If you’ve noticed your old dog has been losing hair more than usual, pay attention. It could be a case of alopecia in your old dog. A common cause of alopecia (hair loss) in a dog is stress. For your canine chum, stress may come in the form of a new pet, a new family member, or a move to a new home, among others. Stress may also be due to old age, especially if your dog is suffering from common ailments among old dogs.
Hair protects the underlying skin of your old dog from injury, and it keeps him cool in summer and warm in winter. When hair loss in your old dog occurs, your pooch becomes more vulnerable to external elements that could be harmful to him. Without his hair, your old dog is more prone to scratches and wounds. These could lead to infection. The changes in weather could either raise or lower your old dog’s body temperature. When this happens, your old dog’s immune system could be compromised, and with your dog’s age, you can’t afford for him to be sick, no matter how lightly.
Alopecia in an old dog that is caused by stress is of great concern. When your old dog begins shedding large amounts of hair, take him to the vet right away. This is to rule out the possibility that your dog has a serious disease. Once your vet determines your dog isn’t suffering from a physical condition, tell your vet you think your dog may be stressed.
You can also look to natural remedies if your dog is losing hair because of stress. Go for supplements that are rich in Omega-3 acids and vitamins A, C, and E, which help improve the condition of both hair and skin. Herbs are also good natural remedies for hair loss in your old dog. Try chamomile and oat. These herbs are known for their stress-reducing effects. You can give your old dog a warm chamomile soak at night. For oats, you can add cooked oatmeal to your pooch’s food.
Get to the heart of your pooch’s stress and you’ll likely eliminate the root cause of alopecia in your old dog. Read this article about how stress affects old dog’s sleep patterns and this article about separation anxiety for more ideas on how to reduce or eliminate stress from your best buddy’s life.