What is flaky skin in dogs?
There are lots of other names for flaky skin: scale, scurf, dandruff… whatever you want to call these little clumps of dead skin cells, they can spoil the look of an otherwise flawless, shiny coat. But is it all just a cosmetic problem? Your dog won’t turn a hair at a bit of dandruff on their shoulders but it’s the accompanying irritating itchiness that really gets under their skin.
Dog skin conditions are one of the top reasons a dog visits the vet. Doggy dandruff is a common symptom of sub-standard skin but, thankfully, an easily resolvable one. So what’s the cause and what can be done about it? This quick guide will take you through what to look out for as well as causes of flaky skin, from nutritional deficiencies to too many baths. We’ll give you some tips on how to prevent and treat flaky skin and help get your dog’s skin and coat looking tip-top once more.
- Gedon, N.K.Y., Mueller, R.S. Atopic dermatitis in cats and dogs: a difficult disease for animals and owners. Clin Transl Allergy 8, 41 (2018).
- Marsella R, De Benedetto A. Atopic Dermatitis in Animals and People: An Update and Comparative Review. Vet Sci. 2017;4(3):37. Published 2017 Jul 26. doi:10.3390/vetsci4030037
- Glos K, Linek M, Loewenstein C, Mayer U, Mueller RS. The efficacy of commercially available veterinary diets recommended for dogs with atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. 2008 Oct;19(5):280-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2008.00688.x. Epub 2008 Aug 7. PMID: 18699815.
- Rodrigues Hoffmann A, Patterson AP, Diesel A, Lawhon SD, Ly HJ, Stephenson CE, et al. (2014) The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs. PLoS ONE 9(1): e83197