Hair is a complex structure that has an important function for dogs. It helps them regulate their body temperature, protects their skin from the sun, and also provides protection from parasites. Dogs hair fall out due to many reasons like old age, environmental factors, hormonal changes or lack of nutrition. Dogs shed their hair all year round.
They have two types of hair - long and short. The short hairs are the ones that fall out easily, while the long hairs will stay on the dog until they are brushed off. The shedding is a natural process that helps dogs get rid of dirt and dead skin cells thus maintaining the dog's hygiene.
Why Do Dogs Hair Fall Out?
Smokey always had his hair shedding. Strands of Alsatian fur all of the place. This was quite seasonal though. There was always fur all over the floor of his house when you go in to clean the place up. The strands of fur in the house was not too bad though. Shedding of this nature is quite normal especially when your canine has a long full body of fur. Other than that, the only time Smokey furs falls out is when we are grooming it. We trim out any furs that may be hanging loosing and give it a pleasant outward look. We do not over trim his fur as dogs need their furs to stay warm during the night and in cold season.
Skido also had it fur fall out but as a result of a different cause. Unlike Smokey with a full body of fur, Skido's fur is much shorter and closer to it's skin. Skido however had this habit of passing through the hole design of the gates leading to our corridor. As it grew bigger in weight, the difficulty passing through the holes increased. We noticed that the fur along the his back where failing out leaving a long thin line of higher skin exposure. To which, we had to discourage him from using the holes. That is a battle that is still ongoing because he has become so used to it over the years and it is an easy way for it to sneak into the corridor.
Dog Hair Loss
The reason for hair loss in dogs can be due to a number of factors. In order to understand why dogs hair fall out, we need to know the basics of how a dog's hair works. The hair on a dog's body is made up of two different types: guard hairs and undercoat. Guard hairs are the longer, coarser hairs that form the outer layer of a dog’s coat. Undercoat is made up of shorter, finer hairs that help keep a dog warm in winter and cool in summer.
The guard hairs will shed seasonally as they grow in new ones to replace them. This is called “moulting” or “blowing coat” and happens twice a year for many breeds. It usually starts around September and lasts until November or December when it starts again around March or April until May or June.
Other reasons why dogs hair fall out include
- Too much brushing
Too much brushing and grooming of your dog can also lead to the breaking off of their hairs. Grooming should not be over done it should be sufficient and neatly done.
- Allergies & DisordersAlopecia is a disorder that causes dog's air to fall out. Alopecia is a condition where in the dog loses it's hair and patches are formed. It is as a results of factors such as genetics and diet. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
The dog’s immune system recognizes the protein in these substances as a foreign invader and mounts an attack on it. This results in bald spots on their skin and hair loss following inflammation. Allergic reactions are the most common cause of alopecia in dogs as a result of food ingested or an insect bites. Such dogs with these allergies can experience hair loss as a result of their allergies.
- Stress or other medical conditions
Dog hair loss may be as a result of hormonal imbalance or diseases that affect the endocrine system such as Cushing's syndrome and hypothyroidism. When the dog is shedding, the hair will be replaced by new hair. The dog might also have a condition called alopecia, which means that it is losing its hair. Alopecia can be caused by stress or illness in the dog.
- Dry skin
They may also experience skin irritation and dry skin which can lead to excessive scratching which can lead to bald patches on their body and thus hair loss as well.
The natural cycle of a dog’s life: Dogs will lose more hair during the spring and fall months when they are going through the natural shedding process. This is because dogs will grow more fur in the summer and winter months to keep them warm. Therefore they have the need for them to shed old coat of fur to give way for new hair growth.
Dogs hair fall out for a number of reasons it can be as a result of allergies to their diet, insect bites, stress, dry skin or the environment. regardless of the cause of the shedding, you have to figure it out and take the dog to see a vet for treatment and further care. You should also know that if you have a very hairy dog with lots of fur, the chances are shedding is greatly increased compared to dogs with natural short furs.