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Dogs/Boxer Dandruff


Hi, Roger -

I have spoken to you many times in the past about my boxer, Trixie.  I recently changed her dry food from Fromm Grain Free to Merrick Grain Free.  I do incorporate canned food as well for moisture.  Her coat was doing well on Fromm but now that she's on Merrick, it seems she is contracting minor dandruff and I am not sure that it is due to the switch in her dry food.
I give her salmon oil once a day along with Animal Essentials probiotic with every meal.  All the Merrick Grain Free dry blends have sweet potato in it..not sure if this would be a contributing factor.

Any advice would be appreciated..thanking you in advance for your assistance and expertise as always.


Hi Lisa,

Glad to hear from you again. Sounds like you are taking excellent care of Trixie, she's a lucky girl.

There are a number of things that can cause the dandruff. She's on a good diet so it could be as simple as a couple different ingredients between the two foods.

First, make sure she is getting at least half her diet in the canned foods you are feeding. The more, the better. Even the best dry food is still not the best diet for any dog. But it can have its place when needed.

It's just the more moisture in their diet the better. This helps nourish the skin.

But lets go over a couple things and see if you want to try them.

Not sure what flavors you are feeding but a quick look at the ingredients between the two random ones I looked at, it looks like the Merrick does not contain Flax seed and the Fromm does.

Flax is a great source of omega's and that helps keep the skin and coat nice. I know they use salmon meal and other omega sources but I don't really think there's much viable sources of omega's in dry as they are subject to heat and light.

But maybe the flax holds up better and that might be what was supporting her skin before. So you could try and add your own ground flax or flax oil to her diet and see if that helps.

Another great source of omega's is the canned sardines. These are whole foods and they provide a complete chain of omega 3's and 6's. You can give her half a can twice a week and see if that helps.

Some people have good luck with cod liver oil. But you need to find a good source so they do not over process it. Nordic Naturals or Green Pastures are good ones.

Don't bathe more than once a month. This allows her natural oils to come through her coat and nourish the skin.

Even changes in the season has caused some dogs to start shedding or create more dandruff.

Another treatment you can try is getting some organic apple cider vinegar and diluting it with water. Use about half and half.

Get her all wet like she's getting a bath and pour this mixture all over her. Let it set for about 5 minutes and rinse.

This helps balance the PH on her skin. We've used this a number of times years ago with our dogs and now we tell our customers to do this when they come in with their dogs and they are having hot spots, severe itching or other skin conditions.

You could just go back to Fromm but it's much better to constantly switch proteins and companies with just about every bag. The more variety in her diet the stronger her immune system will be.

The only other thing I could suggest would be switching to the raw food diet. We feed raw exclusively to our dogs and cats with great luck.

But this isn't for everyone or every situation. We've seen first hand hundreds of times how raw foods are transforming pets lives.

But you are providing a good basic diet so that works as well.

So think about trying one of two of the above and see if that may help. Not everything works for every dog so you need to keep trying until you find a good combination.

Let me know if you want to add anything or go over anything else.

Take care,



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

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Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

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