Seborrheic Dermatitis in Dogs: What it is, Types, Symptoms and How to Treat It

Dermatitis Seborreica en Perros: Qué es, Tipos, Síntomas y Cómo tratarla

Waggyfriend, in this blog we tell you what seborrheic dermatitis is, its causes, the types that exist, symptoms, treatments and much more. Stay and let's continue informing ourselves to give our pet the life they deserve.

What is seborrheic dermatitis in dogs?

Seborrheic dermatitis in dogs is a skin condition that affects the skin and coat of dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing sebum, an oily substance that helps keep the skin and coat in good condition.

Dogs with seborrheic dermatitis often have excessive sebum production, which can lead to greasy skin, flakes, and sometimes a bad odor. This condition can affect dogs of any breed and age, and the causes can be diverse, including genetic factors, fungal or bacterial infections, hormonal imbalances, allergies or immune problems.

Causes of seborrheic dermatitis in dogs

Genetic factors

Some dog breeds have a genetic predisposition to developing skin problems, including seborrheic dermatitis.

Fungal or Bacterial Infections

Skin infections caused by fungi or bacteria can trigger seborrheic dermatitis.

Hormonal Imbalances

Changes in hormone levels, such as those associated with hypothyroidism or Cushing's syndrome, can affect skin health and contribute to the development of seborrheic dermatitis.


Food or environmental allergies can trigger skin reactions, contributing to seborrheic dermatitis.


Flea, tick or mite infestations on dogs can irritate the dog's skin and lead to seborrheic dermatitis.

Bad skin care

Poor hygiene or improper use of skin care products can trigger skin problems, including seborrheic dermatitis.

Improper Diet

An unbalanced diet or food intolerances can influence skin health. Try a barf diet more in cases where your dog doesn't want to eat.

Weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions, such as cold or excessive humidity, can affect the skin of some dogs and contribute to seborrheic dermatitis.

Types of seborrheic dermatitis in dogs

There are two types of seborrheic dermatitis in dogs:

Primary seborrheic dermatitis

It occurs without an obvious cause and is not directly associated with other medical conditions or specific external factors. It generally affects young dogs between one and two years of age and curiously, there are breeds that have a greater predisposition to it such as the Cocker Spaniel, the Springer Spaniel, the West Highland White Terrier, the Shar Pei, the Basset Hound or the Labrador Retriever.

Secondary Seborrheic Dermatitis

It develops as a consequence of another disease or underlying factor. In this case, dermatitis is considered a symptom of a broader problem such as allergies (food or environmental), bacterial or fungal infections, hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders, skin parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, among other conditions.

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis in dogs

Some of the signs and symptoms that our fur babies may present are:

  • Flakes can be seen on the skin, similar to dandruff. These scales can be white or yellowish.
  • The skin may be red and irritated.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis is often associated with an unpleasant odor on the dog's skin.
  • The condition can lead to hair loss in affected areas. In these cases it is important that you know how to comb a dog to avoid damage.
  • In some cases, scabs may form on the skin, especially if there are secondary infections.
  • Affected dogs may scratch or lick excessively due to discomfort and skin irritation.
  • The ears may be particularly affected with redness, scaling, and earwax buildup.

How to cure seborrheic dermatitis in dogs? Treatment

As in many other conditions, the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis will depend on the cause and severity, however, some of the treatments that the veterinarian can recommend are the following:


Medicated shampoos

They can help control sebum production and improve skin condition. They may contain ingredients such as ketoconazole, salicylic acid or selenium sulfide, so it is important to follow the veterinarian's instructions regarding frequency and application.

Infection Treatment

If there is a secondary bacterial or fungal infection, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotic or antifungal medications to treat it.

Hormone therapy

In cases of hormonal imbalances, hormonal treatments may be prescribed to stabilize levels and improve skin health.

Home remedies

Care and Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene is essential. Bathing your dog regularly with an appropriate shampoo can help control seborrheic dermatitis. However, excessive bathing can worsen the condition, so it is essential to follow your veterinarian's recommendations.

Soap for bad smell

We can make a homemade soap to treat this type of seborrhea. To do this, you must mix 3 cups of water, 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of crushed natural oats.


Diet changes

In some cases, changing the dog's diet can help. Specific foods may be necessary to address food allergies or intolerances.

Nutritional supplements

Supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can improve skin and coat health.

Elimination of allergens

If seborrheic dermatitis is the result of allergies, elimination of potential allergens from the dog's environment or diet may be recommended.

How to prevent seborrheic dermatitis in dogs?

Preventing seborrheic dermatitis in dogs involves adopting a series of measures that promote skin health and minimize the factors that could trigger this skin condition. Some of the points to take care of may be the following:

  • Bathe your dog regularly using a mild shampoo suitable for his skin type. Do not exceed the frequency recommended by your veterinarian, as frequent baths can trigger skin problems.
  • Provide your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet. Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to skin problems, so Waggy's recommends consulting with your veterinarian to choose a food that meets your pet's specific needs.
  • Keep your dog free of fleas, ticks and other external parasites. These parasites can irritate the skin and contribute to dermatological problems.
  • Use specific pet care products and avoid those designed for humans, as they may be too harsh on dog skin.
  • Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Obesity can contribute to skin problems and dermatological conditions.
  • Provide enough exercise to keep your dog in good physical shape. Regular physical activity promotes blood circulation and contributes to overall skin health.

When is it advisable to go to the vet?

Waggy's recommends going to the vet as soon as you notice signs of seborrheic dermatitis in your dog. The sooner the diagnosis is made and treatment is started, the better the management of the skin condition will be and possible complications can be prevented.

In case the dog does not like to visit the veterinarian, I recommend that you give him Waggy's brand puppy treats because they contain CBD for dogs , which helps a lot to level the stress and anxiety levels in dogs before go to your session, which will be beneficial for everyone. In addition, one of its other ingredients is Omega 3 for dogs , a necessary and essential component for the development of the puppy.

Is seborrheic dermatitis in dogs contagious?

Seborrheic dermatitis in dogs is not a contagious disease in the sense that it is not transmitted directly from one dog to another as an infectious disease would.


In conclusion, seborrheic dermatitis in dogs is a skin condition that can have various causes, such as genetic factors, infections, allergies or hormonal imbalances. Symptoms include oily skin, flakes, irritation and hair loss. It is crucial to seek veterinary care at any sign of the disease to obtain an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan, avoiding possible complications and improving the overall well-being of the animal.

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