Pet hair loss

Are you constantly cleaning piles of dog hair off furniture? Is your floor or carpet thick with a layer of animal fur? If you have a shedding breed, that’s to be expected. But if you see bald spots—patchy areas with no hair—there is reason to be concerned for your pet’s health.

What Causes Dogs To Lose Their Fur?

Certain breeds will be short on fur—it’s the breed, like Mexican hairless or Chinese crested dogs. Your dog may have a predisposition to hairlessness or be a super shedder. Chow chows, labradors, and German shepherds are notorious for heavy shedding. Their thick undercoats protect against cold weather, but in springtime as temperatures warm, that excess fur needs to go.

Your dog’s hair loss could be caused by an underlying health condition that requires treatment from your trusted veterinarian. Daily brushing will indicate changes in the health of your dog’s coat.

  • Poor diet
  • Allergies
  •  Illness
  • Fungal and parasitic infection
  • Stress
  • Cushing’s disease

Shedding VS Balding. What You Need To Know

Unless unusually heavy for your pets, shedding is nature’s way of relieving them of old strands of hair to make room for new growth. Balding is the loss of all fur in areas of the coat with no regrowth. So what signs should you look for that may indicate your furry friend needs a wellness checkup?

  • Heavy shedding
  • Patches of skin with no new hair growth
  • Chronic scratching
  • Stress behaviors
  • Odor
  • Skin lesions
  • Changes in skin color, redness, or darkened areas

When It’s Time to See the Vet About Your Dog’s Hair Loss

There are plenty of reasons for doggie hair loss, and many can indicate an underlying health problem. Visit your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment plans as soon as you spot symptoms:

  • Ringworm is extremely contagious and can spread to other pets and humans.
  • Malassezia dermatitis is a yeast infection on the skin associated with other health conditions such as allergies.
  • Mange is caused by a parasite, sarcoptic mange, or canine scabies.
  • Allergies can cause hair loss in dogs. Some allergic reactions develop from contact with chemicals, toxic plants, and insect bites.
  • Fleas and other biting insects can cause skin irritations that, when scratched, may become infected.
  • Hot spots are balding areas on the skin that appear inflamed and may have open sores. Hot spots can be caused by allergies, fleas, or bacterial infections.  

How To Care For Your Dog’s Fur

  • Daily brushing not only keeps matted fur at bay, but will reveal any developing trouble spots on your pet’s skin.
  • Regular flea and parasite medications applications—you can find a recommended flea, tick, and heartworm product in our online pharmacy.
  • Provide quality dog food and treats for balanced nutrition and oils for a healthy coat.

We’re Here To Help You Care For Your Pets

Call us at (630) 665-1500 when you have questions about your pet’s health. At Wheaton Animal Hospital, our dedicated staff and veterinarians are here to help you learn about pet wellness care.