Dandruff and Pets

3 min read Jan 20, 2022

Both dogs and cats can have dandruff,also known as seborrhea.Although dandruff is not visually appealing, it alone is not often a serious condition. Essentially, dandruff is an indicator your dog or cat’s skin is dry. Your dog or cat may have flaky skin, where you may notice small pieces of dry skin when you groom your pet.

However, dandruff can be a sign of other skin or internal issues, so it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian to ensure it is only dry skin and not caused by another underlying condition.

Conditions that Can Cause Cat and Dog Dandruff:

  • Sunburn
  • Parasites such as ringworm, ticks or mites
  • Bites from fleas, lice and mites
  • Allergy to food, grooming product, carpet, etc.
  • Thyroid issues

Dandruff can also present itself in two different forms: oily and dry. Here is a list of dog breeds that are prone to oily or dry dandruff.

Dog Breeds Prone to Oily Dandruff:

  • Basset Hounds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • English Springer Spaniels
  • Labrador Retreivers
  • Sharp-Peis
  • West Highland White Terriers

Dog Breeds Prone to Dry Dandruff:

  • Dachshunds
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds
  • Irish Setters

Tips for Relieving Pet Dandruff:

  • Groom your pet - brushing you pet on a daily basis is extremely important to the health of your pet. Brushing your pet not only makes your pet feel better but it also assists in distributing the natural oils in your pet’s skin throughout her coat. Be certain to choose the brush right for your pet. Choosing a brush which is not suited to your pet may do more harm than good.
  • Give your pet a bath - this may also assist in reducing or eliminating dandruff. Search for a moisturizing pet shampoo and conditioner to soothe your pet’s skin. You may also want to search for products specifically designed to reduce or eliminate dandruff. While regular baths are important, be certain not to give your pet too many baths. Over-bathing your pet can cause medical problems due to a change in the pH of your pet’s skin.
  • Feed a well-balanced diet - assists with dandruff as well. Pets require a certain amount of fat in their diet to maintain healthy skin and coat. Switching to a high quality pet food and/or supplementing their diet with necessary oils may help their skin.

Home-Remedies for Dog and Cat dandruff:

  • Homemade Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Coconut Oil Massage
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Astringent
  • Lime Juice Rinse

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance 

Looking for more ways to keep your pets happy and healthy? Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  We offer dog insurance and cat insurance policies for your furry family members.  Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.