Just like the human version, dog dandruff results from flaky, dry skin. If your dog suffers from dandruff, various natural cures can ease the condition. Some remedies work from the inside out, improving coat quality by boosting nutrition and overall health. Others rely on topical application.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If your pooch isn't getting enough of these essential nutrients, the result can be dry, itchy skin and dandruff. Since omega-3 fatty acids are light and heat sensitive, they don't do well during the commercial dog food manufacturing process, so supplementation is needed. Fish oil capsules are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. So is borage oil, which comes from the seeds of the borage plant and is also available in capsule form. Open and mix these capsules into your dog's food. You can also rub fish oil into his skin to heal dryness, but it will make him smell.
Vitamin E aids dry skin issues from the inside and the outside. Give your dog between 200 and 400 international units of vitamin E a day, depending on his size. If you take this antioxidant, you can put the same gel caps in your dog's food. Use a vitamin E lotion or cream and gently massage it into his dry skin.
Plants and Minerals
Some common herbs and minerals support good skin quality, used either internally or externally. An oat bath can alleviate dry skin, and adding oats to the diet also helps. Apply topical aloe vera gel to soothe your dog's dry skin and reduce any itchiness from dandruff. Supplementing with phosphorus aids in dandruff prevention. Before beginning any kind of supplementation, speak to your vet for proper dosing and any contraindications.
Brush your dog regularly to get rid of dandruff. Excessive bathing can dry out skin, so don't overdo the baths unless Fido is really dirty. Try massaging him with a mixture of white vinegar and lemon juice, which eliminates dandruff. Make sure that his sleeping quarters stay clean, and wash his bed, blankets or anything else he sleeps on regularly.
Low humidity makes dry skin conditions worse. If that's a problem in your home, install a humidifier to add moisture to the air, especially in your dog's sleeping areas.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.