Dogs lose hair, a lot of them.
This is very natural and you don’t have to worry about it.
So, are you saying that my dog losing hair is not a problem?
No. There are some scenarios in which your dog might lose more hair than usual. That’s when you need to start worrying.
Before we get into why your dog is losing more hair, we need figure out what amount is more than usual. This is a necessity because some breeds of dogs shed a lot, and some don’t shed that much.
If you have a Labrador Retriever, Husky, Corgi, Newfoundland or even a Bernese mountain dog, then you should have seen lots of shedding. These breeds are known to shed a lot.
If your dog is a Yorkshire terrier or a Whippet, then you may have not much of a shedding.
Regardless of whether your dog is a regular shedder or not, it can have abnormal hair loss. How do you find that out?
Symptoms of Hair Loss in Dogs
The following are some of the symptoms that help you find out that your dog is losing hair out of the normal.
Is your dog itching more than usual? It might be due to mites or fleas. See if your dog is scratching the same spot again and again. Check that spot for hair loss.
Even if your dog is a natural shedder, unusual itching can be a concern that could result in losing some hair.
2. Bad Odor
Is there is a bad smell coming from your dog? This could be a result of a scratch that has led to a wound or infection.
Search for the spot and check if there is a loss of hair that needs attention.
3. Change in Behavior
Your dog will not allow you to touch it if its skin has become more sensitive due to hair loss. This is not a result of regular/normal shedding.
4. Multiple areas of hair loss
This is another key symptom. If you feel that your dog is losing more hair, check the coat. If you find more than one areas of hair loss, then this is a concern.
The above four points are very good and easy to spot symptoms that your dog is suffering from hair loss. The next step is to find out why.
Common Patterns of Hair Loss in Dogs
There are some common patterns in which your dog will lose hair. You may observe one or more of these patterns in your dog.
- Losing hair all over the body
- Losing hair on the sides
- Losing hair on the neck
- Losing hair from the stomach region
- Losing hair behind the ears
- Circular patches of hair loss here and there
- Hair loss in forelegs and hind legs
There are many reasons for this. Below are some of the most common causes of hair loss in dogs.
Reasons for Your Dog Losing Hair
Nervousness or Boredom
Nervousness is one of the lesser-known reasons for hair loss in dogs. When you leave your dog alone in the house, your dog might get a little nervous. This could result in some hair loss but is pretty easy to cure once you figure out what’s wrong.
Boredom is another reason.
When your dog is too bored, it might start licking itself. By licking, we mean a lot. This can lead to hair loss as well.
The problem here is that boredom is not easily cured. You need to be with your dog and physically exhaust it so that it isn’t feeling bored most of the time. This is usually observed in old and obese dogs.
Allergies are the easiest way for dogs to lose hair.
A dog might be allergic to its food and its environmental elements. Environmental factors like parasites, fleas, and even pollen can trigger hair loss in your dogs.
If your dog is allergic to certain foods, then it might release histamine that in turn causes itching. This eventually leads to hair loss. You can tackle this situation by introducing a better diet plan for your dog.
To counter histamine release (which causes itching), you can try antihistamines like Benadryl. Just ask your vet’s opinion before you do anything.
Cushing’s disease is a condition that is caused by the excess production of the hormone, Cortisol. The disease can also be due to a tumor on one of the adrenal glands.
The good news is that there is medicine for this condition, which can help with the hair loss in your dog. This condition can be found in adult dogs that are more than six years old.
If your dog eats, drinks and urinates more than usual, then it might have Cushing’s disease. Take him to your vet to take care of this condition. Very rarely, surgeries are done to treat this disease.
Infections in dogs are common due to Bacteria, Mites, and Ringworms.
Ringworms can cause circular hair loss. It can also cause inflammation which can be a great discomfort to your dog. Be sure to wear a glove when checking for ringworm as it is highly contagious.
Mites can cause hair loss as well. Their presence can be identified by oily skin, inflammation and itching. You may also note hair loss around eyes and mouth.
Rashes can be formed as a result of a number of actions.
A bee sting, an insect bite, medications, chemicals like shampoos and even some plants can lead to rashes or hives in your dogs.
6 Easy Ways to Prevent Hair Loss in Your Dogs!
Let’s take a look at six of the easiest ways to prevent your dog from losing some of his hair.
Groom Your Dog Regularly
This is pretty basic.
Grooming your dog regularly can easily prevent hair loss. Giving proper baths and regular brushing is great for hair and also prevents fleas and mites.
Finding the right brush depends on your dog’s coat. If it is thick, go for rakes. If your dog has a thin coat, then get a bristle brush. Slicker brushes are good for dogs with medium hair.
Regular baths and proper brushing can directly reduce itching which is one of the main reasons for shedding in dogs.
Play with Your Dog More
Remember? One of the main grounds for hair loss is nervousness/boredom. While nervousness reduces with time, it takes some effort to take care of boredom.
One of the easiest ways is to keep your dog physically active. This drains his energy and also prevents him from becoming obese and lazy.
You can also give him access to his favorite toys when you are not in the house. He will now play with his toys rather than licking himself which could result in some hair loss.
Physical activities are the best ways to keep your dog busy, and it works here as well.
Control Fleas and Other Insects
Fleas and mites can cause itching in dogs. Your dog might bite, chew and scratch those places, and that could result in your dog losing some hair.
Prevent fleas from getting onto your dogs by using deterrents. If there are fleas on your dogs, then use a taste deterrent like vinegar so that your dog won’t bite or chew the sprayed part again.
Change Diet Habits
Food allergy is another key reason for hair loss.
A healthy diet has a paramount place when it comes to reducing hair fall. Give something that your dog can easily digest.
When you are experimenting with your dog’s diet, it may take more than a few diets to find out the right one. Be patient and also discuss with your vet on what you can give your dog as a part of its new diet.
Provide Clean Water
Itching is caused not only by Fleas and mites but also by dry skins.
Dehydration is one of the main reasons for dry skin. That is why it is important to make sure that your dog has access to clean water all the time.
If your dog is recovering from diarrhea, be sure to give him enough water as diarrhea can lead to fast dehydration.
You can also opt for wet food as it contains more moisture than dry dog food.
Visit Your Vet!
Yep. Visit your vet.
No one knows better from a medical point of view than your vet. Let him look at your dog’s coat and see if there is something you should worry about.
Also, by taking your dog to the vet regularly, you can see problems early and take care of it with ease.
Hair loss is also a symptom of more than one condition. In this case, having a vet to look after can help in diagnosing the condition.
These are the easiest ways to prevent your dog from losing a lot of hair. Have we missed anything? Let us know!
Did your dog lose hair in the past? How did you tackle the problem? Share your story with us. We would love that!
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