Last Modified on Apr 21, 2014
Fur loss or hair loss in pets can be an indication of parasites or of any number of other general health conditions in your dog, cat, or other pet. Beyond impairing your pet's appearance, it can also indicate nutritional deficiencies or overall immune deficiencies that can lead to more serious health problems, so fur loss should be taken seriously.
Natural Pet Cures: The first place to look for the cause of your pet's hair loss or fur loss is with regards to any change in its diet or environment. New food may improve a fur loss condition. Addition of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to food or water may help, as may a diluted ACV spray for its coat.
Diet, Check for Thyroid Issues
11/15/2008: Katharine from Charleston, SC: "If your animal is losing fur, the most common cause I have seen is one of two things:
1. Diet - make sure your pet is on a good brand of pet food or a raw food diet. A "Good" brand includes something that has NO corn, wheat, soy, or animal by-products. To go a step further without going raw, try a good grain-free diet.
2. Thyroid problems - have a blood panel done to see if your pet's thyroid is functioning properly. I have seen many bald dogs that are all suffering from an under-active Thyroid. After determining if this is the problem, refer to remedies for Thyroid."
11/13/2011: Kathy from Billings, Mt, Usa replies: "Please also check if hormone creams are being used by the owner. My 6 pound dog has had unexplained, frustrating and sad hairloss for two years. I homecook for him. And I have tried everything I can think of, including melatonin, which has shown no results either. I think it is the compounded estrogen cream I have been using, and recently veterinarians are seeing more and more of this cause. Save yourself a lot of money in lab tests which show no results. I will be stopping the estrogen use as of today.
I am asking for help for an estrogen detox for my poor little guy. He is otherwise in great health, but he is young. His liver needs a detox, I think. Any suggestions???"
10/07/2012: Noelle from Elkhorn, Ne, USA replies: "During an experiment using multiple methods to treat warts on a bald, blue dachshund (tendency of thyroid problems and alopecia is high with this color in the dachshund world) I had an unexpected outcome.
My bald dog is growing hair on 100% of his little blue body!! I attribute this to the Atomidine (iodine) I was trying it on a couple of the warts. A friend had a bald dog and gave it Seameal (enzyme supplements)... Main ingredient was kelp. The dog went from completely bald to 100% hair growth. Common denominator here is iodine!"
Fur Loss Remedies
04/21/2014: Deborah Zarb Marmara' from Malta: "I have a Brittany Spaniel dog who is two and a half years old. For a year he has been getting the same allergy i.e. loses his fur around the corner of his eyes and itches. The vet has prescribed steroids several time. The allergy goes but comes back 3 weeks after the treatment is stopped. I hate giving all these pills to my dog. Currently I am giving my dog Science Plan food.
I'm desperate to find a remedy which is natural and healthy without involving any medicine and pills and whatsoever.
08/01/2013: Karen from San Francisco: "I have a cat that is pulling her hair out. My vet says it's because she's an older cat and does this instead of cleaning herself. I find it hard to believe as she runs around the house like a kitten. Does anyone have an idea what could be causeing this? Thank you for reading."
07/29/2013: Mallky from Miami, Florida: "My four year old yorkie lost all his hair in the back and legs, only has hair on his head and ears. Have seen two specialist vets: dermatologist, and internist and three other regular vets. Prescribed expensive shampoos, including one with lyme. My dog is so skinny its only the bones covered with a very dry black skin with scabs. Diagnosis ringworm ( never had ringworm symptoms ; ie reddish skin round scab - no never, his skin just got black, lost some of his nails, but all these vets insist it is ringworm. Have been given antibiotics also. Very expensive powder for immune system. I have sprayed him with the apple cider vinegar, used aloe plants and coconut oil and one of my creams of ketoconazole. I am desperate, because he also doesn't like to eat. I would like to try the betadine, lamisil and tea tree oil. Where else can I go? I have spent lots of money in five vets, and my dog is worse. please help if you know a similar case."Replies
07/30/2013: Om from Hope, Bc, Canada replies: "Mallki from Miami. Re your poor dog. Three suggestions. Obtain affordable MMS online from Jim Humble's Website or Real Raw Food in Canada online. Make 20 by 20 drops as per instructions for skin conditions and spray on to dry. He has to wear a cone for the time it takes to dry. This, two to three times a day. My dog is now free from mites after less than two weeks, done twice a day.
You can also try putting him into a box and douse him with turmeric powder. Then you will have a yellow dog. Keep him if you can in an open cage so he does not paint your world yellow. Plus read about turmeric. Alternate with coconut oil. But above all use Essiac tea twice a day; (online) or in health food stores. He needs his immune system raised. So that the immune system can kick in, Essiac will clean him out. Antibiotics will make things much worse. The scabs will come off with ccoconut oil topically as you may have noticed. Use VCO internally and coconut water in syringe to keep him well. Please do not have him vaccinated or pharma medicated as this could be the last straw. Love, Om"
04/12/2013: Alexaustralia from Perth, Wa: "Puppy looses patches of hair: Hi, I have a 4 months old puppy and he has a few little dry patches on his forehead. He doesn't scratch or complains and there only bn 3 patches in 2 Wks. Should I b worried? Or does he just put his head in the wrong places."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 10/24/2012: Deborah from Columbia, South Carolina: "I have 2 Aussie Shepherds -- one is 8 yrs old and the other, 3 years old. They had some problems with fleas the first part of the summer and they seem to want to hold on to the biting of fur. They are biting the fur off of their legs and as far as they can reach on their backs and sides.
We've tried a lot of things and nothing has helped. I read the post on spraying them with equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water.
We tried the first application today and they both took off like rockets after the spraying -- they didn't even hang around for the treats. Do other dogs react like this? I imagine that the ACV is stinging the parts where they have just taken the fur off.
Any suggestions are welcomed."
09/25/2012: Belle from Auckland, New Zealand: "My rescued staffy(?)cross has hair loss on his sides in between the front and rear legs. Same thing happened last year at around the same time of year. I used colloidal silver with success but its not working this time around - does anyone know the possible cause and cure? I would be so grateful for a non vet cure. Having spent lots of $ on various problems. Cant think its mange having read others experiences as there are no sores or flaking or redness- just the hair loss in what appears to be a symetrical pattern on both sides of the trunk."Replies
09/27/2012: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma. replies: "Belle; It sounds to me like it is mange, I treated my cat with the same solutions only to find later it could be scabies because my cat isn't losing any fur but the treatments did work for her and did great, but now she has the same problem, I may have to try lime & sulfur dip I ordered it on line via Dr. S Foster & Smith;I don't think any treatment is going to be perm. No doubt a life long deal but my pets life and comforts are well worth it. Good luck."
09/27/2012: Norma from Auckland, New Zealand replies: "Thankyou Diamond from Salisbury, MA. I have started treatment for mange with the apple cider vinegar recipe. I appreciate your imput and will give this treatment a chance to work, before investigating further. Thanks again, Belle"
07/14/2012: Dorothy from Albuquerque, New Mexico United States: "I have a Great Pyrenees/Aust. Shepard mix that is a rescue. She is about 8 month old. She was very thin and had been spayed and treated for Fleas and ticks when we got her. Since getting her she started losing her hair. We have been to the vet a few times, first they gave her prednisone and said she was allergic to flea dust, they thought, at first she got better. When we took her back, the next vet said she was allergic to pollen they thought. They both had me give her benadryl. Now she is losing hair again and it's getting worse and we don't know where to turn."
04/06/2012: Laura from Newnan, Ga: "My beautiful male orange tabby has always had a very healthy and thick coat. He began licking all the fur off his tummy and now he has licked the area inside his legs excessively. In those areas he only has peach fuzz now. Any suggestions?"Replies
04/07/2012: Gardener from Small Town, Nh, Usa replies: "Dear Laura from GA, Your cat will benefit from food grade diatomaceous earth (DE), added daily at least 1 tsp. To his food, increasing to 2 tsps. Or so a day. If he refuses to eat it, dust his fur with it daily; he will lick it off. This advice comes from the many pet testimonials on a certain website that sells DE. Pet owners say DE restores their pets' thick and lustrous coat (good for humans, as well), and stops abnormal behavior such as compulsive licking. You may find DE at a feed store, but make sure it is labeled Permaguard, which is approved by the FDA as food grade. Great for eliminating parasites also, inside and out. I also recommend adding unrefined virgin coconut oil, warmed gently to liquid, to your cat's food daily, about a tsp. To start with, increasing gradually to a Tbsp. Or so. Again, if he refuses the food, apply the oil to his fur so he'll lick it off. Coconut oil helps to expel fur balls, by the way. Also apply healing coconut oil to his raw skin; it's soothing, antibacterial and anti-fungal You might also try adding DE to coconut oil to make a salve and gently massage it onto the bare areas, as one cat owner did with good results, according to her testimonial on the aforementioned website for DE."
09/07/2012: Lucy from Chester, Uk replies: "my 8 yr old femail cat started to lose her fur and had terrible flea bites and even frontline was doing no good to rid of them. I rubbed her all over with coconut oil and gave her goats milk to drink and by morning it was totally clear and her fur has grown back and she is so much happier and no sign of fleas, it is amazing stuff."
12/01/2011: Theresa from Salt Lake, Utah: "My short hair gray cat, Lynee, very nervous and usually fat, 15 years old, got an infection in face, and that was cured at home. Then her stomach shrank, and she lost her hair around that same area. I need holistic kitchen help. Thank you for emailing me.
*I think I wrote you before about this?"
11/18/2011: Tina from Sylvania, Ohio, Usa: "Is there a medical reason why a large patch of fur on my cat has become shorter and has lots of grey in it? He's only 6."
09/28/2011: Thelma from Byram, Ms: "I have a 4 month old boxer. His hair shed alot. He has little spots where it has come out. He already had all of his shots. What do you think is wrong with him? Could you please help me?"Replies
05/15/2012: Jan from Madison, Wi replies: "My dog developed a large bald spot on his lower back. He was also developing black spots on his skin and his eyes were always running.
The vet checked his thyroid and ran blood work, also checked him for mites. No problems there. It was suggested that I try an allergy diet which consisted of changing him to duck or some exotic food he's never been exposed to then adding in one ingredient at a time. (It was super expensive.)
I tried lots of other topical remedies, including vinegar and coconut oil. Nothing helped. I changed the dog to a corn-free dog food and that helped the eyes, but not the coat. But then, the vet suggested a teeth cleaning. During the exam, they discovered two very rotten teeth, which were pulled. Within a month, the hair started growing back, his eyes quit running and now, 6 months later, his coat is thick and silky again.
So I would suggest to pet owners to have their pet's teeth checked along with a general exam and also checking their pet food to see if they have some allergy. (I recently switched to a cheaper dog food when I ran out and got some at the drug store. The dog was itching and licking his paws within 2 days. I had to throw the food out.)"