Dogs are interesting creatures; we love them, but a lot of what they do may not make sense to us. For example, you may have noticed your dog pulling its hair out. This confusing behavior may be concerning, and there are a variety of reasons why it’s happening.
Dogs may pull their hair out due to itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction to anything ranging from food to dust. He could also be reacting to the pest bites on his body.
If you notice your dog pulling out hair near the joints, he may be experiencing pain around those areas, a common indicator of arthritis.
Below, we’ll describe these causes in more detail and help you with the next steps toward treatment.
Before reading this guide, “Why Is My Dog Pulling Their Hair Out,” check out: How to Get Mats out of Dog Hair: Fast and Easy Methods! (2023) and Why Is There a Bald Spot on My Dog’s Leg? (Common Causes) (2023).
Reasons Why Your Dog Is Pulling Their Hair Out
There could be a wide variety of reasons why your dog is pulling their hair out.
Dogs with food sensitivities may scratch excessively. If a dog has itchy skin, it will likely keep biting at it until the fur falls out. Joints between the toes and the area surrounding the buttocks are common targets of their chewing. Chicken, eggs, and wheat are the most prevalent allergens in dogs’ diets.
Outdoor allergies are another possible cause. As weird as it may seem, some dogs are allergic to grass. Your dog’s fur could harbor allergies if they spend a lot of time outside. In order to eliminate these allergies, you may need to bathe it more frequently or use an allergy medication.
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. A dog that isn’t feeling well could start pulling at its fur out of frustration. It may be becoming bored, understimulated, or even “mourning” the departure of a loved one.
There may be no obvious medical causes, but if there have been major life events like a divorce or a child moving away, your dog may behave this way as a coping mechanism. This may sound strange, but the same thing happens when birds are unhappy: they pluck out their feathers.
Getting an additional pet (no matter how much your dog likes it) or relocating to a new house (regardless of whether your dog seems to be generally adjusting well) are two other factors that could create this anxiety in your dog.
Fleas and ticks are yet another explanation for why a dog could start pulling out its fur.
It’s important to note that not all “flea and tick” treatments are effective. Some simply destroy eggs rather than the full adults, thereby preventing the life cycle from completing. Because of this, it’s possible that your pet will continue to feel uneasy.
If you suspect your dog has fleas, you can use a flea comb to check for them. Ticks, especially deer ticks, can cause serious illness in pets; therefore, it’s important to perform regular tick checks. Because they can’t use their paws to scratch, itchy pets often resort to pulling out the fur near those pesky insects.
A dog licking a certain spot on its body may be trying to “treat” an injury, such as a sting or bite, by removing the hair from the area. If your dog seems fixated on one spot, this may be more apparent.
A dog may start licking and pulling off its fur if it has a skin disease.
If your dog has mange, it may appear as though it is shedding fur rather than merely losing it. Some forms of mange can cause patchy hair loss in dogs without obvious signs of scratching or licking the skin.
The immune system dysfunction that causes mange is usually treatable. Almost all dogs have mites, and the dog’s immune system can’t keep up with their proliferation.
Hots pots are another possible reason. This refers to the places on your dog’s body that are especially irritated and sensitive and that they frequently lick clean and pull the fur out of.
Some dogs are more susceptible to hot spots than others. These conditions require the application of antibacterial or antifungal medications. If not, they might just keep getting worse.
Skin problems are notoriously tricky to diagnose, so it’s best to get expert advice before moving forward.
The discomfort dogs feel around their paws and joints can prompt them to pull out the fur in that area. Symptoms of arthritis are more likely to appear in older dogs.
Arthritis and joint problems can also develop early in larger, younger dogs. Painful joint conditions can be debilitating, but modern treatments (and dietary supplements) can help.
This is a less common explanation for why a dog could start chewing on itself or tearing off its fur, but it’s still worth considering if you can’t think of anything else that could be wrong.
Hair loss in a dog goes beyond a cosmetic issue. It’s a major problem that needs fixing. A dog will only pull out its hair if it is in agony. A vet will be able to help you handle any underlying issues.
Home Remedies for Dog Pulling Their Hair Out
Before you panic, there are some things you can try at home to see if they fix the hair-pulling problem.
If your dog suffers from hair loss or allergies, a humidifier may be able to help. Keep it clean, change the filter regularly, and use a solution of hot water and unprocessed honey to get rid of fleas or ticks. Humidifiers are one of the greatest at-home treatments for a dog that is licking or chewing at its fur.
Humidity is good for a dog’s mental and physical well-being. Your dog could start to pull at his or her hair if the air in your home is too dry.
A humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air, making it easier to breathe once again. This will prevent your dog from licking its skin or pulling at its hair and will also help with any dry skin issues it may have.
You can choose a simple humidifier, or you can pay for one with self-cleaning filters. No matter which of the two options you decide to go with, it is important that you pay close attention to the directions in order to avoid providing your pet with a setting that is hazardous to their health.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Hair loss in dogs is a common symptom of skin irritation and inflammation. The safe and effective nature of apple cider vinegar makes it a popular home remedy for dogs that pull their hair out.
Natural apple cider vinegar can aid in the treatment of both irritation and inflammation. When treating dogs with apple cider vinegar, one should:
- Use two tablespoons in a gallon of water and pour it over your pet.
- After letting the dog soak in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes, thoroughly rinse it with clean water.
- If required, repeat the process.
Lemon juice is a wonderful all-natural cure for a wide range of skin issues, including hairballs. Apply a solution of lemon juice diluted with water (1:9) to the spot in question.
Soaking the towel in a solution of baking soda and hot water should help get rid of the hairball. Finally, use chamomile tea or cream, followed by regular shampooing, on your dog.
One of the most common and effective home treatments for eliminating dog hair is lemon juice.
Pectin, a naturally occurring thickening ingredient, is thought to be responsible for lemons’ purported effectiveness in removing buildup from the hair follicles. Lemon juice has an acidic pH and oil droplets that penetrate hair follicles and weaken the strands.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil is a popular remedy for dogs with a hair-pulling issue, and some owners swear by it.
Oils rich in vitamin E can help prevent and treat skin conditions like eczema. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, it can also help dogs pull less hair out of their bodies.
Grooming is important for dogs, and hair-pulling can develop into a serious issue if not addressed. Vitamin E oil should be applied to the areas of your dog’s skin where the hair is being pulled out.
Dogs lose hair in a variety of ways, but keeping their fur healthy and free of knots requires regular brushing. Regular brushing will help eliminate loose hair that could draw mats from your dog’s coat.
By doing so, you can avoid the discomfort and pain that come from having the hair pulled out because it became entangled in fur. You can use either a standard brush or a detangling dog brush. Begin at the top of your dog’s head and proceed to work your way down to its tail with a soft-bristled brush.
Take care not to hurt or irritate them in any way, especially their soft fur. Always remember to brush your dog before going for a walk and after engaging in any kind of play.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to help your dog with itching is to get a medication from your veterinarian. For instance, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs, and anti-itch treatments could help.
It’s possible to give your dog Benadryl for mild allergic reactions. Even though it’s an over-the-counter product, it’s still better to get approval from your veterinarian.
While you can use Hydrocortisone on your dog to provide skin relief, the product was designed for humans. So, it’s ideal to consult with your veterinarian before moving forward.
Conclusion for “Why Is My Dog Pulling Their Hair Out”
Your dog pulling their hair out is most likely an indication of an underlying problem. If you notice other symptoms in your dog apart from the hair pulling, it’s recommended to take him to the vet immediately.
If you find this guide, “Why Is My Dog Pulling Their Hair Out,” helpful, check out:
- Why Is There a Bald Spot on My Dog’s Tail? (Common Causes) (2023)
- 15 Best Bald Dog Memes! (2023)
- Why Is My Dog Losing Hair Around Its Bum? (2023)
Learn more by watching “My Dog Is Pulling Her Hair Out” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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