I read in one of my dog books about an interesting grooming trick: you can reduce dander (both large dandruff and small allergen types) by putting a capful of liquid fabric softener in a pitcher of water and putting it over the dog after you've rinsed all the soap out.
I didn't believe it, and didn't even want to try it because of Cooper's sensitive skin. So this little bit of information sat in my head for a few months, and Cooper's winter dandruff just kept getting worse. I was also concerned about his own allergies and finding a fabric softener that actually disclosed its ingredients (apparently most are actually made from beef tallow!).
On my last grocery trip, I was looking for my regular laundry soap. And a label caught my eye... Seventh Generation liquid fabric softener had a bright pink label proclaiming that it discloses all ingredients. So I read them and was satisfied. No beef. No dye. No perfume. There were literally four ingredients, including water, salt, and a preservative. The softener itself was derived from canola. And it was even cheaper than the other brand name softeners.
So when I gave him a bath after class on Wednesday, I rinsed him really well and put a capful of the softener in his rinse pitcher. Then I used his washcloth to sponge it all over him, to make sure it got down to the skin. Just towel drying him, I noticed a difference! He was shinier and softer. And it's two days later with less dandruff, and all of his fur is just as soft as his ears. Even when I brush a few flakes off of him, I'm not stirring up dozens more. I'm not sure if it's affecting my husband's allergies in any way, as he's coming down with a cold (this is a danger when all your coworkers have small children; we all get to share their germs).
Thought I'd pass it on. I'm impressed. I calculated that it adds an extra $0.10 to each bath, and it hasn't shown any adverse reactions on Cooper's skin.