Everything You Need to Know About Boston Terrier Dandruff

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Scratch here, a scratch there, scratch everywhere. Is that your Boston Terrier lately? You must be wondering why you are seeing some white flakes on your dog’s coat. It must be dandruff! Boston Terrier dandruff can be caused by many different things and can show different signs and symptoms.

Everything You Need to Know About Boston Terrier Dandruff

Boston Terrier dandruff is the presence of dead skin cells on their coat. It can be normal, but sometimes, it can lead to a more serious problem. Dandruff can be mild or severe. It can also be treated depending on the condition of your Boston Terrier.

Graphic image of a Boston Terrier with a text explaining why Boston Terriers get dandruff on their coats

There are also some home remedies that you can do to ease the irritation of your dog. First, let’s talk about the symptoms of Boston Terrier dandruff.

What Are the Symptoms of Boston Terrier Dandruff?

Here are some of the most common signs that you should look out for in a Boston Terrier with dandruff:

  • Lots of flakes
  • Itching or discomfort
  • Redness or odor

What Causes Dandruff in Boston Terriers?

Boston Terrier dandruff may be a secondary condition that has several causes, like allergies, serious skin problems, parasites, the season, or certain genetic disorders.

Allergies in Boston Terrier

An allergic reaction may happen if your Boston Terrier was exposed to a specific type of allergen. Allergens can be anything that causes an allergic reaction. It can be an environmental allergen or from the food that they eat. 

These allergens can make your dog feel irritated. It can also cause the skin to dry which can lead to dandruff.

boston terrier wearing a sweater in snow

Most Boston Terriers are allergic to wheat gluten, soy, and some food additives. They are also allergic to environmental factors such as pollen, smoke, perfume, mold, dust mites, and even human dander.

Skin Infections in Boston Terriers

Skin infection in Boston Terriers is mainly caused by bacteria or yeast. Skin infection can be a result of skin allergy. It can be from where they sleep or spend most of their time laying around and playing.

Skin abnormalities can sometimes be easily seen on short-haired dogs, just like Boston Terriers.

Normally, a dog’s immune system keeps the mites in check. Some breeds, like Boston Terriers, may develop an overabundance of Demodex (a microscopic mite). In mild cases, you may notice a few dry, irritated, hairless lesions.

External Parasites in Boston Terriers

External parasites can be seen walking along your Boston’s skin. Some dogs are infested by fleas, mites, or ticks. These external parasites can make them itch and have dry skin, resulting in dandruff. They can also cause some major problems like walking dandruff.

MedVet clarifies that walking dandruff is a parasitic infection that is caused by mites. Walking dandruff is extremely contagious. The mites can easily spread to other pets in your households like cats and rabbits, and in about 20% of cases, they can also affect humans.

Walking dandruff gets its name from the dandruff-like scales that form on the skin and the visible movement of the mites. The mites may cause your dog to exhibit excessive scratching, biting, or rubbing of affected areas. 

Other signs of mite infestation can include:
  • Hair loss
  • Red, bumpy rash
  • Reddened skin
  • Swollen skin

For a proper treatment of walking dandruff, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.

Hormonal Imbalances in Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers can experience hypothyroidism when a certain kind of hormone in the body is not in the right amount. Hypothyroidism causes bodily functions to slow down.

The common signs of this disorder are:

  • Lethargy, which shows a lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Weight gain
  • Haircoat and skin changes

Seasons Affecting Boston Terriers

When it comes to weather and seasons, the winter months can be challenging for Boston Terriers that are susceptible to dandruff. The low humidity amplifies skin conditions. With low humidity, their body’s moisture evaporates so quickly leaving them with dry and itchy skin.

Spring and summer can be tough for dogs that may have seasonal allergies to deal with, as well.

Symptoms and Causes of Boston Terrier Dandruff

AllergiesSkin irritation, dryness
Skin infectionDry, irritated, hairless lesions
External parasitesItchy skin and bump rash
Hormonal imbalanceHaircoat changes and lethargy
Weather and seasonsDry and itchy skin

Common Treatments for Boston Terrier Dandruff

Before jumping into any treatment for Boston Terrier dandruff, you must know the underlying cause of it. Knowing the cause of dandruff may lead you to the right treatment and remedy. You may also refer to the symptoms that can be seen on your dog’s skin.

Here are some possible treatments for your Boston Terriers’ dandruff:

  • Diet Change: If you have identified the food allergen that may have caused dandruff, you may want to ask your veterinarian or dog nutritionist for a diet change applicable to your Boston. 
  • Allergy testing: You can do this to correctly identify the issue. 
  • Antiseptics or Oral Medication: If the skin infection is caused by yeast or bacteria, antiseptics or oral medication may be advised by your vet. You may also get rid of dandruff by getting rid of the skin infection.
  • Moisturizing Products: You should replace the moisture lost on your Boston’s skin due to dandruff by applying some vet-recommended products, like moisturizing spray or cream.
  • Less Amount of Cortisol or Steroids: For Boston Terrier dandruff that is caused by endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, decreasing the amount of cortisol or steroid would be best. Too much cortisol can weaken the immune system of the dog and make them vulnerable to other diseases and infections. Excessive steroids can cause agitation and nervousness.

Home Remedies for Mild Boston Terrier Dandruff

If your dog’s dandruff condition is just mild and there might be no need for medical care, these home remedies will suppress the symptoms and can make them feel better.

Properly Groom Your Boston Terrier Regularly

Grooming and brushing your dog’s hair can remove some unwanted parasites on their skin. It can also remove the flakes that make them itch.

Brushing your dog’s hair is the best way to spread their coat’s natural oil throughout the parts of their body.

Use Anti-dandruff Or A Soothing Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Using human anti-dandruff shampoo can make things worse. Using dog-specific hypoallergenic anti-dandruff shampoos can help alleviate the problem.

Dr. Cain, a veterinary dermatologist, says that dog shampoos with oatmeal can comfort itchy skin. Oatmeal shampoo tends to have a soothing and moisturizing effect on their skin.

If your Boston’s dandruff problem is severe, it is best to bathe them every other day of the first week. If it gets better, you can go twice a week, then once a week.

Feed Your Boston Terrier Omega-3-rich Food

Omega-3 fatty acids promote skin and coat health. The Omega-3 fats found in fish oil help reduce inflammation. It can lessen the intensity of many allergies.

In addition to dry, itchy skin and unhealthy coats, Omega-3 deficient diets also lead to:

  • Prolonged healing of wounds
  • Increased allergic reaction effects
  • Decreased immune system function
  • Painful joints
  • Excessive inflammation
  • Hair loss
  • Ear infections
  • Hot spots (painful, smelly sores)
  • Excessive itching

The best sources of Omega-3 are anchovies, sardines, and salmon for my Boston Terriers. Anchovies are also low in toxins since they are small and the lowest part of the food chain. Omega-3 supplements can also be prescribed by your vet.

Use An Air Humidifier At Home

Increasing the moisture in the air, especially in your Boston Terrier’s sleeping area, can soothe and moisturize their skin. It may also prevent seasonal dandruff because of a change in humidity.

Plan A Balanced Diet For Your Boston

To make sure that your Boston Terrier has healthy skin and coat, make sure to give them a balanced diet that contains proper nutrients. Cooking some meals for them can be a good choice.

Make sure to take into account any allergies or the proper food that your Boston Terrier might have before giving them any. 

Apply Coconut Oil On Your Boston’s Skin.

coconut oil in a glass bowl with wooden spoon

Applying coconut oil to your Boston Terrier’s skin can help infuse their skin with moisture, and prevent flaking or other signs of irritation. If your dog already has dry skin or dandruff, coconut oil is highly effective at hydrating and increasing lipid levels on the surface of the skin.

Coconut oil may also help your Boston Terrier’s coat appear more sleek and glossy. Just be aware of more frequent licking. To apply, simply put a small amount on your hand and massage into the skin, running your fingers through their fur.

Coconut oil can also be fed to dogs. You can give it to them two times a day mixed with their regular meal. Do not give them just coconut oil. 

Basics of Dog Grooming | Boston Terrier Edition

Related Questions

Why Does My Boston Terrier Still Have Dandruff After Taking a Bath?

Various factors can cause dandruff in dogs even after taking a bath. These may include allergic reactions, bacterial infections, yeast infections, parasitic infections, and endocrine disorders.

Can Boston Terriers Get Dandruff From Too Many Baths?

Bathing your dog too often can dry out your Boston Terrier’s skin, removing oils in the skin that can repel dandruff. Be careful not to over-wash your pet’s body.

When to See the Vet for Your Boston Terrier’s Dandruff Problem?

If your Boston Terrier’s dandruff is also causing an odor and swelling in the skin, this would be the time to set an appointment with your vet. Schedule wellness checks and blood work to determine underlying skin conditions.

Final Thoughts

Dandruff can make my Boston Terrier irritable and itchy. I should do everything to prevent it by taking care of my dog’s skin and coat through their diet and the essential oils that they need. Once the dandruff is there, make sure to identify the cause of it. 

Bathe your Boston Terrier regularly and make sure that they stay in a clean and well-humidified place. Use with a home remedy if it is mild. If it is severe, please ask your trusted vet for the best thing to do. You don’t want to risk any more serious problems arising.