Why is My Dog Losing Hair? 6 Major Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs You Need to Know

why is my dog losing hair

If you notice that your dog’s coat is shedding more than usual or that hair is falling out in clumps or strangely across its body, this might signal a specific health issue. It would be wise to look into this matter more closely.

It’s important to understand the common causes before consulting a veterinarian.

Why Is My Dog Losing Hair?

Shading occurs. This is a fact! You can always count on them losing their grip when spring or fall rolls around and dogs shed their seasonal coats. 

Environmental factors such as temperature, nutrition, hormonal change, and stress can also affect canine coat loss.

Let me clarify that sometimes losing hair is normal, and not a big deal but during dog hair growth, thinning hair with mild to severe bald patches is also called “alopecia”.

Now, this is important that if your dog suffered from excessive hair loss, sheds a little too much, or is unusual, you may want to check if they have this situation.

Why do dogs lose hair too much?

6 Major Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs

There are many factors that can cause a dog to lose hair, including allergies, infections, parasites, seasonal effects, and hyperadrenocorticism. 

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of dog alopecia and usually requires a veterinary diagnosis and recommendation.

1. Allergies

Allergies are one of the most common causes of dog itchiness and hair loss in dogs. Allergic reactions develop in dogs just like in humans, and some common symptoms include itchy skin and hair loss.

The most common allergies in dogs are environmental allergies such as pollen, mold and dust mites, food allergies, and flea allergies.

Here’s what I mean If your doctor suspects an allergy, they may suggest flea control, medications to control itching, allergen avoidance, or dietary changes to rule out types of food allergies.

Food allergies can only be treated by doing a food trial for at least eight weeks. 

If your vet suggests your dog for a food trial that involves a limited-ingredient meal plan or treatment, it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t eat anything else during the trial.

A chicken treat or a stolen bite can confuse the results. If the underlying cause is allergies and they are treated appropriately, your dog’s hair should grow back and the itching should end.

2. Seasonal shedding

In some cases, seemingly extreme dog shedding is normal. A dog’s coat sheds when the individual hairs become damaged, or seasonally when the weather warms up. Many dogs shed hair throughout the year.

Similarly, some dog breeds, such as Labradors, and huskies grow thick winter undercoats that they shed in the spring.

Let me lift the veil for you that seasonal shading is often reduced if you live in a temperate climate. 

If you notice hair falling off your dog is too much, brushing your dog twice a week can remove and control the hair.

3. Mange/Parasites

Mange mites are specific for an itchy skin infection. Mites are microscopic creatures that survive on the surface of the skin or in hair follicles or are dangerous for dogs.

How? These can cause dog hair loss and itching when the dog’s skin is chewed. Some mites, such as tiny scabies mites, are highly contagious to both humans and other dogs.

Other mites, such as Demodex mites, are not contagious but still cause hair loss in dogs and may require appropriate treatment.

A common cause of dogs losing hair is fleas. Fleas can make dogs itchy enough to scratch their hair in places. 

Mites and fleas are highly contagious, so if you find any parasites on your dog that have already been transmitted to your home and other pets.

Let me tell you if you find an indication of fleas or mites, your doctor may recommend an antiparasitic medication and offer suggestions for ridding your house pests.

4. Bacterial/Fungal Infections

Bacteria and yeast are normal residents of the canine skin, but sometimes they can get out of control and cause infections.

These fungal infections on the skin can cause hair loss, itching, redness, odor, and other skin infections. Sometimes, infections cause pimple-like boils which also cause pain in dogs.

A fungus that causes hair loss and small parts of infection can also contract ringworm in dogs. No, it’s not actually a worm. Red, itchy or itchy spots are a reason to visit the vet.

Here’s a how-Your doctor will do a thorough examination and recommend some tests if necessary he prescribes veterinary medicine, antibiotics, or antifungals to treat the infection on the dog’s skin.

5. Hyperadrenocorticism

Hyperadrenocorticism, also called Cushing’s disease. It is a situation in dogs that become a source of losing hair due to increased levels of the hormone cortisol.

Cushing’s disease symptoms include darkening of the skin, higher rate of thirst and urination, frequent skin infections, and an enlarged stomach. It is most common in middle-aged to elderly dogs.

But what if your dog is showing any of these symptoms, take them to the vet so they can be treated properly.

6. Other Underlying Conditions

If a shedding dog is losing hair all over its body, the issue may lie under the hood.

We all know that the skin is technically the largest organ in the body, and it needs a lot of nutrients to stay healthy. If your dog has an underlying medical condition, his hair and fur may be impacted badly.

Hormonal conditions: Hypothyroidism, Adrenal gland disorders, Growth hormone disorders

They can all lead to hair loss in dogs. If your doctor suspects an internal issue as the reason for the hair loss, they may recommend laboratory tests and possibly X-rays or ultrasound imaging to identify the cause.

dog losing hair, symmetrical hair loss, generalized hair loss

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes sudden hair loss in dogs?

Sudden hair loss can be caused by poor nutrition, stress, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and other underlying medical conditions.

Endocrine diseases include hypothyroidism Cushing’s disease or rabies, and reactions to corticosteroid injections may lead to a dog’s alopecia.

Yeast infections on the skin weaken the immune system and cause digestive issues, redness, and itching. But wait, there’s more:

  • Trauma or scarring
  • Post-surgical clipping
  • Yeast, or fungal bacterial infection
  • Ringworm
  • Pressure sores
  • Nervous chewing or excessive licking
  • Sex hormone imbalance
  • Chemotherapy
  • Skin cancer
  • Allergies (flea infestation, food, environmental, contact)
  • Mites (Mange)
  • Improper growth of the hair shaft
  • Thyroid disorders

If you think your dog is shedding more than usual or if he’s developing bald spots, make an appointment with your vet for good dog health.

Read More: 5 Types of Skin Cancer in Dogs

How can I treat my dog’s hair loss?

Depending on the diagnosis, there are a lot of treatment options available for dog hair loss. Prescribe antibiotics will treat bacterial infections.

Likewise, antifungals can be used for the treatment of yeast and ringworm infections. Steroids may be needed to treat certain skin conditions.

Read More: Dog Hair Loss Home Remedies – Useful Information and Tips

When should I be concerned about my dog’s hair loss?

Here’s what I mean don’t ignore hair loss in dogs, as it is often a sign of infection or another health problem. 

If your dog is shedding more hair than usual, or if there are other symptoms accompanying the hair loss, consult your vet to get a complete picture of your dog’s health.

Why is my dog losing chunks of hair?

Let me elaborate that normal shedding is ok at some point throughout the year, if large clumps of dull hair or fur fall out easily or if your dog’s fur is thinning to the point where you can see his skin, this is an indication of excess hair loss.

Final Notes

You see my point, right?

Dog losing hair is a big issue for your dog, you will definitely notice it. Your dog’s normally fluffy and warm coat is now thinning.

Dog hair loss is not something to take lightly, as it can be the result of a serious health condition that will require medical attention.

So if you observe bald patches on your dog, or if they seem to be falling out more than usual, you should consult your vet immediately and start dog hair loss treatment.

How awesome is it that stay safe and happy with your pet by caring for it properly? Always be aware of your dog’s nutritional diet and maintenance, and go for a proper and regular checkup. Sound good!

Stay with me here because this blog post here covers all the facts and figures on dog hair loss and the solutions to restore the fur to healthy and shine. 

If you are a dog lover, find out what more we have in store for you by visiting our blog.

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