Your beloved Jack Russell terrier jumps up on to your lap. Then as you start to pet it and scratch it behind its ears like you always do, you look down and to horrors of horrors, its fur is filled with white flakes which has also sprinkled down on to your lap and chair. Dog dandruff is common but fortunately it can be easily treated.
Your terrier gets dandruff in exactly same manner as we humans do. The reason is that our skin is always in the process of replacing itself and the dead skin falls off as flakes. However the biggest difference between your terrier with visible dandruff and one you never notice is the size and frequency of the flakes.
To understand this better, consider the skin on your own legs or arms for a moment. Notice that when your skin is moist and well cared for, it looks smooth and feels soft. However when it is dry, it begins to look whitish and sometimes looks a little bit scaly. It also leaves behind white marks if you scratch it lightly.
Your Jack Russell's skin is no different. When your terrier's skin becomes too dry, it starts to flake in larger sizes. Hence it is easier to come off and suddenly you find that your Jack Russell terrier is snowing on your lap.
There are many ways to treat your dog's dandruff and on the contrary, dog dandruff shampoo may not be the most effective way to treat your terrier's dandruff. You may only want to use dog shampoo after exhausting the other options.
How to prevent your Jack Russell terrier from getting dandruff
1. The first thing you should consider is your Jack Russell terrier's diet. If it generally consists of dry dog food and water then your terrier may probably not be getting enough fats in his diet. Your Jack Russell terrier's skin is flaky because it does not produce enough natural moisturizer. If this is the case, you can try adding some canned dog food to his diet and see if the problem will go away. You could also try adding vitamin E oil in its diet as this may help.
2. There are dog supplements available on the market with dietary essentials for your Jack Russell terrier's diet regime. These supplements generally consist of fatty acids that can help to stop dog dandruff and maintain your Jack Russell terrier's coat so it is vibrant and lovely.
3. Reduce the amount of bathing for your Jack Russell terrier. I had a friend who once gave her Jack Russell so frequent baths that they washed away the skin oils which kept her terrier's skin moist. When I recommended that she reduce the bath frequency, the dandruff problem went away. It all comes down to how much protective oil your Jack Russell terrier has on its skin.
How to treat your Jack Russell terrier's dandruff
1. Incorporate the dieting advice first. A lot of times, dandruff in your Jack Russell terrier is due to dietary problems.
2. Apply either baby shampoo or an oatmeal wash. Given that your Jack Russell terrier dandruff is triggered by an absence of the natural oils that are supposed to be on their pores and skin, you have to ensure that you do not worsen the problem by utilizing a nasty shampoo that can further remove those precious skin oils. If neither of those is effective, buy a dog shampoo that's produced for sensitive skin or dandruff.
3. If you choose to use a dog dandruff shampoo, pay very careful attention to the directions. Most dog dandruff shampoos have a recommendation on how often you should use them. Some should be used only once a week while some milder ones let you it a little bit more frequently. Do note that while dog dandruff shampoos contain medications to help cure and prevent the dandruff, they should not be used too often as sometimes they can cause irritation to your dog.
4. Avoid trying your own shampoos to attempt to remedy dog dandruff. While dandruff is similar, your dog's fur and your hair are quite different. Use only dog shampoos that are designed to keep their fur clean without overly stripping it or damaging their underlying skin.
If dandruff still persists, you should go to the veterinarian or animal care specialist. Your Jack Russell terrier's coat and skin wellness usually gives you a good idea of his overall health. A dandruff condition that will not go away after you have taken the steps to treat it usually points to the possibility that your terrier may have a serious health problems that has to be addressed and remedied by a professional vet.