A number of factors can cause hair loss in dogs, but with early detection and treatment, your buddy doesn’t have to be bald!
The bald facts
Sean Connery may still be considered sexy, but generally speaking, baldness in dogs is not a good look.
Hair loss in dogs can be caused by anything from allergies, to an infestation of external parasites – and even excessive self-grooming. Thanks to this wide variety of possible causes, it’s always best to seek advice from your vet if your dog does start losing hair unexpectedly.
A proper diagnosis isn’t just important for your dog’s health. Some parasites, allergies and infections are transferable to people, so it’s even more vital you receive professional advice as soon as you notice the problem.
Common causes of hair loss in dogs
- External parasites, such as fleas, lice and ticks can cause bald patches to appear, particularly where your dog has been scratching. These are some of the most likely causes of hair loss, so carefully check for any signs of an infestation, and if in doubt, contact your vet.
- Grooming issues range from the ineffective grooming of obese dogs to the excessive preening and licking often seen in nervous animals. In some cases, this self-grooming can reach extremes. Extreme self-grooming in dogs results in skin problems like acral lick granuloma, a raised, bald sore found typically on the wrist or hock of the limbs. The problem of extreme self-grooming appears to be rooted in anxiety, with treatment aimed towards reduction of stress. If you do notice that your pet seems to be taking grooming to an extreme, see your vet for advice and treatment.
Remember it is highly advisable to treat your dog for fleas and ticks all year round.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.