What Is The Cause Of Dog Hair Loss

what is the cause of dog hair loss

Absolutely! Here’s a detailed breakdown of dog hair loss, the potential causes, what to do, and key takeaways:

Understanding Dog Hair Loss

  • Shedding is Natural: All dogs shed to some degree. Seasonal shedding (especially in spring) is normal for adapting to temperature changes. Breed also plays a role, with longer-haired dogs typically shedding more.
  • When to Worry: Hair loss becomes concerning when it’s excessive, accompanied by bald patches (alopecia), or has skin issues like redness, scabs, or inflammation. This can indicate a health problem.

Common Causes of Abnormal Hair Loss in Dogs

  • Parasites: Fleas, mites, and other external parasites irritate the skin, causing itching, scratching, and hair loss.
  • Infections: Bacterial and fungal infections can lead to skin problems and hair loss. Ringworm is a common fungal culprit.
  • Allergies: Environmental (pollen, dust) or food-related allergies trigger itchy skin. This can lead to hair loss from excessive scratching or the allergic reaction itself.
  • Immune Issues: Autoimmune diseases cause the body to attack itself, sometimes targeting the skin and hair follicles.
  • Endocrine Disorders: Hormonal imbalances like Cushing’s disease (overactive adrenal glands) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) often cause hair loss.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: A poor-quality diet lacking essential nutrients can lead to unhealthy skin and a dull, shedding coat.
  • Stress/Anxiety: Significant stress can disrupt normal hair growth cycles, leading to shedding.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Hair loss can be a symptom of various diseases, so vet diagnosis is crucial.

What to Do About Hair Loss in Your Dog

  1. Vet Visit: The first step for abnormal hair loss is consulting your veterinarian. They’ll examine your dog, run tests, and determine the underlying cause.

  2. Targeted Treatment: Treatment depends on the diagnosis:

    • Parasites: Anti-parasitic medications
    • Infections: Antibiotics or antifungals
    • Allergies: Allergy management (diet changes, medication)
    • Hormonal Issues: Medications to balance hormone levels
    • Autoimmune Disease: Medications to suppress the immune response
  3. Home Care: Beyond vet treatment, these actions can help:

    • Regular brushing: Removes dead hair, stimulates circulation
    • High-quality Diet: Ensures proper nutrition for healthy skin and coat
    • Stress Reduction: Minimize stress triggers for your dog
    • Supplements: Vet-approved supplements like salmon oil or brewer’s yeast can support skin and coat health (don’t self-medicate)

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t Ignore Hair Loss: While some shedding is normal, excessive hair loss or skin changes warrant attention.
  • Seek Veterinary Help: Accurate diagnosis is key to effective treatment. Trying to solve the problem yourself could delay proper care.
  • Prevention Matters: Regular parasite control, a healthy diet, and managing stress are the foundations for a healthy coat and minimal shedding.

Remember, a beautiful coat often reflects good overall health. By understanding the causes of hair loss, seeking appropriate veterinary care, and providing good home care, you can help your dog maintain a healthy, lustrous coat!

What Is Abnormal Hair Loss In Dogs?

As a general rule, dogs shed twice a year when the seasons change, so in spring and autumn. It is during these periods that hair loss will be the most significant, particularly during spring molting which corresponds to winter hair loss.

The shedding that occurs in autumn is in principle less abundant, but the dog must also get rid of its summer coat, which is less dense and therefore less adapted to the cold.

Thus, seasonal shedding is a completely normal phenomenon where the dog renews its fur to adapt to the temperatures.

Outside of these periods, hair loss is conditioned by several factors such as breed and coat type: generally speaking, long-haired dogs lose greater amounts than short-haired dogs.

The animal’s lifestyle and diet also play a crucial role. Indeed, nutritional deficiencies and stress can be the cause of abnormal hair loss.

Hair loss should become alarming when the coat falls out in clumps and the dog presents skin symptoms such as hair loss, alopecia areata, inflammation, redness, scabs, suppuration, etc.

These disorders can have multiple causes. difficult to detect with the naked eye, it is important to consult the veterinarian as quickly as possible for a diagnosis because hair and skin diseases are likely to degenerate quickly without appropriate treatment.

Sometimes hair loss is limited to a relatively small area, but it can occur throughout your pet’s body. In addition, hair loss can be the result of a relatively minor illness, or it can indicate very serious health problems.

But no matter how much hair your dog is losing or what is causing the problem, you should address it immediately. Not only will this help get rid of unsightly bald spots, but it will also keep your dog healthy and happy.

Below we look at some of the most common causes of hair loss in dogs. We will also try to help you understand when you can treat your dog at home and when you need to see a veterinarian. Finally, we will share some of the most effective home remedies that you may want to try.

What Is The Cause Of Dog Hair Loss?

If you are the proud owner of a dog or puppy but they are losing hair in handfuls, there may be cause for concern. Find out the causes that can explain such significant hair loss in your dog.


Dog hair loss can be brought on by a number of common ectoparasites, or parasites that affect the exterior of the dog’s body. The three most frequent parasites that cause hair loss in dogs are demodectic mites, fleas, and sarcoptic mites.

Bacterial Infections:

Numerous bacterial strains, such as staphylococci, can lead to issues with a dog’s skin and coat. These kinds of infections can also result in redness, swelling, and itching in addition to hair loss.

Fungal Infections:

In dogs, a variety of fungi can lead to hair loss. While yeast organisms can also cause hair loss in dogs, annelids are one of the most common fungi that cause hair loss in dogs. Fungal infections frequently result in localized hair loss as opposed to widespread hair loss.


Dog allergies, including those brought on by the environment and those linked to dietary sensitivities, frequently result in skin and coat issues. Some dogs experience hair loss as a direct result of their allergies, while other dogs experience hair loss as a result of their chewing or scratching habits, which irritate.

Autoimmune Diseases:

Dogs develop autoimmune illnesses when their immune systems start attacking their own bodies. Dogs can suffer from a wide range of autoimmune disorders, some of which can lead to hair loss. One such disease is pemphigus foliaceus.

Cushing’s Disease:

When a dog’s adrenal glands overproduce cortisol, Cushing’s disease results. Numerous symptoms result from this, such as increased hunger, thirst, and the accumulation of extra body fat. One of the symptoms that are frequently linked to this disorder is hair loss.


Hypothyroidism occurs when a dog’s thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Some of the most common signs of this condition include poor coat condition and hair loss.

Nutrition Deficiencies:

A balanced, quality diet is essential to keep your dog in good health. If the latter has vitamin B and E deficiencies, this could explain its hair loss. Food supplements exist, but you can also sprinkle your dog’s food with a simple teaspoon of brewer’s yeast each day. In any case, it is better to seek advice from your veterinarian.


Anxiety can be the cause of hair loss. If you have recently moved or a new addition has entered the family, this may have upset your dog. Give him time to get used to his new environment and try to distract him from his stress by taking him out and playing with him.

Hormonal Disorders:

If you have a dog and she is pregnant, it is completely normal for her to lose her hair. Indeed, hormones regulate hair growth. Thus, hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, especially in old dogs, can also cause hair loss.


Alopecia is the generic term for abnormal or excessive hair loss in dogs. Many causes can be at the origin of this disorder, including obviously the presence of external parasites such as fleas or scabies.

We also encounter ringworms, caused by mycoses, which are generally accompanied by crusts and more or less localized inflammation. There are other more specific skin and hair conditions such as canine demodicosis or dermatitis, which cause local or diffuse hair loss and a strong skin odor.

What To Do To Combat Hair Loss In Your Dog?

If your dog’s hair loss is simply due to seasonal shedding, unfortunately, there is no miracle cure to stop it. On the other hand, you can implement simple strategies to deal with it.

Brush It Regularly:

To limit the proliferation of hair in your home and in your car, remember to brush your little companion regularly. In addition to removing some of its dead hair, brushing will help your dog’s blood microcirculation. Enough to help your skin breathe better and promote hair regrowth. You can also take the opportunity to ensure that he has no parasites or skin lesions.

Make Sure It Is Hydrated:

Make sure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water, especially in hot weather. Dehydration can cause dryness of the skin – responsible for excessive hair loss – and the appearance of diseases. You can also increase your dog’s water intake by incorporating wet foods into his diet, such as mash for example.

Give Him Quality Food:

Diet also has a role to play in limiting hair loss in your little companion! Indeed, your dog’s coat can be dry, dull, and brittle, and significant hair loss if your dog suffers from deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Make sure you provide him with a complete and balanced diet. Do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.

Even if your dog does not suffer from a skin condition, it is possible that he will lose a lot of hair if his fur is weakened, particularly due to an unsuitable diet or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. We can then turn to kibbles richer in protein, fish-based products being particularly effective for the health and beauty of the coat.

Natural food supplements such as salmon oil and brewer’s yeast, to be mixed directly into the ration, also have very good results.

They can also be found in the form of chewable tablets, as well as veterinary supplements rich in vitamins and omega 3 and 6. For dogs susceptible to skin diseases, hypoallergenic grain-free kibbles are often recommended.

Finally, regular grooming with a suitable comb (Furminator) and frequent antiparasitic treatment help to combat hair loss and itching.


Hair loss in your dog can have several causes shedding periods, parasites, and allergies. To strengthen your dog’s coat and reduce the risk of heavy shedding: good health, diet, brushing, and grooming.

To conclude, get into the habit of meticulously inspecting your dog’s coat to check its health. Inform your veterinarian of the slightest abnormality in order to benefit from a clear and rapid diagnosis and effective treatment.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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