price is very affordable and you can find this product in almost all drug and vet stores or:
Click Here to Buy from Amazon

Choose the best dog shampoo for dog dandruff as soon as possible. Let your dog enjoy its life with you with no more skin discomfort like this!

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