There you are, brushing your darlin' doggie, and you see little white flakes and it's not snowing. Do not jump to the conclusion that your dog has a disease and is flaking away before your eyes. No doubt, it's just doggie dandruff, and you can treat it right at home by making a few adjustments in brushing, bathing and diet.
Basically, ordinary doggie dandruff results from dry skin. Dry skin is caused by dry air, lack of oil, over-bathing, lack of brushing, and deficient diet, all of which can be remedied with home treatments. Your dog's skin is always shedding old skin cells, and replenishing them with new ones, but if the cycle gets out of balance, you may see too many white flakes. Balancing the oils in the dog's skin reduces the problem.
Have you noticed how your dog's coat shines after you brush him? That's because you have stimulated the oil glands in his skin, and the result is a healthy sheen coming from the emollient effect. Brushing also lets air get to the dog's skin where the fur may have been matted, such as under his collar. A daily brushing is best for detangling, air circulation, oil stimulation and shiny coat. But, if you can't brush daily, try not to go more than a week without brushing if you are dealing with doggie dandruff.
Supplement the dog's diet with oil. Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain a good coat and healthy skin, and reduce skin inflammation. Check the ingredients on your dog food container. Eagle Brand dog food, for example, reports that Eagle Pack formulas fall well within the range for a healthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega 3. Your dog boutique and your vet can recommend Omega 3 and Flax Oil supplements if your dog's diet isn't adequate. A good old home remedy is to give your dog a raw egg weekly. You can mix it with his food, but he will probably slurp it up as is.
Generally, you treat doggie dandruff from the inside out and the outside in. One external cause of the dog's dry skin can be over-bathing, especially in winter. Try reducing the frequency. And how about taking Bowser to a dog wash salon? He will walk up into a tub, be tethered, and then treated to warm water sprays with massaging action, special shampoos and even conditioners. Use their towels and blow dryers, and you don't even have to clean up! (Do a Google search for dog wash spas to find a "laundromutt" in your area.). If you want to bathe doggie at home, ask your vet to recommend a good dog shampoo for dry skin. People-shampoo may have too much alcohol content. Veterinary Dr.Louis Gotthelf of Allexperts.com recommends antiseborrheic shampoo to remove the scale, which is a fancy name for anti-dandruff formula.
Exercise stimulates everything: Blood circulation, organs, muscles, elimination and healthy skin (the biggest organ of all). Especially in winter, it's easy to neglect your dog's exercise regimen, and that's when doggie dandruff can increase.
Your dog doesn't have to be a flake
More brushing, more oil in the diet, bathing, and exercise should take care of the doggie dandruff problem. If it persists or increases, be sure to take your dog to the vet to rule out serious problems such as a parasite, a hormonal imbalance, or even liver disease.