Dogs regularly shed their hair; they shed heavily during certain months and only lightly during the rest of the year. Some dog breeds are very heavy shedders and require a lot of maintenance, while others are easier to care for.
The condition of your dog’s coat is a good indicator of their environment, lifestyle, nutrition, and overall health. If your dog is experiencing abnormal hair loss, it’s important that you trace the cause of the problem and address it as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about dog hair loss home remedies and treatment.
Dog Hair Loss Causes and Symptoms
Symptoms of hair loss in dogs are hard to miss and include:
- Brittle or extremely dry hair
- Unseasonal, heavy shedding
- Hair falling in clumps
- Circular or irregularly shaped bald patches
- Itchy, dry, flaky skin accompanied by constant scratching, licking, chewing of the affected areas and general restlessness or distress
Fido’s hair loss may be caused by his environment, diet, or an illness. Below are the most common culprits:
- Parasites, such as fleas, mites, or ticks. These parasites cause intense itching, and if you let the infestation get out of hand, your canine pal will soon be scratching and chewing on his skin so vigorously, causing severe skin irritation and hair loss.
- Dandruff, eczema, and other skin conditions that cause itchiness and dryness. In addition to making your furry pal scratch and chew nonstop so that he ends up aggravating the condition and pulling out hair in the process, these skin problems may also damage the hair follicles — which directly results in hair fall.
- Poor diet may lead to nutrient deficiencies and hair loss is among the common side effects.
- Stress, especially chronic stress, can also cause hair loss in dogs in much the same way that it also sometimes causes hair loss in humans.
- Certain diseases have hair loss as one of the characteristic symptoms. Hypothyroidism, for example, occurs when hormone production is severely diminished and causes hair loss, among other symptoms. Cushing’s disease is a condition wherein there’s an overproduction of cortisol which leads to hair loss, dark patches on the skin, and obesity.
Home Remedies and Treatment for Dog Hair Loss
If Fido’s hair loss is just a symptom of a more serious condition, such as Cushing’s disease, he will need proper veterinary treatment. Some skin problems may also require a thorough checkup, even some diagnostic tests, and prescription medication. But there are steps you can take to protect your canine friend against hair loss and help restore his beautiful and healthy coat.
Take preventive measures against fleas and ticks. If Fido has already acquired these pesky parasites, you can use a mixture of 1 quart water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup baby shampoo as a once-a-week treatment during bath time. Massage the mixture into his coat and leave it on for at least 20 minutes before rinsing. You can continue using this bath solution once a month to also prevent future infestations. This is a great and natural alternative to medicated shampoos.
Another great, natural recipe for anti-flea shampoo is a mixture of 1 cup warm water, ¼ cup aloe vera gel, 2 drops lavender essential oil (or eucalyptus, peppermint, or rosemary essential oils), and 1 tablespoon Castile soap. Make sure to work the shampoo into the hard-to-reach places to get rid of all the parasites, but avoid getting any of it into his eyes.
If your dog has eczema or some other mild skin condition that causes redness, itchiness, and dryness, you can use an oatmeal bath to soothe his skin. Just prepare the oatmeal as you usually do, massage it into his skin or apply it directly on the affected area/s. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes, and then rinse it off.
To treat dry skin, mix together 4 cups water, 1 cup baby shampoo, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup glycerin, and 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel. You can spray this directly on the affected area/s or use it as a soak. Avoid his eye area. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
Switch his diet to something that is nutritionally balanced. Look for formula that contains omega-3 fatty acids; alternatively, you can also give your pet omega-3 supplements, which usually come in the form of fish oil supplements. Make sure Fido’s diet is rich in biotin and other high-quality proteins.
If your dog is stressed, you can try giving him CBD treats to help him relax. For stress-relief, your best bud may only need low doses of CBD and CBD treats are the best option as these are always appealing to dogs and the products only contain low amounts of CBD. You can also directly add CBD oil drops to your pet’s favorite biscuit or mix the oil into his meal.
Of course, giving your dog regular baths and grooming him properly are a basic care routine that will help keep his skin coat healthy and beautiful. Make sure to use good quality shampoo with natural ingredients that promote a healthy coat and maintain healthy skin pH.