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Dog Hair Loss: How Natural Remedies And Raw Food Can Help

Dog with wigNow that we are squarely in the middle of allergy season, the BARF World Team is fielding tons of phone calls regarding hair loss. As dog owners we need to be aware of our dog’s conditions and prepare them for the seasons and climate changes. If your dog has short hair, then in the winter months your dog may need a thicker coat. Now that we are solidly in spring and looking forward to summer, this is less of a concern (though sunburn may be).

While it’s normal for some dog breeds to shed their “winter coats” as the seasons change, constant fur loss that results in baldness is not common. In fact, it’s worth taking a closer look at.

Hair loss can have a variety of causes, including, but not limited to: sex, age and breed. As a smart, educated pet parent, it is important to understand the triggers for balding. This will allow you to take the proper care and precautions to prevent your dog from suffering. You will also be able to pinpoint the problem and stop the issue before it escalates into something much worse.

Hair loss is also known as alopecia. Alopecia can be divided into two separate categories: inflammatory or non-inflammatory. With the help of your holistic veterinarian, it will be easier for you to distinguish what your dog is suffering from.

Here are some issues that may be causing hair loss:

Allergies: Allergic reactions to a food, chemical, or fleabites or environmental reactions (such as pollen).
Symptoms: Frequent licking or biting where your dog feels skin irritation. You may also notice some redness or inflammation of the skin.

Prevention & Treatment: Along with feeding a BARF raw food diet, applying a topical ointment or lotion to relieve the itching sensation can reduce and alleviate pain that your dog is experiencing. Supplements that promote a stronger immune system can also assist in the battle with allergies for your dog. Incorporate an enzyme, probiotic, and omega-3 supplement to help give your pet’s immune system a boost.

noni lotion

Genetics: Certain breeds like dachshunds, greyhounds or whippets are susceptible to alopecia.

Prevention: Dogs are typically born with this condition and their hair begins to thin over time, particularly under the belly and ear flaps. The only effective method of screening this genetically is by selective breeding.

Cushing’s Syndrome: A benign tumor in the pituitary gland. Can be caused by too many steroids, cortisol or aging.
Symptoms: Thirst, frequent urination, muscle weakness, and/or an enlarged abdomen.

Prevention & Treatment: Your holistic veterinarian may recommend medication, surgery, and feeding a raw diet (BARF Diet).

Infection: Can be caused by fungus, bacteria, or mites.
Symptoms: Thick skin, irritation, inflammation, oily skin and redness. Hair loss can be located where the infection is found. Ringworm can cause irregular hair loss and scabbing.

Prevention & Treatment: Maintaining a clean and safe environment can prevent infections from occurring. The ringworm may clear up by itself; if this does not happen then you may need to treat the area of infection with an antifungal shampoo.

Sores and Rashes: Insect bites or reactions to chemicals and plants.
Symptoms: Lack of appetite, fever, redness, callus or thickened skin.

Prevention & Treatment: Determine what factors trigger your pet to break out so you can find ways to avoid or minimize exposure. Using an all-natural topical cream, ointment, lotion (like Organic Lavender Noni lotion) can reduce the swelling and pain and speed up the healing process. If the condition continues, you may want to speak to your vet for treatment and to avoid an infection.

As you may have noticed, the trend for preventing dog hair loss is to optimal nutrition for your pet. Feeding the BARF diet to your dogs is of the utmost significance because it gives your dogs all of the nutrients that would be found in the wild. It is their evolutionary diet and what they were intended to eat.

It is also important to be mindful of your dog’s surroundings because you never know what they can get into that will cause a reaction. Keeping your dog in a safe, stress-free environment with a good diet and fresh water is essential to keep your dog healthy and full of hair.



Monica Reyes is a Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is a student and working mom to a toddler boy and a terrier mix Mookie. Monica enjoys healthy cooking and spending time with her family. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.

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19 Comments  comments 

19 Responses

  1. I’ve heard so many people report that their dogs got shinier, healthier coats after switching to a raw diet. It took awhile, but after changing my dog’s diet, I noticed his coat got glossier and thicker. He use to have a big bald patch on his chest. I think it’s just from how he lays on our carpet. But now that he’s eating raw, that bald patch is going away. That’s so surprising to me, because he’s had that patch for about six years!

    • Hi Lindsay,
      Thanks for your message. Yes, the BARF diet is definitely great for a healthier coat among other health advantages. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions and/or concerns.

  2. Cuties 🙂 just love it

  3. Hi.
    My dog has really bad hair loss near where his belly starts all the way down to his tail. it is really weird because he has a patch of hair and then as you look down to his tail, he has a bald patch. its really hard to describe, but the same pattern goes all the way down to his tail.
    He also has a lot of fleas and i don’t know how to get rid of them.
    if you could please give me any suggestions on what i could do to help my dog with his fleas and hair loss pattern, i would really appreciate it.
    thank you.

  4. I have a Rat Terrier, 8 years old and she could shed a carpet of hair in two days, I have been feeding her a mixture of cooked chicken , a bit of white or brown rice and the same amount of quinou( 1/2 cup of each) and a 1/2 cup of mixed veggies. She seems quite healthy( doesn’t like walks) except her eyes seem to be runny…not a lot tho’and not cloudy at all’.She’s a cuddley one, quite happy to be by my side now the other one(same age) is quite ready to go for a walk, has the same diet and no shedding,She is a Bishion poodle cross,what do you think would be a good solution? try this raw meat diet,,,how do they get their veggies? and where do you get buy and how much should I feed them and how many times a day? I sincerely hope you can hep me with this problem!! Liz Hall

  5. Andrea

    You say that Apolecia should be genetically screened out; that makes perfect sense. However, my dachshund has it now – will BARF be beneficial for regrowth of hair or is it not treatable?



    I have two GSD’s who are about 7 years old. i have been feeding them raw for about two months now. one had no issues really but his coat is looking thicker and beautiful and his teeth are super white now. the other however had an auto immune diff which caused an overgrowth of yeast pretty much all over his body so that is why i switched him to raw. although he has a ton of energy and has pearly white teeth as well his hair loss has gotten worste. he smells terrible and just looks like we havnt fed him and neglected him. he has no hair what so ever on his sides and belly and well as part of his face, neck and tail. the skin looks like a black elephant’s skin and is very dry and has ton of dandruff. i have given him fishoil, olive oil and egss/yougort along with a ton of meat for his meals but no change so far. any ideas? oh and i also bath him maybe once or twice a month with a tree oil organic shampoo. please help if you could he looks horrible

    • Hi Lacy. Your German Shepherd is going through the detox phase, which is very common in dogs that have been on processed foods for the majority of their lives and/or are very sick and – in your case – immunocompromised. This is not a cause for concern as the body must rid itself of the built-up toxins from the past diet of processed food. You would think that the fastest way to eliminate these toxins is through the stool and urine but such is not the case. The SKIN is the largest organ of the body and therefore the fastest way to eliminate these toxins. Unfortunately, the detox stage is not pretty. Dogs will experience bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss, etc. Not to worry though, this is temporary. We have seen dogs take between 30-60 days to overcome this stage but once they do the real magic (and fun) begins. Your dog will then experience what your other GSD has: clean teeth, bright eyes, shiny coat, better weight, and overall energy. You will have yourself a brand new dog! It sounds like you’re doing your own homemade raw diet. It is best to follow some proven recipes when first “going raw”. In fact, it might be easier to start with our premade raw diet patties until your dogs are at their best. Either way, you should definitely include our Jump-Start supplement bundle (http://www.barfworld.com/cgi-bin/product.cgi?cat=item_80002) to help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and speed up results. You can order this online at http://www.barfworld.com or call us at 1-866-282-2273. Good luck and stick with it – you’re on the right track 🙂

    • Tanya

      Did your dog ever get better? My dog with immune issues is going through the exact same thing right now, and I want to believe its detox from starting raw food. Thx

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  11. Juan S

    Hi, I’ve been giving my 6.5 year old english bulldog raw food for 5+ years, but I noticed he started loosing hair several months ago.
    I don’t see irritated skin issues, or any of the symptoms described previously. What can I add to his regular barf diet to help him with this issue?

    • Monica Samson

      Hello Juan,

      Does your bulldog still struggle with skin allergies? We’d love to help. Give us a call today. 1-866-282-2273

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