Why Does Your Pitbull Have Dandruff? 7 Reasons & Effective Solutions

People often think that dandruff is a humans-only problem. However, it has been proven that dogs also get dandruff. It is not actually different from the dandruff humans get. 

Thankfully, it is not a severe condition and it can be treated. 

Dandruff is a condition that causes the skin to flake, which means if you see white flaky dots on your pitbull, then your dog probably has dandruff. 

In short, your pitbull is sadly also prone to dandruff. But why?

Why does your pitbull have dandruff? Your pitbull can have dandruff because of seborrhea, dry air, bacterial and fungal infections, an unbalanced diet, stress, grooming activities, and seasonal and environmental allergies. 

Finding dandruff on your pitbull can be alarming. It might be comforting to know that all dog breeds can get dandruff, which means that over time people have found various ways to prevent and treat it.

The flakes may be difficult to notice depending on the color of your dog’s fur, but they are frequently apparent when they jump off the couch or place their head in your lap.

Luckily, there are a few solutions to dandruff and ways to prevent it from happening again. To find out the reasons your pitbull has dandruff, how to prevent your pitbull from having dandruff, and the solutions to dandruff in Pitbulls, keep reading…

How do I spot my pitbull’s dandruff? 

dandruff on dog to show why does your pitbull have dandruff

Dandruff on your pitbull looks just like dandruff on humans. It’s a skin condition. Dandruff is dry, flaky skin. It’s made up of dead skin cells that fall from the skin, looking like white flakes. 

Luckily, because Pitbulls are not necessarily furry, dandruff can be spotted easily. Hence, it could be treated early. While dandruff appears on humans on the head, it is most commonly found on the dog’s back, especially around its tail. 

If your dog is continually licking, scratching, or biting its skin, it could be a sign of dandruff. If it has a more serious problem, it may experience redness, hair loss, and even a bad odor near the affected areas. While dandruff isn’t harmful in and of itself, it is unsightly and should be treated. 

7 Reasons why my Pitbull has dandruff 

Dandruff is a secondary issue, which means that there is a primary issue causing your dog to have dandruff. To be able to treat it and prevent it from recurring, you need to understand the reasons behind the appearance of dandruff on your pitbull so you can fix the problem at its root.

Here are the 7 most common reasons why Pitbulls get dandruff:

  1. Seborrhea 
  2. Bacterial and fungal infections 
  3. An unbalanced diet
  4. Stress 
  5. Grooming activities 
  6. Seasonal or environmental allergies 
  7. Dry Air 

Now that we have clearly identified the 7 main reasons behind dandruff, let us dig deep and understand each one separately. 


In easy terms, seborrhea is when the baby cells of your pitbull travel to the surface too quickly.

It occurs when the sebaceous glands produce excessive sebum that eventually causes the skin to flake. Thus, Seborrhea usually affects skin areas that are rich in sebaceous glands. 

Bacterial and fungal infections 

When your dog is infected, its skin’s ability to protect itself is compromised.

The tiny invaders then (dandruff) take advantage of your dog’s compromised immunity. Bacterial and fungal infections require appropriate treatment to get your dog’s skin back to a healthy state.

If you see batches of red skin or bald spots on your dog, it could also be a sign of bacterial or fungal infections. In this case, you should probably take them to the vet to get them the right diagnosis and medication.

An unbalanced diet 

If your dog’s nutrition is unfulfilling, it can decrease the essential nutrients needed for your pitbull to have a healthy coat and skin. Dogs have different nutritional needs at every stage in their life, so you could be still having them on a diet that no longer works for their age, health, or even activity level.

For instance, Omega 3s and Omega 6s are essential for your dog’s overall health, and they may not be getting enough of it from their current diet and need to get them from supplements as well.

Obesity can also play a vital role in your dog’s dandruff because it compromises the overall health of your dog, which includes its skin health. 


That’s right, your little dog can also be stressed. Just like humans, stress has an ultimately negative effect on pitbulls. Too much stress can compromise your pitbulls’ skin, causing it to flake. 

One of the very common causes of stress is being left alone for long periods of time, if you must leave your Pitbull alone for hours, you can learn how to teach your pitbull to be alone here.

Grooming activities 

Bathing your dog too little can cause all sorts of problems – like having a stinky smell – but Bathing your dog too much can also be harmful. I know you probably want to spoil your dog and bathe him, but do not overdo it.

Too much bathing can make your dog lose valuable oils that are essential to prevent flaky skin. Set up an appropriate bathing schedule

As a rule of thumb, Pitbulls need to be bathed once every month or when needed, and Pitbulls that spend most of their time inside and don’t get dirty quickly can be bathed even less – up to once every 6 months even.

Seasonal or environmental allergies 

Skin problems are the most common symptom of seasonal and environmental allergies in dogs.

You may notice that your pitbull is itchy at certain periods of the year, especially during winter because of the dry air, has infections, or licks its paws regularly. 

Most of the time, dandruff is just one of the indications of an allergic pitbull. Speaking of allergies, many people believe that due to their short coats, pitbulls are great for people with allergies. You can learn about the truth of this in my post on are Pitbulls hypoallergenic here.

Dry Air 

Moisture is essential; ​​if you live in a dry area or keep the heating high, the air in your home might be stripping your dog’s skin of moisture. Moisturized skin is more supple and not prone to flakiness and itchiness. 

6 Solutions for Your pitbull’s dandruff 

There are many solutions to Dandruff, and I have tried more of them with my dogs than I’m willing to admit, but here are the 6 solutions that have given me the best results over the years.

Regular Brushing 

Regular brushing with an appropriate brush is the cornerstone for a healthy, glowing, and dandruff-free pitbull.

That is because brushing helps to disperse the excess skin oils throughout its coat so that they aren’t pooling on the skin. It also removes dead skin. 

Under normal circumstances, you should brush your pitbull’s coat weekly. However, if your dog has dandruff, it is better to brush its fur daily. Start with a coarse brush, then a soft brush, then rub with a towel.

Improving diet 

Investing in high-quality pet food would definitely pay off. Improving your pitbull’s diet will definitely improve its health and get rid of dandruff, especially if it is caused by its malnutrition.

Moreover, it might be helpful to increase access to freshwater around the house, so that your pitbull is always hydrated and healthy. You may also consider adding supplements like omega 3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet. 

Keep its environment stress-free

You may not consider this very often, but Pitbulls get stressed for many reasons.

If your pitbull is barking uncontrollably for no reason, then it is probably stressed. If he is excessively panting, that could also be a sign that he is stressed.

Try to comfort your pitbull by playing with it or by simply going for a walk together. 

Anti-dandruff shampoo

The type of shampoo you’re using also causes dandruff. Luckily, there are shampoos that have been proven to fight dandruff in dogs. 

There are specific shampoos that are designed to re-moisturize the dog’s skin, which could be especially helpful with Pitbulls, as they are known to have extra dry skin.

Please do not consider using Head & Shoulders on your pitbull – or any shampoos for humans that you have in your house, I can assure you it’s a bad idea. 

The Shampoo I use for my dogs is the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo, and it has been working great so far. None of my dogs has also had any bad reactions to it so far. You can check it on Amazon here or by clicking on the image below:

Use a Humidifier 

As mentioned previously, dry air could cause your pitbull to have dandruff. Hence, if you live in a dry area, that might be a problem for your dog. To combat that, you could use a humidifier to make the air more tolerable for you and your dog.

 A humidifier helps the skin glow and stay moisturized, which applies to both you and your dog. Win-win!

A bathing-schedule  

We all know too little bathing is a problem. Who would have thought that too much bathing would also be a problem? Unfortunately, it is.

Giving your dog too many baths over a short amount of time would lead to its skin losing the essential oils it needs to stay healthy. 

Prepare good bathing–schedule for your pitbull, you could bathe it once every 3-4 weeks; that would give your pitbull the cleanness it needs, while also maintaining its natural oils. 

As you can probably see by now, dandruff is not too severe and thankfully it can be treated. Finally, love your pitbull through all its phases. 

How to prevent Dandruff in Pitbulls in the future? 

You can prevent dandruff in Pitbulls by making sure it is getting the diet it needs; Pitbulls need zinc and omega 3 to have healthy skin.

You should also brush your dog daily, make sure it is not exposed to a dry climate for too long, use moisturizing shampoos, don’t use a blow dryer to dry out its fur after a bath, and don’t over-bathe your pitbull. Keeping your pitbull cool in hot temperatures is also important.

Lastly, try to maintain a peaceful, friendly, and stress-free environment for your precious pitbull. 

When do I take my pitbull to a veterinarian?

If you have tried all 6 solutions, and the dandruff is still making its presence, then maybe it is time to consult a professional, especially if your dog is showing other more severe signs such as red spots, constant itching, changes in urine, loss of appetite, and sudden mood changes. 

Taking them to the vet at this point would be necessary because there might be an underlying cause of dandruff that you do not know about. Treating your dog can be rough, it is okay to seek external help. 

Related Questions 

What are the white flakes on my dog? 

The white flakes on your dog are dandruff caused by excessive sebum. Dandruff can be treated in many ways. Don’t worry, it is not severe. Although it might take some time and effort to go away, it is still doable. 

Why does my pitbull have flaky skin?

Pitbulls have flaky skin because it’s in their nature, and you can help them by moisturizing them, and giving them proper nutrition. 

How do I get rid of my Pitbulls’ dandruff? 

There are many ways to get rid of your pitbull’s dandruff. The most common solutions are: regular grooming, giving it supplements of omega 3 and improving its diet, using a humidifier if you live in a dry climate, and bathing your pitbull with oatmeal or anti-dandruff shampoos. 

Does brushing help dog dandruff? 

Brushing stimulates the skin and helps distribute oil, which is definitely helpful when it comes to dandruff. It is also extra one-on-one time with your best friend! 

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