Cradle Cap in Puppies: Causes, Signs, and Treatment

Puppies are the most lovable creatures in the world!

However, just like humans, they can also get sick, and one of the conditions they may face is called a “cradle cap.”

This is a skin problem that affects newborn puppies and young ones.

Now, let’s talk about what a puppy cradle cap exactly is and how it shows up in puppies.

Cradle cap, which is also called seborrheic dermatitis, is a scientific term for a skin issue that puppies can have.

When they have this condition, their skin may become itchy, and inflamed, and have scaly patches, which might or might not cause discomfort or pain.

Different Types of Puppy Cradle Caps

There are two kinds of cradle caps that can affect puppies.

1. Dry puppy cradle caps

This condition can affect all dogs. It shows up as scaly skin on the dog’s body and underarms.

Usually, the affected skin feels itchy, looks red, and can get infected.

2. Oily cradle caps

Oily cradle caps make your puppy’s skin feel greasy, smelly, itchy, and irritated.

It can also lead to infections.

Puppies can get oil cradle caps as a secondary issue connected to other skin conditions, such as allergies or thyroid problems.

Signs of Puppy Cradle Cap

You can recognize cradle caps in puppies by looking for these common signs:

  1. Scaling or heavy crusts in certain areas of the scalp.
  2. Skin that appears oily or dry and is covered with thick, white, or yellow scales.
  3. Thick scales may also be present on the ears, eyelashes, nose, and groin areas.
  4. Cracks in the skin.
  5. Redness in the affected areas.

Treating and Preventing Cradle Caps in Puppies

A cradle cap is a common issue in puppies and is usually not a serious health concern, so don’t worry if your puppy has it.

It happens when there’s too much of an oily substance called sebum, resulting in scaly and flaky patches on the skin.

This condition is most common on the scalp but can also appear on the cheeks, ears, and chest.

To help get rid of the cradle cap in your puppy, you can try the following:

  1. Gently brush your puppy’s coat with a soft-bristled brush to remove the flakes.
  2. Use a mild baby shampoo or a special dog shampoo to clean your puppy’s head. Avoid using soap as it may dry out your pup’s skin even more.
  3. Apply a very small amount of coconut oil or olive oil to the affected areas and gently massage it in until it’s absorbed. Leave it on for ten to fifteen minutes before washing it off completely with water.

When Should you Be Concerned about Cradle Caps in your Puppies?

Cradle caps can affect both newborn and young puppies.

It shows up as a thick, greasy, and crusty rash on the scalp, as we mentioned earlier.

While cradle cap is usually not life-threatening, it can be uncomfortable for puppies and concerning for owners.

Sometimes, it might indicate a more serious health issue.

When Should you Start to Worry?

Cradle cap typically appears as a thick and greasy rash on the scalp, making the skin dry and scaly.

In some cases, there might also be hair loss. Additional skin symptoms like increased oiliness or flaking on other parts of the body can follow the rash.

If you notice any of these signs in your puppy, it’s essential to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

How to Prevent Cradle Cap in Newborn Puppies?

Cradle cap is a common condition that can affect newborn puppies, but there are ways to help prevent it.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of cradle caps:

  1. Make sure to give your puppy a bath at least once a week.
  2. Keep your puppy’s ears clean and dry all the time.
  3. Give your puppy’s head a gentle bath using mild dog shampoo every day.
  4. After shampooing, make sure to dry your puppy’s ears thoroughly with a soft towel or cloth.

By following these steps, you can help keep your newborn puppy free from cradle cap.


If you’re a new pet owner, you might worry about your puppy getting a cradle cap, which is a skin condition similar to what human babies can have.

Cradle cap shows up as rough and flaky skin on the scalp of puppies.

While it doesn’t cause harm, it can be uncomfortable and painful in severe cases.

To prevent or treat cradle caps in your puppy, there are some helpful steps to follow. First, make sure to regularly brush and clean your furry friend’s skin and fur.

Cradle caps can develop due to the buildup of oils and dirt, so keeping them clean will help.

You can also use a gentle shampoo designed for sensitive skin to maintain a clean and moisturized area.

If the problem persists or becomes serious, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for advice on possible treatments.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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