Shedding, which is a natural loss of fur in dogs, allows a new coat to grow in its place. Generally, there is nothing to worry about as your dog’s hair will grow back.
However, Alopecia – or hair loss in dogs – can affect a pet’s entire coat or certain parts of the body, resulting in unsightly patches. Read on to learn about the variety of reasons for hair loss in dogs.
Diseases like mange, cushing, hypothyroidism, etc. might also cause hair loss. Bacterial or fungal infections may also give rise to hair loss.
Other than due to disease, dogs shed their fur for a variety of reasons. Some of these causes are: stress, pregnancy, hereditary reasons, natural shedding, allergies, and lack of grooming. For e.g., stress caused by physical, mental and emotional abuse can contribute to fur loss. Lack of proper and regular grooming will also cause matting and hair loss; dogs will need to be given regular baths and brushes.
Another reason might be allergic reactions to environmental irritants, chemical detergents, paints, nickel and other chemical or textile fibres. Exposure to inhalants, deodorants, room fresheners, inhaling pollen or dust mites can also contribute to the problem. Allergies can be drug induced or food borne so look out for them in your pet.
Regular nutritious and balanced meals suitable to your dog’s age, breed and size will help your pet’s fur to grow normally. Do note that dogs’ nutritional requirements change according to their life stage – with puppies, adult and senior dogs all having different nutritional requirements.
A veterinarian will be able to diagnose your dog’s hair condition and treat it accordingly. The Singapore Veterinary Association provides a list of veterinary clinics that dogs’ owners can seek advise and help from:
1. Pet Wave, Treating Alopecia in Dogs
2. Dog hair loss- Information, causes, symptoms and treatment
3. Dog Nutrition Guide
The following articles were extracted from Factiva database on nutrition, treatment and dog care.
1. Does your knowledge of pet nutrition match up with the facts? 23 September 2011. Northeast Sun 2011 Sun Media Corporation.
2. Shedding the fears about dog hair loss. 10 May 2011. China Daily – Hong Kong Edition.
3. Dr pets – HAIR OF THE DOG. THONGLOR PET HOSPITAL. 13 May 2010, Bangkok POST (c) 2010. The Post Publishing Public Company Limited.
1. Dog care essentials : everything you need to know at a glance
Author: Caroline Davis
Publisher: London: Hamlyn, 2010.
Call No.: English 636.7083 DAV
2. Complete puppy & dog care: what every dog owner needs to know
Author: Bruce Fogle
Publisher: London: Mitchell Beazley, 2010.
Call No.: 636.7 FOG
3. Mini encyclopedia of dog health
Author: Roberta Baxter
Publisher: Dorking: Interpet, c2010.
Call No.: 636.70893 BAX
Posted by Mr Kweh Soon Huat, Librarian, Public Library Services.