PetMeds® Hair Loss in Pets

hair-loss-dogs-cats One of the most common complaints of animal guardians is when their pets are losing hair.  Hair loss can have many possible causes in dogs and cats, and differential diagnoses will include the question as to whether the pet is itching/pulling the hair out or whether the hair is falling out on its own. For example, in young dogs that lose patches of hair on their face, ears, trunk or legs, demodectic mange and fungal ringworm should be ruled out as a possibility.

In many cases these puppies are not itchy. Hair loss is also commonly caused by allergies in all aged dogs, whether from food allergies, flea bite allergies and/or inhalant/contact allergies. Some pets can have various combinations of these allergies as well as secondary bacterial or yeast infections that need veterinary attention. In itchy pets, many times clients can try using antihistamines like Chlorpheniramine, Clemastine, or Diphenhydramine (Generic Benadryl).  Shampoo therapy with products like chlorihexiderm shampoo, 1800PetMeds Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Shampoo or Keto chlor shampoo may help as well if there are infections involved.  In those pets that have allergies, adding supplements like Brite Coat XS or Super Pure Omega 3 can also help when mixed in with food. Shed Terminator is a nice product for those nonspecific shedders of hair.

Dietary quality can also play a role in hair loss in pets, and sometimes just changing to an all natural diet like Natures Variety or Halo can help with nonspecific hair loss. Certainly pets that are uncomfortable or have chronic or relapsing hair loss should have a full veterinary workup to sort out possible underlying causes so the best treatment plan can be instituted.

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  2. When my dog started to lose hair, I lost him in few months 🙁

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Not really sure what would be cause of death with only sign of hair loss. Must have been either other signs and/or problems with internal organs, etc that were not apparent.

  4. my dog iis a 12year old akita mix who has hot spotsfrom constant nibblingand licking he also does the corn cob nibbling on hiis rear leg as mentioned earlier on this site. in wamer weather he will scratch out a depression in the soil in the backyard and lay in it.I have always thought it di this to cool off in the dirt…. but after reading the post here i now believe he was seeking relief from the itching… unfortunately.. he was also picking up more fleas mites; bacteria ; etc. contributing to his itching I do bath him regularly to relieve his itching… to the point the dog will now climb willingly into the tub when the water is running. I have used Q tips to apply hydrogen peroxide to theseopen hot spotswhen he is dried off. in an attempt to kill any bacteria presene the dog seems to tolerate the aplication…

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I would have vet check and possibly thyroid profile done to rule out low thyroid as also contributing to coat and skin problems. Also consider antihistamine such as benadryl at dose of 1 mg per pound twice daily to help with itching, as well as consider adding fatty acid such as be well from 1800petmeds as supplement which also may help when used long term.

  6. My cat is a 5 yr old female who had her annual checkup just 4 days ago. She was given a rabies shot and a caicivax booster. We have just discovered a bald spot on her back just below the back of her neck. The spot would be difficult for her to lick or bite. Area is not red, blotchy, no nodules. Area appears clean just missing hair. Could this be an allergic reaction to either of the shots?

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Does sound like an allergic reactions to the vaccinations. I would recommend consulting a homeopathic vet to try and prevent long term effects on her immune system. To learn more about homeopathy see or my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  8. my dog was given birth of 6 puppies last june 4 after giving birth after i think 2 weeks she began lossing her hair what should i do is there any treatment cn i use to back her hair again?like soap,shampoo or eve a medicine?

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I would have her hormone levels checked including her thyroid levels to see if low.

  10. My dog is 14 years old she had hotspots and fleas so I put frontline plus on her and now her has is falling out on her back and tail what should I do for her

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 22, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    You could try adding fatty acids like be well and enzymes like naturevet enzymes to meals from 1800petmeds. See vet about hair loss issue.

  12. My dog has a heat rash type skin loss at the base of her tail. She has a skin condition called Studs Tail. What can I use to treat this? A shampoo containing Benzoyl Peroxide was recommended……?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    That type of shampoo is fine. Also may need anti inflammatories and antibiotics from your vet. Consider yucca intensive from 1800petmeds.

  14. my dog losses a lot of hair. There is no evidence of any disease or fleas. Just a lot of hair loss. She will not eat any dog food only human food. I boil her chicken which she will eat. She is a rescue dog, part chi hua hua and part corgi. I would appreciate any info you could give me.

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 2, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Still could be nutritional related. IF feeding home made diet, best to feed balanced recipe. To learn more and get a recipe, go to for my friend and colleague Chef Loreen Playford’s great website and information on this topic. Also add naturevet enzymes and missing link from 1800petmeds for added coat quality

  16. We have a 6 year old female newfie, she is not spayed, about a month now her hair is falling out in clumps, you can actually just gently tug on it and you have a handful of hair. At first I thought she was confused of the seasons and started to shed her winter coat, but now i’m beginning to think its more. She eats fine, drinks as usual, she is still hyper as ever, any thoughts as to what is causing this? I haven’t put my vacuum away in 3 weeks!

  17. My almost 12 months old miniature schnauzer is in the process of changing foods (we are mixing the two) from Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food – Toy Breed to Nature’s Variety – Instinct, Chicken Meal Formula (grain free). We made the switch yesterday, and today he has a spot of hair missing right under his eye.

    I am very confused because I thought Nature’s Variety was supposed to be a more healthy option, and remedy for allergies/sensitive tummies (not that he had these issues, but I wanted him to have a healthy diet).

    The only other change is the Alladerm Efa-Caps he takes (starting about 3 weeks ago), which are supplements like Omega-3 to keep his skin clear since he is a schnauzer.

    He does not have any issues, and does not seem to be affected by anything related to the hair loss (no scratching or discomfort — same energy level, still excited to eat and healthy stool).

    Should I stop change in food to rule it out, or continue with it to see if it is the culprit? Any other possibilities I am overlooking?

    Thank you for your help!

  18. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    I doubt it is the food. Many possibilities here, as this age range could have genetic deficiency leading to overgrowth of demodex mange mites, not to mention other issues. Best to have vet check and skin scrape, etc before you blame the better diet. I have also seen chronic vaccinosis do this in young pets, as vaccinations are in my opinion often a culprit in these cases.

  19. Thank you so much for your professional insight. I appreciate the quick response!

  20. My dog losses alot of hair. No evidence of disease or fleas. She eats well. Any thoughts of what is causing this.

  21. One of my dogs, mixed breed – some sort of running dog and anyone’s guess for the rest. Short haired and normally looses very little hair. We have seen a sudden excessive loss of hair, not moulting, and from all over. Behaviour normal and eating fine. Regular medication for under active thyroid. Time for the vet or monitor for a week or two?

  22. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Best to see vet for recheck.

  23. Many Thanks, will do re bet and thank you for the fast response

  24. My Dog ( German Sephard) aged about 3 years having sever Hair loss.She is a dramatic to take food.We used to feed her like a baby..
    Can any one pls tell me the remedies to be followed for anti hair loss of my Dog

  25. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 9, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Many possibilities would depend on causes of hair loss. Vet exam and skin scrape needed to rule out mites, parasites, staph or yeast infection, hormonal issues, etc

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