Understanding Hair Loss in Dogs

Understanding Hair Loss in Dogs

While you may be worried that your hair will thin or you’ll get a small bald spot on top, you rarely think this is a problem your dog needs to worry about. The truth of the matter is that dogs suffer from alopecia or hair loss and when this happens there can be a number of reasons that you may need to consider. If you notice that your dog is balding, consider some of the most common reasons why it could be a problem. This is something that can happen at any age, so always be alert and if you notice signs of baldness, take action quickly.

Food allergy

When dogs are allergic to their food, they can sometimes express it by shedding hair. Weight loss and vomiting can also be problems that occur. Look at the ingredients of the food given to your dog. It can be a slow process to determine what your pet is allergic to, so go to the vet to see if they can shed any light on the situation. This situation can be resolved simply by changing the diet, so consider whether this is a problem.


Does your dog have thick pads of hardened skin where there is no hair? This could be because your dog’s skin has developed calluses. This is something that is especially common in large dogs who put more pressure and stress on their joints when lying down. To ease the situation, as well as give your dog some relief, you may find that providing a pad or extra thick bedding can help.

Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease is most common in older dogs, and the problem is that many owners mistake it for signs of aging. Dogs with this condition will lose their hair, gain weight and urinate in the home. One of the most common causes of Cushing’s disease is the presence of a small tumor of the pituitary gland. This is a completely treatable condition and talking to your vet about the possibility of this disease can guide you towards a cure.


Folliculitis is a condition where the hair follicles on certain parts of your dog’s body become infected, causing the hair to fall out. This is a simple condition that should be corrected through the use of vet-prescribed antibiotics.


Stress is another common reason why your dog may lose its coat. Surgery is one such instance where stress hair loss can occur, as can moving. If your dog is pregnant or nursing, you may find that she loses some of her hair. This is a normal procedure called blowing her coat, and is largely due to stress. This will go away once things get back to normal.

Take a moment to think about what your options are if your dog starts losing his hair. There are many reasons why this may have happened, and there are also many treatments.

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