Why Is My Dog Losing Fur?

If your dog is losing fur, understand that this is a natural process of shedding, which happens typically in the spring and fall. However, if your dog is losing too much hair, you must look for the reasons causing this condition. Excessive hair loss can result in alopecia, which means that the dog will have bald patches.

Food Allergies

Certain foods may affect your dog's skin and coat and may result in excessive shedding. Dogs with poor nutrition can lose hair and have an unhealthy looking coat. Bring a sample of your dog's food, run some tests to detect the allergens in your dog's diet and talk to your vet to find the optimal dietary plan for your dog and a healthy coat.

Vitamin deficiency may cause your dog to lose hair as well, so your vet may prescribe some supplements.

Skin Problems

Skin allergies will cause itchiness and rashes, and your dog will be licking and scratching the area, resulting in hair loss and even bald patches. Skin problems may be caused by different airborne allergens, chemicals, foods or parasites.

These allergies can be treated with antihistamines, allergy shots, parasite medication and topical ointments containing steroids.

Stress Related Alopecia

Dogs losing hair may be under stress. Any small change may stress him. If you have recently moved to a new house, made changes in the house or someone from your family is absent, these may all stress your pet. The stress can also be caused by an illness.

Additional play time, affection or identifying a possible illness in your dog may help him get over the stress. In extreme cases, therapy or medication may heal the pet's stress and anxiety.

Dog Hair Loss and Parasites

Fleas, mites and worms are some frequent parasites that may cause skin irritations or hair loss. The parasites may take the nutrients from your pet, and this will cause an unhealthy looking coat and even fur loss.

In addition, some parasites such as fleas cause extreme itchiness and the dog will scratch excessively, causing wounds and hair loss.

Identify and treat the parasites. Use special formula shampoos to get rid of the skin parasites and to soothe the itchiness. Topical ointments, dewormers and medicine such as Ivermectin may also be prescribed.

Internal Problems and Alopecia

Alopecia may occur when the dog is suffering from an internal illness. Some of the conditions causing dog hair loss include cancer, diabetes and thyroid disorder. If there is a hormonal imbalance, your dog may also lose some hair.

If you notice hair loss, lethargy, weight loss, behavioral changes or other symptoms, take your dog to the vet. The cause may be serious and the sooner you act, the better.

Certain medication or treatments such as chemotherapy may cause alopecia.

Any change in the amount of fur that is shed or the aspect of your dog's coat may be an indicator of an illness. Brush your dog regularly and observe the coat, the skin or any bald patches. Make sure you use a gentle shampoo that doesn't irritate your dog's skin.