Hair Loss in Dogs: Causes and Treatments

Caída de pelo en Perros: Causas y Tratamientos

Hair loss can affect both long-haired dogs and short-haired dogs, and although we do not give it the importance of other aspects of their health, we should pay more attention to it, since dog hair also requires of some regular care, as it fulfills fundamental functions for the well-being of our pet. Now, there are several causes that cause the dog to fall and in this article, we are going to tell you why dogs lose their hair and to detect when is the moment in which you should go to your vet to rule out a disease.

The importance of hair in a dog and its types of hair

There are several causes that cause hair loss in dogs and some correspond to normal and cyclical physiological processes, through which hair grows, develops and dies to give rise to new fur. But it may also be that the cause of hair loss in dogs has a pathological component. Let's start by finding out how your dog's hair behaves.

First of all, it is important to know that dogs have 3 types of hair:

  • Primary hairs. They are the ones that form the outer part of the mantle and have the ability to stand on end.
  • Secondary hairs. They are the ones that are part of the inner fur and are responsible for providing protection and keeping heat.
  • Modified hairs. They are the mustaches or the eyebrows, which serve the sense of touch.

Likewise, hair growth is determined by a cycle that has 3 phases:

  • Growth.
  • Transition the hair stops falling.
  • Rest or fall of dead hair.

The three phases occur at the same time in the dog, although one of them usually predominates. That is, depending on the proportion of hairs that are in one phase or another, we will notice less or more hair loss. When this normal cycle is disturbed, you will notice more hair loss, even bald spots in your dog's coat.

Why does hair fall happen?

A shiny, thick coat is a great indicator that your puppy is getting all the nutrients he needs from his diet, environment, and lifestyle, so it can be distressing to see your dog shed and sometimes lose hair. , it's hard to know exactly why it happens.

Although the main cause why dogs lose their hair is shedding, since it is a completely natural process that occurs every year, shedding normally happens twice a year. However, we must bear in mind that hair loss may be due to suffering from a disease.

  • Metabolic diseases. Like hypothyroidism (underactive hormone production) or diabetes, they are associated with skin diseases, allergies and other factors that cause alopecia in dogs.
  • Parasitic diseases. Scabies, ringworm, or flea infestations can really affect your dog. Since this one will scratch and lick compulsively, which will cause hair loss and even bald spots.
  • Cushing's disease. A common problem in the dog population, this happens when a tumor develops, your dog's adrenal gland produces too much cortisol, resulting in obesity, hair loss, dark spots, and various other behavioral symptoms.

Other causes of hair loss

These are other reasons why your dog may be losing hair.

  • Pregnancy. Some pregnant bitches can lose their hair due to the hormonal changes that they undergo during the gestation period.
  • Allergies. Skin allergies, such as allergic dermatitis, can cause the dog to fall due to scratching the unbearable itching that can cause hair loss.
  • Feeding. An unbalanced diet or one that does not contain essential nutrients can cause hair to fall more than normal.
  • Stress. It is also a cause of hair loss in dogs. Your dog's fears and phobias can cause a permanent state of stress that affects the skin and follicles. In the same way, nerves or stress can be due to the fact that your pet cannot stand loneliness. If you want to know more information about stress and anxiety, we recommend that you go read our article on: Separation Anxiety in Dogs, what is it ? How long does it last? How to solve it?
  • Time of the year. Environmental temperature and daylight hours affect molting, the completely normal physical process by which dogs lose a large amount of hair. This shedding process is different depending on the breed of your dog, where you live

And the lifestyle of your puppy. Typically, your dog will shed in the spring and fall.

How to prevent my dog's hair loss?

Although hair loss in dogs is a completely normal process when it comes to molting, with the following tips we will keep the coat careful and prevent it from losing more than necessary:

  • Brushed. Make brushing your puppy a habit. This will really help if you have a long-haired dog or one that naturally sheds often. Brushing will help reduce the accumulation of hair and, where appropriate, you will be able to control the fall. Use a special brush specifically for your dog, these brushes go deep into your puppy's coat and will help remove a large amount of hair. In addition, they have special filaments and bristles so that your pet does not get hurt.
  • Cleanliness. In addition to brushing, it is also recommended that you take good care of your pet's hygiene and grooming. Bathe him when necessary and use a specialized and dermatologically approved shampoo for your dog. And remember that it is also very important to attend to puppy oral hygiene.
  • Vitamins. Complement your diet with supplements or vitamin complexes in specific situations. You can give him Omega 3 capsules since the fatty acids strengthen the coat, leaving it soft and shiny.
  • Dewormed Deworm it internally and externally periodically as recommended by your vet.
  • Feeding. It is very important that you have an optimal diet that contains enough fatty acids and essential nutrients, as this will help you to strengthen your hair, improve skin hydration and impermeability, and that it receives essential nutrients. In addition to that it will support you in preventing dandruff, since it may have its origin due to a poor diet.
  • Calm anxiety. You can lean on Waggy's CBD calming treats or oils, these can be a suitable option to help him avoid constant scratching or licking, and can keep your puppy calmer and more relaxed in situations of extreme stress, since that cannabidiol works as an anxiolytic, reducing anxiety indicators. Even the use of CBD can be a beneficial supplement for the general health of your pet, since it regulates important activities of his body. To learn more about CBD, visit our article Uses and Benefits of CBD in Dogs - What is it and what is it for? .
  • Walks. Take him for a walk. You will be surprised to see the large amount of hair that you will lose, due to all the activities you do outdoors, such as running, playing, moving, etc.


In conclusion, the best thing will always be prevention, so the key to keeping your dog healthy and happy is to offer him the best care. A healthy diet and good hygiene habits will make the dog's skin and hair look healthy and strong.

What measures do you take to care for your dog's hair? Tell us and share it with the rest of the Waggyfriends.

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