According to Pet Place, dog dander is dead skin cells that fall off of a dog and is similar to dandruff in humans. Dog dander is sometimes referred to as dog dandruff as well. Individuals who have a dog allergy are usually allergic to the dander the dog sheds and not the dog itself. Dog dander occurs naturally in all dogs, but some breeds are capable of producing more than others. There are a few causes that can contribute to excessive production of dog dander.
Dogs that shed a great deal of dander may be receiving too many baths. According to The Dog Health Guide, a dog that is bathed too often or with soap that is not specially formulated for dogs with dry skin may develop increased dander. Soap has a drying effect and can increase the number of dead skin cells that fall off a dog. Dogs generally do not need to be bathed unless they smell bad or are visibly dirty.
If a dog is not getting all of the nutritional components he needs, his skin may dry out and he may begin to produce a great deal of dander. If a dog is not fed high-quality pet food formulated for canines, he may be missing essential nutrients. Healthy skin in a dog requires vitamin E and fatty acids, as well as vitamin A, vitamin B3 or niacin, and protein. Dogs that are only fed table food may not get enough of these nutrients and develop excessive dander.
Seborrhea is a medical condition related to the skin that can cause a dog to produce excessive dander. Seborrhea also can cause skin bumps, itching, scabs and hair loss. A dog with seborrhea needs to be treated with a medicated shampoo to reverse the effects of the condition. After treatment, the dog usually will produce less dander.