Hair loss in dogs is normal as they shed, however excessive hair loss might be a sign of something else, and should be investigated. Hair loss in dogs can appear as a single spot, or patches all over the body, and can be down to a variety of causes. 

In this blog post we’ll outline the main causes of hair loss, how you can identify them, and which treatment may be suitable.

Can a dog collar cause hair loss?

 If your dog is losing hair around their neck, then it could be caused by a dog collar. However, there are many other reasons it might be, and you should always rule these out before assuming a change in dog collar will provide the solution. 

When looking for collars that don’t cause hair loss, make sure you find one that is of high-quality and isn’t faulty.

Can a dog harness cause hair loss?

Similar to collars, dog harnesses can cause hair loss too. If your dog’s harness isn't adjusted properly, or your dog is constantly pulling, they may lose hair around their joints. It's therefore best not to let your dog wear their harness continuously, and take it off when you get home. It's also important to ensure it fits properly.

What are the main causes of hair loss in dogs?

Pressure Sores

This can be seen more often in senior dogs, and is caused by lying on a hard floor and on the same spot. You may see bald patches on areas that your dog lies on. This can be stopped by using soft bedding where your dog lies. The sores can get worse and eventually get infected, so you should monitor them and seek treatment if required.

Poorly fitted or poor quality dog accessories

As mentioned above, if your dog’s collar or harness is fitted poorly so that it is tight, then over time this could lead to hair loss and potentially skin damage. See our article here on how to fit a dog collar.

Mange

Mange can come about from an infestation of mites. Excessive itching can lead to hair loss in your dog, and so the mange should be treated. In localised cases of mange, it will show up as patches of hair loss and red, scaling skin. In generalised cases, the entire body could be covered with infections, redness, scaling, swelling, and crusts. You should seek expert advice if unsure.

Allergic reactions

Like us, dogs can suffer from lots of different allergies. Fleas are probably the most common, and the itching and scratching at flea bites can cause hair loss in your dog. To understand more about how to identify fleas, see our article on the subject here.

Genetics

Some dog breeds are also predisposed to hair loss (greyhounds, for example). Not that much can be done about this, but it's always worth consulting your vet to check nothing more sinister is going on.

Thorns or other foreign objects

Anything that can get stuck in your dog’s skin can lead to bald patches. You will notice potential swelling or your dog licking a particular part of its body. If there is a foreign body, then it may need removing by a vet and treatment if infected.

Infections

Infections such as ringworm can cause hair loss in your dog and should be treated. Notable by a ring-shaped pattern (although not always). Ringworm can be treated with cream or special shampoos.

Seasonal shedding

Sometimes, what looks to be extreme hair loss is just normal shedding. Dogs can lose fur if individual hairs become damaged, or seasonally when the weather becomes warm. To control the shedding, try brushing your dog a couple of times a week to remove excess hair.

What to look for in a dog collar?

As low-quality dog collars could be a cause of hair loss, it’s important to choose carefully. There are so many dog collar styles and materials on the market, it can be hard to decide. You should always consider the style of fur your dog has. Shorter haired dogs may not suit a heavy leather dog collar, for example. Longer hair dogs may have issue with nylon webbing dog collars, as their fur may get caught in the webbing itself.

Once you have considered your dog, then remind yourself that a dog collar is the most important accessory your dog may wear. It has the dogs ID tag (important if it gets lost), and it may be on 24/7 unless you take it off, so comfort is important. The collar should strong enough to withstand the sturdiest of dogs.

So, don’t scrimp, go for a high-quality collar made of high-quality material. You may not get a second chance if your collar breaks. You also want the dog collar to be comfortable, so choose a material that offers a soft contrast to your dog’s fur.

Oscar & Hooch dog collars are all designed with comfort and durability in mind and come in a selection of fabrics to suit any discerning owner. They can all be viewed here, alongside our range of quality collars, we also offer leads, training leads and treat bags.

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Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs FAQs

Should I take my dog to the vet for hair loss?

Don't ignore hair loss, as it could be an indicator of an infection or health issue. If your dog is shedding more than normal, and is accompanied by other symptoms, you should consult with your vet.

Can certain foods cause hair loss in dogs?

Sometimes hair loss in dogs can be caused by an allergic reaction, so it’s important to eliminate these foods from your dog’s diet. Common food allergies include eggs, soy, beef, chicken, wheat, and corn.

How often should I wash my dog’s fur?

How often you wash your dog depends on the breed of dog, their activity levels and the environment. Washing your dog at least once every three months is a good rule to follow, but once a week or once a month is fine if they actually need a bath.