Just like humans suffer from hair loss, the problem is common in dogs too!
Most dogs shed their hair, some breeds to a greater degree than others. They usually shed more during the summer than the winter months. This happens due to the seasonal shedding rotations related to variations in light.
However, if your dog is shedding more than normal, especially to the point of developing bald areas on the body, you need to take the problem seriously. Hair loss in dogs can be a sign of deeper issues. It can indicate medical problems like mange, mites, fleas, ticks or dermatitis.
Allergies to various environmental factors like dust mites, mold and pollen can also cause hair loss in dogs.
Sometimes excess hair loss can be caused by hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing disease, as well as genetics.
Hair loss in canines is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as itching, skin irritation, biting and chewing on spots.
Hair loss in dogs is a solvable problem, and you can easily fix it with some simple and effective home remedies.
Treatment with home remedies is more of a gradual process, and you will not get the results overnight. Have patience and soon you will see improvement.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for hair loss in dogs.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
For hair loss in dogs due to an infection or allergy, apple cider vinegar is the best remedy.
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and helps restore the acidic nature of your pet’s skin, kill off pathogens and reduce the itchiness. It also gives your pet’s immune system a good boost.
- Pour raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and an equal amount of water into a spray bottle. Give it a shake to mix up the ingredients. Spray the solution all over your dog’s skin. Allow it to dry on its own. Use this remedy 1 or 2 times a day, depending upon the severity of hair loss.
- Also, add raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food once daily for 1 week. The dose is 1 teaspoon for dogs up to 14 pounds, 2 teaspoons for dogs between 15 and 34 pounds, and 1 tablespoon for dogs between 35 and 85 pounds.
Note: Do not apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on your dog’s body, as it can sting.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a good home remedy to apply on a dog’s coat and skin, especially when suffering from excessive hair loss.
Olive oil helps smother mites and control mange, two common causes of hair loss in dogs. The vitamin E in olive oil also helps moisturize as well as soothe any irritation caused by severe itching due to hair loss.
The oil also promotes the growth of new skin and hair in the affected areas.
- Rub some extra-virgin olive oil directly on your dog’s skin, so that it gets fully absorbed into the skin. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
- Olive oil can be given orally, too. However, check with your vet regarding the recommended dosage for your specific dog breed.
3. Lemon Juice
If your pet’s hair loss is due to mange or mites, lemon juice is a good remedy to use at home.
Lemon juice has natural antibacterial properties that can treat a dog’s hair loss problem. Being highly acidic, it can successfully kill the microscopic parasites and help heal the damaged skin.
- Cut up 1 lemon (along with the peel) into small pieces.
- Add the lemon pieces to a pan filled with water and bring it to a boil.
- Turn off the stove, cover the pan and allow the solution to steep overnight.
- In the morning, apply the mixture on your pet’s coat using a sponge.
- Do this once daily for a few days.
Note: Do not apply lemon juice directly on a wound, as it can cause a burning sensation.
4. Coconut Oil
Whether used orally or topically, coconut oil may be the answer to your dog’s hair loss and itchy skin due to an infection. Infections are the leading cause of hair loss in pets.
The high fat content of coconut oil helps keep the skin moisturized and promotes the growth of healthy skin and hair.
Also, the lauric acid in it helps build up the topical immunity of your pet.
- To apply topically, thoroughly mix ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil and 2 drops of oil of oregano. Rub the mixture on your dog’s coat where there is excess hair loss. Do it twice daily.
- To administer orally, mix between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil (depending on the size of your dog) into your dog’s meal. Do it once a day.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a great remedy to prevent hair loss due to excessive itching. It helps soothe the skin and prevent your pet from scratching, which causes huge discomfort and more hair loss.
Due to its natural antiseptic and antiparasitic nature, aloe vera is a great remedy for mange in dogs. Mange is one of the most common reasons behind hair loss in pets.
- Give your dog a nice soapy bath and allow the fur to air-dry.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the skin. There is no need to rinse the gel off the skin.
- Do this once daily.
If the hair loss is associated with widespread itching, an oatmeal bath is the right solution.
Oatmeal soothes, nourishes and moisturizes your pet’s skin, which in turn relieves the itchiness and keeps your pet comfortable.
- Add 1½ cups of ground oatmeal to a big tub filled with warm water.
- Mix in a few drops of lavender essential oil.
- Bathe your dog in the oatmeal bath for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse away the oats with warm water.
- Repeat once daily while your dog has itchy skin.
7. Regular Baths
You need to give your canine friend frequent baths to maintain healthy skin and prevent hair loss, especially during the spring and summer.
Regular bathing will protect your pet from various environmental factors like dust mites, mold and pollen that can lead to skin allergies. Hair loss often occurs in pets due to allergies.
The frequency of bathing varies depending on your dog’s breed, coat, activity level and any medical conditions. It can be from once a week to once a month. Ask your vet how often you should bathe your pet.
Also, use the correct shampoo to bathe your dog. A good shampoo can stave off a number of skin problems, as well as make your dog’s coat look nice and shiny. You can ask your vet what shampoo you should use.
8. Regular Brushing
To maintain a healthy skin and coat and prevent hair loss, groom your dog regularly. Brushing your dog’s coat will help get rid of allergens that can lead to hair loss.
Brushing the coat on a regular basis also helps distribute the dog’s skin oils into the fur. This helps the fur stay in its place.
Furthermore, regular brushing stimulates the skin and hair follicles, which in turn increases the natural production of skin oils that make the coat shiny.
Brush your dog at least once every other day. Always select an appropriate brush for the type of fur your dog has.
Also, if your dog has long hair, keep it trimmed to prevent skin and coat problems.
9. Healthy Diet
A nutritionally rich diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of your dog’s skin and preventing hair loss.
Remember, the better your dog’s food, the better will be your dog’s immunity, which is important for fighting different kinds of diseases.
Hair is mostly made of protein, so a protein-based diet is important. In addition, your dog’s diet should include healthy fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, folic acid, biotin and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and E.
Try to introduce some homemade options to your dog. Cooked chicken breast, cooked vegetables or fully cooked rice are some good options to feed your pet.
If your dog’s hair loss is caused by certain food allergies, eliminate the food in question from his diet. The most common food allergies in dogs include wheat, corn, soy, eggs and even beef or chicken.
10. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, play an important role in keeping your dog’s hair in good condition. Also, it can make the hair strong and prevent hair loss.
Plus, the anti-inflammatory nature of omega-3 fatty acids helps protect your pet from allergies or other inflammatory skin conditions. On top of that, a deficiency of fatty acids can make your pet’s coat look dull.
Look for high quality omega-3 supplements that contain EPA and DHA. Supplements come in liquid or capsule form. You can choose whichever is comfortable for you to feed to your dog.
Consult your vet before giving your dog any kind of supplements.
- For seasonal hair loss, you can also try applying almond oil to your pet’s hair.
- Melatonin therapy can work as a natural treatment for hair loss in dogs.
- Benadryl is a common antihistamine that can be given to dogs who suffer from allergic reactions.
- Add molasses to your dog’s food. The dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds.
- For hair loss due to a yeast infection, yogurt is a good remedy.
- Wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week.
- Use sulfur soap to bathe your dog. Its alkaline nature helps keep mange under control and reduces inflammation.
- Your dog may need antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian to treat any infection causing your dog to lose hair.