Extensive dog hair loss can simply be a reaction to the weather getting warmer or it could be a sign of some hidden health problem. First make sure to treat the primary issue properly. Then you’ll need only very simple natural remedies to quickly grow the hair back.
The first signs that your dog’s shedding should be taken seriously is if the dog is losing massive amounts of hair in a short period of time or if it doesn’t shed evenly (you can see bald spots in its fur).
You can often spot other symptoms as well, such as the skin becoming red and swollen, crusting, flaking, an unpleasant odor from an infection and the dog can become either restless or lethargic.
Dog hair loss itself can be treated at home. However, it is important to take your dog to a veterinarian, to get a proper treatment for the primary issue that had caused the hair loss in the first place.
Some common causes of extensive shedding are: mange, flea or lice infestations, allergies, hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition, infection, trauma, tumor, stress, genetics…
How to Treat Dog Hair Loss
When your dog suddenly starts to lose a lot of hair, it is very important to treat the cause of the hair loss, and not just the symptoms. Your vet can diagnose the primary disease or condition your dog is dealing with, prescribe the meds and suggest future steps.
The vet may prescribe antibiotics, if the cause of your dog’s hair loss is some bacterial infection, or antifungals for a fungal infection. In case of hormonal imbalance, hormone treatment and/or using supplements can help solve the problem.
Your dog could be allergic to something in your environment, which can make its skin irritated and itchy and cause the dog to lick and scratch parts of its fur and skin. This licking, biting and scratching can lead to hair loss in that area.
Try to figure out with the vet what the allergen might be. Dogs can be allergic to a number of things, including pollen, dust, mold, some chemical in the shampoo you are using… Whatever it is, try to keep it away from your dog. If it is some food, stop giving it to the dog.
Other than food allergies, you may also need to change your dog’s diet if currently it doesn’t provide enough nutrients to the dog. That can be another cause of the hair loss.
Sometimes, that change can be minimal, like adding a tablespoon of fish or flax seed oil to your dog’s meal. If the changes need to be more drastic, your vet can give you a thorough meal plan to follow.
You can also prevent the further hair loss and speed up the hair regrowth process by treating the dog’s skin and hair with some of the following natural remedies for dog hair loss:
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural skin treatments, often used to purify and soothe both human and animal skin. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can help with treating irritations, redness and itching, speed up the healing of the skin and enhance the hair regrowth.
There are two ways you can use apple cider vinegar to treat dog hair loss. First, if you want to treat the whole body fur, you can add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the dog’s bath water.
You can also mix apple cider vinegar with water in a 50:50 ratio. Dab or spray the mixture to the affected areas once or twice a day.
Lemon juice has similar acidic nature as apple cider vinegar. They are both great in dealing with infections and restoring the pH of your dog’s skin.
Mix 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply a small amount to the affected skin a few times a day.
Olive oil is one of the most nourishing natural oils. It has high content of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, all necessary for healthy skin and hair. In fact, many women use it to naturally speed up the hair growth and nourish their hair and scalp.
Olive oil has very similar effect on the dog’s fur as well. It can soothe and nourish the dry, rough and irritated patches of the dog’s skin and stimulate the hair growth. Plus, olive oil can smother mites, which often are the cause of the dog hair loss.
To use olive oil, you can simply apply a small amount and massage it into your dog’s skin and fur. You can use it on the whole fur, to make the hair thick, shiny and healthy, but pay special attention to the areas affected by the hair loss.
Like olive oil, coconut oil is also a great natural moisturizer that can help treat the dry, irritated skin. It also nourishes the hair, makes it healthy and strong and stimulates the growth.
The reason coconut oil is a great choice for treating hair loss is that it contains lauric acid. This fatty acid can penetrate the hair shaft. It conditions both skin and hair and it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Since coconut oil is firm at room temperature, you will have to warm it up before using it. Massage a small amount into the skin and fur. Use it once or twice a day.
Oatmeal is one of the best remedies for dry, irritated skin. It has amazing soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can certainly help relieve the itchiness and make the dog stop scratching its fur. And once you stop the hair falling out, the new hair will start to grow back soon.
To make an oatmeal bath, finely grind some rolled oats. You will need 1 – 2 cups, depending on the size of the dog (and accordingly – the size of the bath). Dissolve the ground oatmeal in the tub full of warm water.
Your dog should stay in the water for at least 10 or 15 minutes. After that, you can rinse the oatmeal water out of its fur.