If you have a dog pet, you probably know that dog hair loss is a common problem for most dog breeds.
However, sometimes it is quite normal for dogs to lose some of their hair.
In case you can see the dog’s bare skin in the places where he has lost hair, something is definitely wrong with the dog’s health.
It is not time to panic, but you should treat the problem seriously and consult the veterinarian immediately once you notice bald areas.
Before you go for the check up, check the dog’s condition yourself, so that you know how serious it is.
Wearing rubber gloves carefully look over the dog’s coat for all bald spots.
Speak softly to your pet and rub him with the other hand while checking his coat for bald spots.
Alopecia in Dogs
Dog hair loss can be a distressing problem for both pets and their owners.
The medical term for dog’s losing hair is Alopecia.
When your dog starts to lose hair, you may first notice that its coat looks thinner and that it is starting to lose its luster.
As the hair loss becomes more severe, you may start to notice bald patches.
There are many things that can cause your dog to start losing hair, and it may take some detective work to figure out exactly what is happening.
Dog Hair Loss is Common
As many as ten percent of all dogs will experience hair loss at some point in their lives and there are many reasons why it could happen.
Hair loss is not a sign that you are a bad pet owner.
It is usually a sign of an underlying medical condition and if you notice it and treat it early you increase the chances of your pet making a full recovery.
The good news is that there is plenty of support available for diagnosing and treating Alopecia.
Identifying the Cause
The first thing that you should do is examine your dog’s fur.
If you notice signs of skin irritation, then this could be causing the hair loss.
Common external irritants that can cause Alopecia include allergic reactions and the presence of parasites such as fleas, lice and mites.
Your vet will be able to offer you advice on how to manage allergies with antihistamines in the short term while you find a way to prevent exposure to the substance that is causing an allergic reaction.
They will also help you to get rid of any lice or fleas.
Once the external irritants are gone, your pet’s fur should make a full recovery.
Sometimes the cause is not so obvious.
Your pet’s hair may be thinning because your dog is reacting to something in its diet.
Many commercial dog foods contain colors and preservatives that can irritate some dogs.
If your dog’s hair is thinning, consider putting it on an all-natural diet to see if that helps.
In some cases, underlying health conditions can cause hair loss.
Endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism and Cushing’s disease can cause hair loss.
If your dog’s hair loss is not obviously being caused by allergens or other external sources then you should speak to a vet to rule out these conditions.
Stress and Pregnancy Can Cause Hair Loss in Dogs
The good news is that once the pregnancy is over or the cause of the stress is removed, the dog will start to recover a full coat of hair.
Stress can occur if a dog is introduced to a new environment, or if there is a change in your family – such as the introduction of a new pet or the birth of a child.
Cause of Hair Loss in Dogs
Reasons for hair loss may be numerous, but first try to answer a few simple questions to figure out the reasons of the problem.
Define if the hair loss is patchy, generalized or confined to small area.
Hypothyroidism in Dogs
General hair loss means there is a systematic problem, such as hypothyroidism, for example.
The disease usually involves hair loss in the significant areas of the dog’s body, often in a symmetric pattern.
If you notice such a pattern, you will need to take the dog to his veterinarian for blood testing immediately.
Bold patchy areas may be formed due to various reasons, including parasite infestation or infection.
These cases will also require visiting the vet.
An isolated single bald spot could be formed due to a common injury or the problem may be more serious.
Look after the spot and consult your veterinarian if it looks more suspicious with time or more spots appear.
Licking and Hair Loss in Dogs
A common reason of the dog losing hair in a particular area may be an injury.
Either the injury itself or the compulsive licking of that spot by your dog can cause hair loss.
In such cases, it may be necessary to hide the injury from attention by the dog and treat it with proper medication.
Cover the spot with a bandage; additionally you may use an Elizabethan collar to prevent the wound from licking by the dog.
This type of collar can be found at most pet supply stores.
Check if your dog has a rash.
Again, you must protect that area from further irritation by the dog.
The shape of the bald areas is also important.
Oval bald areas usually appear as a result of severe fungal infection.
In any case, you should take the dog to the vet as soon as possible, once you notice a problem.
Why is My Dog Losing Hair?
One of the main reasons for hair loss in dogs is scratching.
This is something that dogs do viciously several times a day.
As a result, the hair eventually becomes weak and falls out.
If your dog is scratching itself more than usual, you should take a look at it and determine the cause of the itchiness.
The most common cause of a dog losing hair is fleas.
Fleas tend to infest dogs and even the presence of a single flea can cause itching in a pets body.
The matter is made worse it is very difficult to locate the flea and its waste on the surface of the animals skin.
A whole host of illnesses including infections or parasite infestations cause dogs to lose patches of hair.
Stress also causes a dog to lose patches of hair.
Hair loss in one area only could be due to injury.
Hair loss could be due to the dog constantly licking the injured area.
Why is My Puppy Losing Hair?
Early in their puppyhood, puppies experience hair lose for 3 reasons infections, hormones and parasites.
Puppies get fungal infection ringworm because their immune system is not as strong as an adult dog.
A very young puppies can experience hair loss or even bald spots because their body is not making enough somatotropin growth hormone.
Puppies can also lose their hair because of scratching or biting due to parasites including: fleas and mites.
Why is My Dog Losing Hair After Giving Birth?
It is not uncommon for a dog to lose excessive amount of hair after giving birth or while nursing her pups.
Hair loss is perfectly natural and is known as “blowing her coat”.
It’s cause by the stress of giving birth and nursing. Hair loss can also result from hormonal changes.
Hair loss can occur for up to 3 months after giving birth.
The dog’s hair will commonly fall out symmetrically on the back, sides and flanks.
There maybe some areas that are completely hairless.
The dog skin should remain healthy and normal looking.
Daily brushing will help to remove the loose hair and keep the coat from tangling.
A matted coat provides a breeding ground for bacteria.
A new coat should grow back after a few month.
The fur may have a different texture and color than the original coat.
How to Treat Hair Loss in Dogs
Depending on the seriousness of the wound, there are different methods for treating the dog’s injury.
Some wounds may be treated at home but other need surgery or at least consultation.
Take any laceration or puncture seriously because it may be a more severe injury than it looks like and it may even get worse.
Some dogs are simply more susceptible to hair loss than others.
For example, Dachshunds are likely to suffer hair loss as they get older.
You can prevent hair loss by keeping their skin clean and preventing it from drying out.