What’s Causing Hair Loss In Your Aging Dog?

Posted on
September 21, 2020
an elderly golden retriever
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All dogs shed, but you may notice your senior dog losing more hair than you may consider normal. Owners can notice hair coming out in patches or just an abnormal increase of shedding in general. Is hair loss a sign of health concerns or is it a natural part of a dog’s life? It could be either or. A senior dog’s hair loss can be caused by a number of things. To make sure the cause is nothing to be worried about, it’s best to try to determine what’s the cause of hair loss so you can treat it.

While Fauna Care healing sprays can’t cure hair loss, they can take care of any scrapes and bruises your dog may get around the house! This article covers:

  • Seasonal shedding
  • Hormones
  • Illness
  • Parasites
  • Treatments

Seasonal Shedding

Dogs lose hair for a lot of reasons, but the most common one is seasonal shedding. If you have a dog in the house for long enough, you’re bound to notice the pattern of shedding. You may have come across the term “blowing coat” before, which refers to certain breeds that experience dramatic seasonal shedding a couple times a year and lose an extraordinary amount of hair in just a couple weeks. Once a dog blows a coat, they’ll have a less full coat for a time. Normal shedding usually increases during the spring and summer months. This makes sense when you think of how much warmer it’s getting outside during this time, meaning your dog needs less fur to keep warm. Whether your dog experiences blowing coat or regular seasonal shedding, you shouldn’t notice any bald spots or patches.

A dog in the woods
It’s during spring and summer that you may notice a lot of shedding from your pup at home. Seasonal shedding is natural and nothing to worry about!

What Can I Do About Seasonal Shedding?

Not much can be done to present seasonal shedding. It’s a natural part of being a dog with a body covered in hair. You can help the shedding along by grooming your dog more frequently during spring and summer. Grooming will also give you more control over where all the shedded hair ends up. Instead of finding it all on your clothes and couch, and can catch it all in the brush and dispose of it in the trash. 

If you want to try reducing the amount of shedding, you can try a diet change. Nutritional deficiencies is another contributor to hair loss, so changing a dog’s diet to one with more protein can help.

Hormones

If you do see balding on your aging dog, you can rule out seasonal shedding and consider the possibilities it’s caused by hormones. There are some types of hormonal abnormalities such as Cushing’s Disease or Addison’s Disease. If you suspect it’s hormones causing the hair loss, you may also notice lethargy and weight gain.

What Can I Do About Hair Loss Caused By Hormones?

You can take your dog to the vet. If they suspect internal problems, they may try laboratory testing, X-ray, or ultrasound imaging to determine what exactly is causing the hair loss and how it can be treated.

Illness

Hair loss can also be a sign of something wrong. Ringworm and other fungal infections can cause hair loss in dogs. Your dog may have infection of the hair follicles that causes excessive shedding. To distinguish hair loss as a sign of illness instead of normal shedding, you may notice other signs of irritation such as a lot of scratching, licking, and biting at the skin. 

What Can I Do About Hair Loss Caused By Illness?

Once you suspect your dog’s hair loss is due to illness, you should contact your veterinarian immediately and inform them of the problem. They can check up on your dog and confirm the illness and treat it. If they find a medical concern, they will likely prescribe medication. Skin infection can be treated with medicated shampoo. 

A dog in the tub getting shampoo rubbed into its fur
Scrub your dog down with medicated shampoo to deal with irritated skin! Grooming in general should also help you manage how much shedding your dog does around the house. 

Parasites

Another common cause of hair loss in dogs is parasites. Fleas, ticks, and mites can be the cause of patches of bald skin as the dog scratches at the area they’ve infected. Flea bites are the worst, as their bite causes allergic reactions that lead to further hair loss. 

A dog standing in a field
Once your dog is done playing outside, it’s best to check them for ticks. These parasites, as well as fleas and mites, can make your dog’s skin irritable and cause them to lose hair. 

What Can I Do About Parasites?

When you see the parasites that are visible to the eye, like ticks, it helps to remove the tick from the dog as soon as possible. You may find the tick hasn’t bit the dog yet, in which case they’re easy to remove. If it has attached itself to the dog’s skin, you’ll have to pull the tick out. Make sure to get the head of the tick out too. There are medications you can get from your vet that wards away parasites. If you discover highly contagious parasites such as mites or fleas, you can get tips from your vet on how to rid your home of any lingering pests. 


Usually, hair loss is nothing to get worried about. It’s natural for dogs to shed, especially older ones. However, there are cases when hair loss is a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you are concerned, you can look for signs of irritation and take your dog to the vet for an examination. Once you determine the cause of hair loss, you can find a way to prevent it and make your dog more comfortable! By checking on their skin and hair condition, your dog will be a happy pup, no matter what their coat looks like.

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Posted on
September 21, 2020
in
Advice
category

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