Shedding is a normal process every dog undergoes in different seasons of the year (you can read more info about it in our blog about shedding). However, it’s important to state the difference between shedding and hair loss in dogs: while shedding is a normal process through which dogs renew their hair, hair loss is usually caused by an underlying disease.
Hair loss in dogs, a.k.a alopecia
The difference between alopecia and shedding is not so easy to tell. However, broadly speaking, we can say that shedding is uniform and even, while alopecia is more abrupt and centralized. If you notice the number of dog hair strands you find is increasing and his hair is getting thinner, it’s time to consult with your vet to assess the situation.
There are different conditions that can cause alopecia. Usually, it’s not only about hair loss in dogs:
Allergies: Our dogs can be allergic to different agents, like pollen, dust, flowers, specific foods. If this is your dog’s case, the vet will probably run some blood tests to confirm the diagnosis and will tell you what to do next. Untreated allergies can significantly worsen your dog’s quality of life, causing hair loss, itching, swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea, so it is very important to take action.
Hormonal conditions: Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and growth hormone disorders are some of the hormonal conditions your dog can suffer from. In these cases, the hair loss will be uniform and will involve the entire body rather than discrete areas. If you notice your dog’s hair loss is getting significantly worse, talk with your vet asap.
Infections: Parasites, fungi, bacteria. Infections can be caused by different agents, but they all have one thing in common: they can cause hair loss. The good news is if your dog is suffering from an infection, you will probably notice it rapidly since it will come accompanied by fever, lethargy, and inflammation of the affected area.
Neutering: This process causes testosterone production to stop. Owed to this, dogs can experience differences in their bodies, such as hormonal imbalances, changes in behaviors, and hair loss. As when humans grow old, dogs can also experience hair loss due to hormonal changes.
Pressure sores: Similar to human bedsores, they occur when a dog spends a lot of time in contact with a rough surface. It is more common among large size breeds dogs. Also, it can occur due to repeated trauma, medical conditions, or excessive resistance to pain. You can read more about it in our blog about Pressure Sores in Dogs.
Stress: Mental conditions are not exclusive to humans. Anxiety, depression, and stress can affect our dogs as well. Pay special attention if your dog is undergoing a traumatic or unexpected situation, or if something has changed during the last period of time.
How can I make hair loss in dogs better?
First of all, you should contact your vet to discover the reason behind alopecia. Treating our dogs is essential, but if we don’t have the right diagnosis, it will become an arduous task. The vet will probably run some tests to confirm or dismiss any assumption and will later provide a diagnosis and a possible treatment.
Taking care of our dog’s skin and coat is mandatory. As the skin is the largest organ of dogs’ bodies, any skin-related issue can cause a lot of damage and hurt other organs. Omega-3 is one of your biggest allies in this journey: Its fatty acids help skin conditions, inflammatory responses, and allergies. Mokai's Omega-3 Vegan Algae Oil takes special care of your dog’s skin and coat, giving it a softer texture and silky sheen while improving overall skin health.