Dog's World Health & Nutrition

Golden Retriever Dandruff: Causes And Treatments

Golden Retriever Dandruff

Dandruff is a prevalent hair issue that many men and women suffer from. However, this problem is not limited to humans. Animals such as dogs can also experience mild to severe dandruff issues. A Golden Retriever is a common dog breed that suffers from dandruff issues frequently.

If you have this pet in your home, you must understand it completely. This means you should always be prepared to tackle dandruff issues in your companion.

However, you cannot treat dandruff in a Golden Retriever without understanding its causes. This is so that you can avoid reoccurrences after a time. Not only that, but the issue happens due to medical conditions at times too.

So if you’re looking to learn more about Golden Retriever dandruff causes and treatments, your search ends now. In this post, we will discuss everything about it.


Here are the top reasons why your Golden Retriever may be suffering from dandruff:

Primary Dandruff

Following are the two types of primary dandruff issues your Golden Retriever can experience:

  • Standard Dandruff

Seborrhea (Dandruff) can happen in your pet dog because of primary and secondary reasons. You should note that primary dandruff occurs because of a genetic condition. 

If your Golden Retriever suffers from primary dandruff, it means that its parents had the condition. Thus, it was passed down to your pet genetically. This is an important thing to remember as your animal’s offspring may also suffer from the same issue in the future.

Primary dandruff occurs because the dog’s skin may be producing excessive oils. It can also happen due to an increase in dead skin cells. Typically, this happens in Golden Retriever puppies of age one or below.

  • Ichthyosis

This is another genetic condition that primarily happens in Golden Retrievers. However, this time the issue occurs because of a mutation that may be present in some families of this breed. The condition causes your dog to have scaly and flakey skin.

Golden Retriever ichthyosis is mainly in puppies, and most of them grow out of it. However, this does not happen at all times. So you may also find adult dogs with this condition. The good news is that you can treat this issue through skin soothers and moisturizers.

Secondary Dandruff

A key thing to note is that this dandruff occurs because of skin disorders. However, this happens because of environmental factors or other external reasons. So here are the leading causes that may result in your Golden Retriever facing this dandruff issue:

  • Parasites

External parasites can easily infest your pet’s fur if you don’t take proper precautions. This is also the most prevalent reason for dandruff in a Golden Retriever. The top thing to remember is that there are numerous parasites that cause different types of dandruff.

Fleas are one of the common parasites that affect various dogs, including Golden Retrievers. They jump on an animal’s body and feed on its blood for survival. While doing so, the parasite can cause dandruff. Typically, your pet may experience itchiness because of this bug.

The excellent news about flea dandruff is that this parasite is large enough to be visible to the naked eye. So you can quickly identify the bug and take precautions to prevent dandruff.

Scabies is another parasite that causes severe skin irritation and itchiness. This leads to extensive dandruff that results in hair loss, pimples, and much more. Demodex is also a bug that causes dandruff with similar symptoms, including lesions.

  • Allergies

Like humans, your loyal pets can also suffer from a variety of allergies caused due to the environment. They may also be related to food or because of bugs such as fleas. Some products are also irritant to Golden Retrievers resulting in an allergy.

Some Golden Retrievers experience allergies during hot atmospheres, while others are susceptible to cold environments. Besides that, different pollens also affect dogs.

Typically, an allergy can cause various issues, including dandruff. For instance, your dog may experience severe itchiness. Additionally, they can suffer from skin irritation, redness, infections, and other symptoms.

  • Skin Infections

Bacteria and fungi are two primary microorganisms that cause infections in humans. Unfortunately, dogs also experience such issues because of these microbodies. You should note that you cannot see these organisms with the naked eye. So it may be tough to identify them as the dandruff cause.

Your Golden Retriever can host these organisms on its body after swimming. The microbes may also affect your pet if their fur is dirty or has an untreated wound. Ringworm is the most prevalent fungus that infects dogs and causes flakey skin. This eventually leads to dandruff.

  • Hormonal Disorders

Hormonal disorders in dogs are also referred to as endocrine disorders. So you shouldn’t get startled seeing these two terms being interchanged. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your dog is not making adequate thyroid hormone. This leads to various symptoms which cause dandruff.

Cushing’s Disease is another hormonal issue that results in Golden Retriever dandruff. The top way you can identify this dandruff cause is by checking for dry and flakey skin. Additionally, a thin hair coat is a prevalent sign.

  • Poor Diet

The nutrients your Golden Retriever consumes directly affect its health and hygiene. If your dog is not taking the right items, it will have dull and flakey skin. Not only that, but its haircoat will be dry and unhealthy.

Besides that, your pet will also have unhealthy skin, which will be easily noticeable. Dandruff because of poor diet may happen due to low-quality dog food products. For example, the item may not contain Vitamin E or omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Immune-Mediated Diseases

These are diseases that are caused by an autoimmune disorder in your pet. Typically, the dog’s body destroys the healthy skin cells or sebaceous glands which produce oil. This will result in low or excessive oil production, which causes dandruff.

The diseases also cause disturbance in the different skin layers affecting oil production. They can also cause internal wounds through inflammation and other injuries. Sometimes, sores may also appear on your Golden Retriever’s body. You can use these signs to diagnose this dandruff cause.


Here are the top dandruff treatments that will allow you to help your Golden Retriever:

Take Your Pet To A Vet

One of the best things you can do for your dog is taking them to the veterinarian for a checkup. The vet will run some skin tests and biopsies to determine if a medical issue is causing dandruff.

If the physician identifies a medical condition, they will prescribe suitable medications to assist you. Sometimes, the vet also provides supplements to help tackle dandruff. This is why you can effectively treat your pet with ease.

Another benefit of taking your pet to a physician is that they also help with non-medical issues. For instance, the vet may suggest you an excellent dog food product if a poor diet is the dandruff cause of your pet.

Regular Brushing

Grooming and bathing techniques play an effective role in tackling Golden Retriever dandruff issues. This is because they allow your pet’s haircoat to stay healthy in most conditions. As a result, the dog can battle infections with more ease.

Brushing your dog every day a few times will also allow you to improve natural oil distribution across the haircoat. Additionally, the blood circulation of your pet will also enhance. This helps prevent dandruff from occurring in the first place.

Besides that, brushing will also allow you to notice dandruff quickly. So you can take other precautions within the correct time window. Thus, your chance of treating dandruff will be higher.

Diet Improvement

As we said earlier, poor diet is one of the leading causes of dandruff in Golden Retrievers. This is why you should consider changing the food products you are using. Typically, you should search for a high-quality item rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

You should also ensure that the food product has other essential nutrients in the right quantities. For example, vitamin E is one of the ingredients that must be present in dog food. Apart from that, you should also provide your dog with adequate fresh water daily.

Regular Bathing

Bathing is as important as brushing your dog regularly. The only difference is that you don’t have to wash your pet daily. Typically, a bath every three weeks is suitable for maintaining good hygiene. You should also wash your pet immediately if they become dirty.

Keep in mind not to bathe your dog every day or excessively. This is because it will lead to dry skin. Bathing frequently also rids your pet’s skin with the natural oils it requires. That is why it is essential to follow a strict routine.

Special Shampoo

A dog is one of the most prevalent animals that people keep as pets. So you will find many care products for them in the market. That is why it is advisable to get a special shampoo for your Golden Retriever.

An excellent shampoo for golden retrievers with the right ingredients will target skin irritation and itchiness issues. As a result, the risk of your pet becoming affected by dandruff reduces significantly. The best thing about some shampoos is that they also help in treating fungal infections.

Use A Humidifier

Environmental factors also play an integral role in causing dandruff in Golden Retrievers. Dry air may take away the essential oils from your pet’s skin and cause it to become flakey. This can cause irritation and itchiness, which results in dandruff.

You can tackle dry air issues by using a humidifier in your home. It is best to put the device in a room where your pet stays frequently. The device will maintain the right atmosphere that will tackle the flakiness. Hence, you can ensure that your dog will never have dandruff because of dry air.

Dandruff Spray

If you have been to a dog pet shop, you must have seen dandruff sprays on the shelves. They can help you eliminate dandruff effectively in most cases. However, note that many sprays contain alcohol which can worsen the issue.

The best way to get a dandruff spray is by visiting a vet for the suggestion. They will guide you to the right product you should purchase. Additionally, they may help you get rid of dandruff with an alternative but equally effective method.

Home Remedies

Here are some natural home treatments that can help you get rid of your Golden Retriever’s dandruff:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the best skin moisturizers that help with eliminating itchiness. It is advisable to add equal parts of water to the oil and use it for rinsing your dog. You should let the mixture sit on your pet’s body for a few minutes.

Once the time has passed, you should wash the Golden Retriever and then shampoo. Keep in mind not to use this remedy more than once every week.

Olive Oil

This is another home product that helps with dandruff issues. It is an excellent and safe moisturizer. This is why you should rub it on your dog’s fur every day. Applying the oil will help you hydrate the pet’s skin and eradicate dryness.

Lime Juice

Vitamin C is one of the nutrients that allow you to tackle dandruff in your Golden Retriever. Fortunately, lime juice is rich in this vitamin and available at your home.

As per experts, you should prepare a concoction by adding an equal amount of lime juice to an equal quantity of water. Then, you should rinse your dog with this mixture after shampooing them during a bath.

Final Thoughts

This is your complete guide to Golden Retrievers’ dandruff causes and treatments. Understanding all the primary and secondary reasons will help you diagnose the issue.

Meanwhile, all the treatments are effective for eliminating dandruff issues in Golden Retrievers. Not only that, but they are also safe to use as long as you don’t overdo some things.