Seborrhea in Dogs
Keratin is critical because of its involvement with your dog’s hair and nails

Seborrhea in dogs is a skin disease that can cause your pets skin to be very dry and flaky, or it can be just the opposite, very greasy.

It is believed to be an inherited disease as it generally has a family history.

It usually starts to form when a puppy is between the ages of 12 to 18 months old. The term Seborrhea actually means a scaling or flaking of skin.

There can be two major causes of this condition.

Primary, which is genetic and thus inherited, or it can be secondary and the result of several underlying causes, but in most cases it will be a nutritional deficiency.

With the secondary form, it can affect any breed of dog.

The breeds that seem to be the most affected genetically are German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds, and Basset Hounds.

Terriers, and Spaniels, especially American Cocker and English Springers, and well as Miniature Schnauzers are also affected. 

However, it can also be found in obese dogs of any breed as they will have a more difficult time in properly grooming themselves.


Husky eyesSeborrhea in dogs can become very serious

There are three types of Seborrhea in dogs; Seborrhea sicca, which is the dry form and will demonstrate dry and scaly conditions in your pet,

Seborrhea oleosa, which causes an overproduction of oil in the skin which makes it stink and actually helped to coin the word smelly dog, and Seborrheic dermatitis, which demonstrates both conditions.

Seborrhiec dermatitis can be dangerous to your pet as it often caused inflammation.

It will start around the oil glands located on your pet’s face, behind the ears, and on their scalp.

It can cause your pets scalp to become inflamed, very greasy, waxy, and if severe, it can a rash that may lead to infections.


Seborrheic dermatitis is brought on by a yeast infection which is also the major cause of dandruff in dogs.

The other forms are caused by inadequate functions within your pets cells of their skin.

It normal circumstances cells in the skin will dry out as they are worn off and making way for new cells that will replace them.

These new cells will form deeper into your pet’s skin.

This process is called keratinization and it is making keratin and drying the cells at the same time.

Keratin is a very tough and insoluble protein that is the main structural constituent of the hair as well as the nails of your dog.

This process normally takes about 2 to 3 weeks in dogs; however, with Seborrhea, this all changes.

This is normally a process that is both gradual and quite structured, but it breaks down, drastically speeds up, and as a result does not allow for the cells to function properly.

They essentially have no time to go deeper into your pet’s skin, and as a result, they start to build up on the layers of the skin, developing seborrhea in dogs.

To compound the situation, there may also be a malfunction in both the amounts and the quality of secretion from the sebaceous glands.

These are the glands that are found in the dermis of your pet’s skin that open into hair follicles and these glands major function is to produce and secrete sebum.

When operating normally, they gradually release and enrich your dog’s skin with oil secretions.

The actual cause of Seborrhea in dogs will be either primary or secondary.

In primary cases, it will be genetic, or inherited.

In secondary cases, in can be caused by several underlying conditions.

These include flea or food allergies, hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, Cushing disease, internal or external parasites, ringworm, or nutritional disorders.

In the vast majority of cases it is a nutritional disorder.


Flakiness in dogs is quite normal, especially in puppies as their skin and cells are still developing.

However, what is not normal is excessive scaling or flaking.

If you your pet smells, even after you have bathed them, the chances are very high that they have Seborrhea in dogs.

You will know the wet dog smell when it happens; they basically start to stink.

If the symptoms are severe, your dog’s skin and hair will actually feel greasy, because it is.

With excessive secretion, your pet may develop red skin or a rash and the ears may become inflamed.

When severe, you pet will start to both scratch and lick excessively.


The treatments for Seborrhea in dogs will vary depending on the actual cause of the condition.

If there is an underlying cause other than a deficiency such as a yeast infection or bacterial infections, they will be treated with medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

Medicated shampoos will be the first line of attack, but it will depend on which type of Seborrhea it is, but once that is determined, selection is very easy.

You may have to trim some of your dog’s hair for the shampoo to fully penetrate and produce the best results.

Next, you will have to address the nutritional deficiency that is most likely the real cause. In most all cases Omega 3 fatty acids will be recommended by your veterinarian.

They are available in pill or liquid capsule form, but the liquid form is much more effective.

Vitamins A, C, and E will also help not only controlling this skin infection, but in most cases to keep it in check permanently.

Vitamin C is extremely effective in skin conditions in dogs as it is an antioxidant as well as an agent that protects your pets system from pollutants.

It also helps to clean the toxins form your dog’s tissues, cells, and blood.

Vitamin E is considered the wonder vitamin for dogs as it helps with their circulatory system especially in the proper generations of cells, as well acting as the chief healing agent in their skin.

It is an absolute must for Seborrhea in dogs.

Vitamin A deficiency is the number one cause of hardening and rough skin in dogs and it should also be a stable in the protection of your pet with this condition.


Seborrhea in dogs can be a real threat to your pet, but once properly diagnosed, treated, and then properly supplemented, it should be very easy to control.

Once controlled, you will likely never have to worry about a stinky dog again.

Pet Medications for Seborrhea in Dogs

Dog Vitamin Store

Dog Skin Health