• Black dandruff on a dog can be a sign of dry skin or can indicate fleas. Consult your veterinarian to identify the exact cause and solution.

    Healthy Skin

    According to the American Kennel Association, healthy skin is flexible and smooth, without scabs, flakes or red areas. It can be pink, brown or black, and spotted skin is normal.

    Dry Skin

    Black dandruff can be dead skin cells your dog is shedding from its body. If a dog is not bathed for a few days, dandruff can build up and become noticeable.

    Flea Dust

    Black dandruff also can be a sign of fleas. Fleas can cause itchiness and excessive dandruff and leave behind black "dirt" or flea droppings.

    Testing for Fleas

    To test for fleas, blow gently on your dog's stomach or brush the hair back in a few places. Look for small flecks that scurry away.


    Dry skin can be treated by brushing out the dandruff and applying a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Fleas can be treated with topical medication.


    American Kennel Club

    Dog Dandruff Guide

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