10 Simple Home Remedies for Dog Hair Loss and Itching

Dog hair loss is more common than you might think; your dog’s coat and skin need looking after to ensure it stays in prime condition; otherwise, problems may occur, which can result in your furry friend having bald patches.

We have rounded up the best 10 home remedies for dog hair loss, from coconut oil in dog food to warm water with lemon juice rinse after a bath.

We will look at:

  • Dog hair loss home remedies such as olive oil and lavender
  • What may be causing your dog’s hair to fall out?
  • How to look after your dog’s skin
  • Why the right dog food is important
  • What you can do to boost your dog’s immune system

The Best Home Remedies-Dog Hair Loss

Aloe Vera

We know that Aloe vera is good for human skin as it can often be found in skincare products and aftersun. It can provide relief from irritated skin and as it has natural antibacterial properties, it kills bacteria that may linger in your dog’s fur and cause infections.

Studies have shown that aloe vera reduces the growth of yeast and it also contains Acemannan, which helps dogs that suffer from skin allergies, so it is a great natural remedy for healthy skin and hair growth.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Boasting both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is great for a dog’s hair loss problem a

You can either dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water and apply it directly to your dog’s skin with a spray bottle, or you can use it diluted as a final rinse when bathing.

You can also boost Fiso’s immune system by adding a few drops into his dog food

  • 1 teaspoon for dogs up to 15lb’s
  • 2 teaspoons for dogs between 15 and 35lb’s
  • 1 tablespoon for dogs above 35lb’s

This will also result in a healthier coat and makes apple cider vinegar one of our favourite dog hair loss home remedies.

Baking Soda

If your canine companion suffers from hair loss and has itchy skin, try adding baking soda to his bathwater. It can relieve and soothe redness, helping to stop your pooch scratching and reduce hair loss and an added benefit is it also removes odours.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice is effective at repelling fleas which are one of the main causes of hair loss in dogs; you can combine lemon juice with baking soda or use it on its own just add a couple of slices to some warm water let it infuse and use as a final rinse. Don’t use undiluted juice as it may sting if your dog has sores.

Coconut Oil

Extra virgin coconut oil is fantastic for your best friends skin as it contains lauric acid, which kills yeast and bacteria that build up on the skin and cause hair loss in dogs. You can use it topically to keep skin moisturised, or you could also add coconut oil to your dog’s diet to boost the immune system and make sure Fido has a shiny coat.

Omega 3 fatty acids

These are essential for a dog’s coat and it’s important to feed a healthy diet rich in omega fatty acids. You can boost your dog’s intake by feeding them supplements or giving them a treat of some oily fish like sardines now and again.

Lavender

Not all essential oils are safe for dogs, but Lavender essential oil is great for excessive hair loss as it promotes growth and is antimicrobial, so it can help kill the bacteria and fungi on your dog’s coat that cause infections; it can also help to calm skin irritation and reduce dandruff

CBD Oil

There’s been a lot of talk about the benefits of Hemp Oil for dogs recently. CBD oil’s nourishing and calming properties certainly speed up the process of repair and stimulate hair growth by improving circulation; it can also calm inflammation caused by allergic reactions.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a fantastic remedy for hair loss; just add a teaspoon to their food daily, or you can even give them a massage rubbing it into the coat, although, for dogs who like the taste of olive oil, it may make them lick the areas more. You might need a more bitter solution like apple cider vinegar.

Oatmeal

Many dog shampoos contain oatmeal as it is a well-known remedy to soothe itching; it nourishes and soothes dry skin, making Fido feel more comfortable and less inclined to scratch. It also has exfoliating properties to remove dead skin cells and help dogs with flaky skin.

What causes Dog’s Hair Loss?

Allergies

Allergies are a common cause of dog hair loss; like their human’s, dogs can be sensitive to certain foods, environmental triggers like pollen, or household substances. Fleas and parasites can also cause allergic reactions and as your dog scratches and bites themselves to relieve the itching, it can cause bald spots.

Some breeds are more prone to allergies; these include

  • Labrador
  • German Shepherd
  • Boxer
  • French Bulldog
  • Bichon Frise
  • Maltese
  • Golden Retriever
  • Poodle
  • Cocker Spaniel

It’s important to treat the underlying cause. If you think your best friend suffers from allergies, visit the vet, who may recommend a change in diet, natural remedies like apple cider vinegar or topical treatments.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism is another cause of hair loss. More common in older dogs, it’s an endocrine condition triggered by the overproduction of cortisol. Other symptoms include an increased appetite, drinking more than usual, panting, and a potbelly in later stages.

If you are concerned about your dog’s health and think they may have Cushing’s disease visit your vet as some treatments and medications can make life much more comfortable.

Mange

Sarcoptic mange, commonly known as canine scabies, is a highly contagious skin condition that can cause hair loss in dogs. The mange mites burrow deep into the skin, causing intensely itchy skin, which causes Fido to scratch like mad. This results in inflamed skin and hair loss.

A vet can prescribe a combination of treatments, but because these only kill adult mites, it can take a while to resolve and you should keep your pooch quarantined during treatment.

Ringworm

If your dog has ringworm, you will notice circular patches of hair loss. Ringworm is not actually a worm but a type of fungus which is highly contagious. The fungus grows and lives in the top layer of a dog’s skin and also in hair follicles, which makes them brittle and break, causing hair to fall out.

It needs to be treated by a vet, but it can be prevented from re-occurring by using an anti-fungal shampoo.

Pressure sores

Pressure sores can usually be found in older dogs or giant breeds like Mastiffs, whose weight bears down on the bony pressure points of the hocks and elbows when lying down. Also, dogs recovering from surgery or those that spend a lot of time laying on hard surfaces can develop these sores.

These need to be addressed or will result in abscesses or open wounds. The best way to prevent these is to make sure your pup has a thick well-padded bed to sleep on.

Fleas

The most common cause of abnormal hair loss is fleas; most dogs are allergic to the saliva of these pests, which causes intense scratching and biting, resulting in your dog’s fur becoming threadbare.

To prevent your dog from losing hair and skin irritation, you will need to apply a medicated topical treatment and keep fleas at bay with either natural home remedies like apple cider vinegar or good flea shampoo.

Genetics

Some breeds of dogs have a genetic predisposition to hair loss; these include Dachshunds, Bulldogs, Dobermanns and Boxers.

Seasonal Hair Loss

Seasonal hair loss can affect dogs in the spring and autumn; breeds such as Labradors, Boxers, Akitas, and Airedale Terriers are especially susceptible to this kind of hair loss. The hair usually grows back, if rather slowly.

Hypothyroidism

This is a condition that is triggered by the lack of hormones produced by the Thyroid gland. There are other symptoms, but one of the main ones is hair loss and your dog’s coat condition. Usually seen in medium to large dogs, between 4-10 years of age, breeds predisposed to developing thyroid problems include

  • Golden Retriever,
  • Doberman Pinscher,
  • Great Dane,
  • Irish Setter,
  • Miniature Schnauzer,
  • Dachshund,
  • Boxer
  • Cocker Spaniel,
  • Poodle

Infections

Bacterial infections are a common cause of hair loss in dogs; dog owners must ensure that they groom their dogs regularly to remove as much dirt, debris and hair as possible; dogs that are often wet like Spaniels and Labs are particularly susceptible to ear infections and skin infections as the bacteria love moist, damp conditions.

To brush up on your dog grooming skills check out this handy how-to groom a dog guide.

6 Ways to Prevent Dog Hair Loss

Take a Bath

Bathing your dog regularly with the right shampoo can prevent hair loss; there are countless options when it comes to dog shampoos, ones that have antibacterial and antifungal properties, hypoallergenic shampoo designed to ease itchiness caused by allergies and others that nourish and keep the skin moisturised.

It is important not the wash your dog too much as this can strip away their natural oils, but weekly baths can improve certain skin conditions.

Brushing

Bacteria loves to breed in the loose hair that becomes trapped next to moist skin and in the debris your dog collects on a day to day basis, so it’s essential to brush your pup regularly; this will stop any bacteria build up and also prevent tangles which can also cause him to scratch himself silly as well as dog’s hair loss.

Comfortable Bed

As we mentioned earlier, your dog may suffer hair loss due to pressure points being rubbed; this is easily solved by purchasing a comfortable bed that is thick enough to support their joints, skinny breeds that don’t have much fat to protect their joints and giant breeds benefit from a padded bed.

Flea Treatments

As fleas are one of the main causes of dog hair loss, it’s vital to keep these pesky parasites at bay. Use a regular topical treatment or take preventative measures like natural repellents or flea shampoos to make sure your dog’s coat stays parasite free.

Diet

A healthy diet plays an important part in the condition of your dog’s skin and coat, especially if they suffer from food allergies. Make sure your pet’s food has the proper nutrition, no low-quality grains used as filler and no artificial colours or preservatives. If you think your pup has allergies try feeding them some cooked chicken breast, fully cooked rice or cooked vegetables to see if things improve or have a word with your vet.

Use a Humidifier

The use of central heating in modern homes makes the air dry and this, in turn, will affect your best friend’s coat. Dry skin will cause your dog to scratch, which can result in your pet’s hair falling out; using a humidifier can help keep their skin moisturised, causing them to scratch less.

Talk to your vet

If you are worried about hair loss or think your pooch may be showing hair loss symptoms consult your local veterinarian, who will be able to establish the underlying cause and prescribe treatment if necessary.

Looking After Your Dog’s Skin

Looking after your pet’s skin is a vital part of your dog’s health.

First and foremost, you must ensure your dog’s food gives them the correct nutrition to keep their coat healthy. Keep up to date with flea treatments and regularly groom to remove loose hair and debris, which can harbour bacteria.

If your dog suffers from allergies, try to cut down on chemicals used around the home, such as air fresheners and detergents and hoover regularly to prevent dust mites.

Keep fido clean; Canine Alopecia always has an underlying cause, so reducing the bacteria and fungus on their skin will prevent infections that result in incessant scratching.

You could try massaging a few drops of olive oil, flaxseed oil or coconut oil into their coat whilst grooming.

The hair loss home remedies above are great, but you should always consult your vet if you are worried about your pet’s health; whether it be excessive shedding or potential allergic reaction, you can’t treat something if you don’t know what’s causing the problem.

The Last Word

Keeping your furry friend’s coat shiny and in prime condition is something every dog owner wants and hair loss is a sign that something is wrong, whether it be poor nutrition or a nasty flea infestation.

Once you have established what’s causing your pup to lose hair you can tackle the problem. Many of the hair loss home remedies above will help improve the condition of the coat, strengthen the hair shafts, keep the skin moisturized, and, best of all, they’re safe to use.

A change in your dog’s food may be all that’s needed for your dog’s hair to regrow and you could always try adding some undiluted apple cider vinegar to give your dog’s immune system a boost.

Hair loss in dogs is something that needs to be addressed, but the good news is it’s usually nothing too serious and can be prevented easily by using the home remedies we have talked about. Other issues such as how to resolve a dog’s dry skin and washing dogs with baby shampoo can be found on these guides.

If you have a balding beagle or a Schnauzer that won’t stop scratching, give them a try!

Donna Hepburn

Published author, content writer and qualified dog behaviourist I have owned dogs all my life from Boxers, Rottweilers and Akitas, to Staffies and currently a very demanding Frenchie who is harder work than all the others put together.

I had a collar making business for over 10 years and am involved with several doggy charities. I currently live in the northeast and when I am not writing about dogs I enjoy, travelling, cooking and reading.

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