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Goldendoodle Dandruff: 8 Veterinarian Approved Remedies

By Dr. Merliza Cabriles, D.V.M.

Skin problems in dogs are one of the most common causes of visits to the veterinarian. Apart from their furry coat, the anatomy and function of dogs’ skin are fairly similar to humans’ skin.

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This similarity means that your Goldendoodle can also develop the common skin issues that you get, including dandruff. And just like humans, Goldendoodle dandruff can be a primary condition or secondary to an underlying health issue.

Other symptoms may accompany Goldendoodle dandruff depending on the severity of the problem and the underlying cause.

What Are the White Flakes in My Goldendoodle’s Fur?

Dandruff forms when there is an abnormal accumulation of dead skin cells. Those white flakes on your Goldendoodle’s fur are dandruff. You will see the flakes falling off when your dog starts scratching or shaking their body. 

The problem occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands produce excess oil that can irritate the skin and lead to excessive shedding and flaking. 

Why Does My Goldendoodle Have Dandruff?

Goldendoodles are likely to develop dandruff, a skin problem that they often inherit from the Golden Retriever side of their heritage.

Golden Retrievers are among the few dog breeds prone to ichthyosis (fish scale disease), a hereditary condition that causes excessive scaling and formation of dandruff. 

Signs & Symptoms of Dandruff in Goldendoodles

Aside from the small, white flakes on your dog’s coat, other symptoms generally accompany Goldendoodle dandruff.

Excessive Scratching

The excess oil from the skin’s sebaceous glands causes irritation which can be very itchy. Intense itching will cause your Goldendoodle to scratch, lick, and bite their skin persistently.

This can eventually cause the dog’s skin to become raw and be prone to secondary bacterial or fungal infections. Scabs and wounds may also be present. 

Read More: Does Your Goldendoodle Have Itchy Skin? Here’s How to Help!

Excessive Shedding

As your Goldendoodle continues to scratch and lick their skin, there will be excessive hair loss. A foul odor may also be noticeable in the affected areas. 

Read More: Do Goldendoodles Shed? The TRUTH About Goldendoodle Shedding

Is Dandruff Normal for Dogs?  What About Puppies?

Dandruff is a prevalent skin issue in many dogs, including Goldendoodles. If your Goldendoodle has dandruff at any time in their life, it’s a red flag indicating something is wrong with their skin.

Identifying the underlying cause or the predisposing factor is vital in addressing the issue and putting a stop to your pet’s dandruff woes. 

Goldendoodle puppies are likely to develop dandruff because their sebaceous glands tend to be under-active. This is especially true in dogs less than four months of age.

As their sebaceous glands mature and develop, they are able to meet the lubricating needs of the puppy’s skin and hair. 

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Causes of Goldendoodle Dandruff

Goldendoodle dandruff has several possible causes. Treatment success ultimately depends on pinpointing the underlying cause so the appropriate treatment measures can be given.

Some of the most common causes of dandruff in Goldendoodles include the following:

Hormonal Problems and Autoimmune Diseases

Hormonal imbalances, such as hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) or an imbalance in the cortisol hormone, can affect the body’s thermoregulatory mechanism and metabolism.

Dandruff caused by an imbalance in a Goldendoodle’s hormones is often accompanied by other symptoms associated with the primary disorder. 

Pemphigus, a type of autoimmune disease, causes the body’s immune system to react against the dog’s own skin. This can result in severe skin inflammation, scaling, and dandruff. 

Low Humidity

If the air inside your home or in the area where you live is dry, this can cause your Goldendoodle’s skin to become dry as the environment strips your pet’s skin of moisture.

Dry skin is very itchy, causing your pet to scratch frequently. This scratching can worsen skin flakiness.

You should keep a close eye on your Goldendoodle’s skin and hair coat, especially during winter when the furnace is on, as this can dry your pet’s skin. 

Poor Nutrition

Like all dogs, your Goldendoodle will benefit from a complete and balanced diet. Essential nutrients are necessary to keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. Poor nutrition can cause your pet’s hair to become dull and coarse; skin crusts may also be present.

Make sure to give your Goldendoodle a life-stage-appropriate, nutritionally balanced diet. Ask your veterinarian about fatty acid supplements, such as omega-3. These fatty acids are essential to keeping your Goldendoodle’s skin and coat healthy.

Another nutrient that plays an essential role in the health of your dog’s skin and hair is protein. A diet deficient in essential nutrients can compromise skin and hair coat health and function. 

Read More: Should Goldendoodles Eat Grain Free? (Veterinarian Advice)


Goldendoodles can be more predisposed to dandruff, a skin problem they can get from their Golden Retriever parent.

The breed is known to be congenitally predisposed to ichthyosis or fish-scale disease. Pets with this condition experience excessive dandruff formation. 

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External Parasites

An infestation of demodectic or sarcoptic mites, fleas, or lice can cause inflammation in the layers of a Goldendoodle’s skin. Inflamed skin can lead to excessive scaling and dandruff.

Infestations are often accompanied by hair loss and excessive production of skin oils that can lead to scaling, flaking, and dandruff. 

Cheyletiella Mites

Also known as “walking dandruff,” these skin mites cause intense itching and discomfort. The mites lay eggs in your Goldendoodle’s skin and hair and feed on dead skin cells. 


Goldendoodle skin allergies can be triggered by various allergens such as the protein component of their diet, dust mites, and pollen. Allergies can make your pet’s skin dry and itchy. 

Read More: How to Discover & Avoid Goldendoodle Food Allergies (Veterinarian Advice!)

Frequent Bathing

Bathing your Goldendoodle too often will strip their coat of natural oils which can lead to dry skin and dandruff. Also, avoid using shampoos formulated for humans as these tend to contain ingredients that can cause an adverse skin reaction, including dandruff.

Goldendoodle Dandruff Home Remedies

Regular Grooming

Regular brushing is one of the easiest ways to keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy and keep Goldendoodle dandruff at bay. Brushing massages the skin and distributes natural skin oils throughout your dog’s hair.

If you don’t have a quality slicker brush for your Goldendoodle, the Chris Christensen Big G is highly recommended by many owners.

Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush

Fatty Acid Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy skin and fur, resulting in less dandruff. Before starting your pet on any supplements or vitamins, it’s highly recommended that you consult with your veterinarian.

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Vitamin E 

Vitamin E can be given as an oral supplement or applied to your Goldendoodle’s skin. It can help soothe any skin irritation and moisturize your pet’s skin. 

Invest in a Good Humidifier

Keeping a humidifier near your dog’s sleeping area can help maintain proper humidity. This can help counter seasonal Goldendoodle dandruff. Low humidity can increase your dog’s predisposition to dandruff. 


Soothe your Goldendoodle’s itchy skin with oatmeal. There are several oatmeal-based dog skin products in pet stores.  You can also give your pet an oatmeal bath to alleviate itchiness.

Burt’s Bees Natural Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs


Yogurt, kefir, or probiotic supplements can help boost your dog’s immune system and help prevent skin infections. 

Coconut Oil

Apply coconut oil directly on your Goldendoodle’s skin to help soothe dry, itchy skin. 

Read More: Coconut Oil for Dogs: 13 Amazing Uses (+5 Dangerous Ones to Avoid!)

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix apple cider vinegar and water (50/50) and apply directly to your pet’s skin. There’s no need to rinse—just let the mixture dry on the skin.

Moderation is the key when it comes to the use of apple cider vinegar for skin issues. 

When To See a Vet

If your Goldendoodle’s dandruff persists, even after using one or more of these home remedies, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian. The constant itching and scratching can damage your dog’s skin and coat which can pave the way for more serious health problems if your pet isn’t given appropriate medical intervention.

Have a question for a vet?  Click here to live chat instantly with a verified veterinarian!

Dr. Merliza Cabriles, D.V.M.

Contributing Professional

Dr. Merliza Cabriles is a licensed veterinarian and university professor with many years of experience in food animal and pet companion medicine. Her passion for writing as well as pet parent education and support is echoed in the articles and ebooks she has written.