Whippet dandruff can be caused by a bacteria which feeds of the oils of the skin of your dog, producing oleic acid as a resulting by-product.
Your whippet may be sensitive to this oleic acid, which may lead to dandruff. Dandruff can also be caused by greasy skin and sebum over production.
However, most often, your whippet will get dandruff from dry skin. The best-medicated dog shampoos for dandruff usually include coal tar, selenium sulphide, and benzyl peroxide, as these will treat dandruff and additionally moisturise.
For extra hydration, add oils to your whippet’s diet or apply it to his skin, which will prevent any further flakiness or dry patches.
A calming lotion or apple cider vinegar diluted with water is also a great option to lessen any itchiness or irritation caused by dandruff.
Dandruff can be very frustrating and troubling for both people and their dogs alike.
If it is not treated accordingly, dandruff can lead to constant scratching in your dog due to itchiness, as well as to inflammation and irritation.
In some cases, constant scratching and biting at the itchy dandruff can cause your dog to end up with wounds or scabs.
Whippets, like other dogs, can suffer skin problems such as dandruff. Luckily, there are many effective remedies to treat and manage this bothersome condition.
Find out below everything you need to know about dandruff in your Whippet, and what steps you can take to get rid of it.
What Exactly Is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a condition where skin cells tend to shed at a faster pace than normal, and the skin’s oils cause them to clump together and appear as flakes.
This condition is also called Seborrheic Dermatitis, and it can occur both in humans as in dogs and other kinds of animals.
Dandruff also usually comes with symptoms such as itching, oiliness, red or inflamed skin, irritation, and even scaling.
Dandruff is caused by a certain bacteria called Mallasezzia Globosa which lives on the skin where hair is present and feeds off the oils which are produced.
An overgrowth of this particular bacteria could lead to irritation a dandruff.
Furthermore, this bacteria breaks down sebum (also known as sebaceous oil glands) which is attached to hair follicles, into a by-product called oleic acid.
Many people and animals are more sensitive to this oleic acid, causing the skin to become irritated and inflamed – and flake off as a result.
This bacteria is found on the scalp and skin of every person or animal, and even if it is not harmful or hazardous, some dogs are genetically more prone to developing dandruff due to it.
Overproduction of sebum can also lead to dandruff, as this will cause the bacteria to multiply in such conditions.
On the other hand, not oily or greasy, but dry skin can moreover be a cause of dandruff.
It leads to skin flaking and falling off due to the dryness, which also comes with extreme itching and irritation.
Whippet dandruff can even be caused by a shampoo which may make your dog sensitive to a particular ingredient contained; or a sudden change in what shampoo you use.
If you see your dog scratching himself more than usual, or notice white flakes in your dog’s fur, it may mean your dog has dandruff.
Is Whippet Dandruff Common?
Whippets are commonly prone to getting dandruff.
This is because their hair is of a shorter length, and is less protected and shielded from the elements, especially the sun.
Whippets are also prone to getting sensitive or dry skin, which is a cause factor for flaking, itchiness, irritation, inflammation, and dandruff.
Dry skin can be genetic, due to a poor diet lacking oils and essential fatty acids, a drying dog shampoo or dog wash, or even if the air has no humidity and is very dry.
Whippet puppies will have more sensitive skin than adults, therefore making them potentially susceptible to dandruff.
It is especially important to regularly check your Whippet’s coat for dandruff if he is of a lighter colour.
This is because the dandruff flakes of darker coloured Whippets will be more visible against the dark shade, but dandruff in lighter coloured Whippets may be harder to initially spot.
Steps To Get Rid Of Whippet Dandruff
As a first step, bath your Whippet with a special medicated dog shampoo designed for the purpose of combating dandruff.
This should preferably be a dog shampoo containing ingredients such as sulfur, coal tar, iodine, selenium sulphide, benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and different oils or oatmeal.
These are all known for helping dandruff and soothing any inflammation.
Ingredients such as coal tar are antibacterial will help with flaky and dry skin.
Benzyl peroxide is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, whereas salicylic acid is antifungal, and helps exfoliate the skin. Iodine soothes and helps with itching.
Whippets often get dandruff from dryness, so the best shampoos for them would include ones that contain selenium sulphide, coal tar, or benzoyl peroxide.
If your Whippet suffers from an overproduction of sebum and has greasy skin, it would be best to use shampoos that contain salicylic acid, iodine, or sulfur in them.
Ingredients in your Whippet’s og shampoo such as oatmeal or any kind of oils will help to re-moisturise the skin after the wash.
As well as that, they will also help to soothe and calm any irritation or inflammation caused by dandruff or by itching and scratching.
You can additionally massage a gentle dog lotion or any kind of natural oils into your Whippet’s skin after washing him to help moisturise and hydrate.
The best oils for this include safflower, sunflower, hemp, coconut, and olive. All these are perfectly safe for dogs and are especially beneficial when in the unprocessed and organic form.
However, never use baby oil or human hair oil on your dog,as these could potentially be dangerous.
It should not take too long before your Whippet’s fur dries, as their hair length is quite short. To speed up the drying process, soak up excess water with a towel or use a blow-dryer.
Next, when your Whippet’s coat is fully dry, use a flea comb to brush through his fur to remove any remaining loose dandruff flakes.
How Often Should I Bath My Whippet?
A Whippet should ideally be bathed every 4 to 6 weeks. A bath more than once a month can dry out the skin and therefore cause itching, flaking, and potentially dandruff.
When bathing your Whippet, always ensure the room temperature is high enough, and that the water is warm for him.
Whippets are dogs that can easily get cold and start shaking due to their natural slim build, so they need to have their water heated up to an adequate temperature.
For Whippets with dandruff and itchiness caused by dry skin, it is recommended that you add a spoonful of oil or an oil capsule into their meal every day.
For instance, a capsule of fish oil designed for dogs will have plenty of omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids.
These fatty acids are crucial for healthy skin, as it moisturises and soothes any itching. It prevents flaking and dandruff as well as additionally keeps the coat lustrous.
Another good thing for managing dandruff in your Whippet, especially in between washes, is apple cider vinegar.
It can be diluted with water 50/50 in a spray bottle – so half water, half apple cider vinegar. However, 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water is recommended for Whippets with sensitive skin.
Apple cider vinegar is completely safe for dogs, so it can be used to spray their skin when treating dandruff. Apple cider vinegar is known for its countless health, skin, and hair benefits.
It has both antifungal and antimicrobial properties, helps balance the skin’s natural pH levels, and helps to alleviate itchiness, inflammation, and control dandruff.
Apart from dandruff, Whippets can also be prone to a number of other skin related conditions.
For example, they can have allergies – which cause itchiness – alopecia, mange, and eczema, which often leads to an itchy rash, crusty skin, and dandruff.
Hypothyroidism is also a very common condition occurring in Whippets.
This condition can result in skin problems such as dry and itchy skin, hair loss, patchy coat, and dandruff among all symptoms.
These skin conditions can, however, be treated, just like dandruff, or managed to prevent them from getting out of hand.
Dandruff can be a common skin condition in Whippets, but it is one which can be treated and controlled.
It is important that your Whippet receives a diet with added oils or supplements to keep his skin healthy.
Make sure you bath him no more than once a month – preferably from once a month to every 6 weeks.
Use gentle, moisturising shampoos and apply a dog lotion or a hydrating oil to the skin. To treat whippet dandruff, use special anti-dandruff medicated shampoos.
By making sure your Whippet’s coat is well cared for, it will prevent not only the chance of him getting dry skin, but also any skin conditions such as dandruff.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!