Dandruff in dogs and cat dandruff is much like dandruff in humans. It is nothing more than dead skin cells, and it is perfectly normal for your pet to have a bit of dandruff, or dander. However, excess dandruff in pets can be quite distressful for allergy sufferers as well as a sign of an underlying health condition.
If your pet is experiencing raw and extremely itchy skin in addition to dandruff, you will want to seek veterinary help right away. These symptoms can be indicative to such conditions as skin infections or dermatitis (atopic and contact). On the other hand, if the skin appears normal other than the dandruff, the following home dog and cat dandruff treatments may help:
- Change Your Pet’s Diet
In many cases, simply changing your pet’s diet can eliminate cat and dog dandruff. Veterinarians recommend feeding your pet a food that is made using all-natural ingredients and that does not contain any preservatives such as BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin. A few top-quality pet food brands include Innova, Beowulf and Solid Gold.
- The Importance of Omega Fatty Acids
In addition to offering your pet a high-quality food, it is also important to make sure that your dog or cat is getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids in its diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy coat and supple skin. The best sources for Omega-3 include flaxseed oil supplements and fish oil. Simply add a bit to your pet’s food for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
- Maintain Regular Bathing
While bathing your pet with a regular shampoo can worsen its dander condition, moisturizing shampoos can help. Look for an organic pet shampoo that contains oatmeal. Oats are a type of herb that can encourage oil production in skin, which will eliminate dog and cat dandruff. The best thing about oatmeal-based shampoos are that they are gentle enough to treat kitten and puppy dandruff as well.
- Brush Your Pet’s Coat Daily
Daily brushing can also help get rid of dandruff in dogs and cats. This is because as you brush your pet’s hair, you help encourage the distribution of oils throughout its body. This, in turn, will discourage excessive dander by keeping the skin naturally moisturized. Other benefits to daily brushing are eliminating tangles and spotting any problems such as parasites or hot spots.
- When to See the Vet
If you have tried everything described above and your pet still has dandruff or the condition has worsened, you will want to see a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions. As stated above, in some cases, severe dander can be a sign of various health problems. In these cases, your vet will run various tests to determine the problem.
The most important thing for you to keep in mind when treating cat or dog dandruff is to ensure your pet’s health and comfort. Each of the above cat and dog dandruff treatment methods will only take a few moments of your time and can make a significant difference in your pet’s condition. As such, if you follow this advice, your pet will be dander-free in no time.