Why do dogs lose their puppy coat? A puppy can shed their coat for a variety of reasons. Health issues and stress in their environment to name a few. Based on research, I will cover 5 key reasons why this happens and talk about methods of minimizing shedding with a puppy.
Let’s dive in…
5 Key Reasons Why Dogs Lose Their Puppy Coat
1) Adapting To The Climate
Each season, dogs’ coats may behave differently to adjust to the weather at hand. For instance, your dog may grow a thick undercoat to shield itself from the excessive cold in winter.
Similarly, it can shed off some fur to cope with the hot summertime weather. This is known as seasonal shedding, and it’s perfectly normal for healthy dogs.
Besides, a dog can naturally get rid of the extra hair that grows too old and gets damaged. This is a natural process that paves the way for healthier hair to grow.
Hairs that grow during winter become old, damaged, and useless when it comes to spring and summer, and that’s why they fall off.
The amount of hair that a dog sheds may vary from one dog breed to another. Some dog breeds like miniature schnauzers shed little to no fur, while the German shepherd continuously sheds a lot of hair.
2) Allergic Reaction
Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to different forms of allergens. The most common ones include mold, pollen, grooming products, ragweed, food allergens, some detergents, and dust mites.
Such allergens can trigger a reaction in the form of teary eyes, loss of hair, scaling of the coat, and inflammation of the skin on your dog.
You may notice some bare inflamed or reddened skin on your puppy as a result of getting in contact with an allergen.
This is usually common, especially in the earlier stages of owning a dog – you may not know what products and foods are allergens to your dog.
Miniature schnauzers are usually allergic to high-fiber dry foods as well as dairy products.
One of the significant causes of hair loss in human beings is stress, which also applies to dogs. For example, a dog can undergo stress when living conditions change abruptly.
Such can happen when you relocate to a new home, bring a new pet at home, or have a new family member coming to live with you.
Even though your canine may express stress though hyperactivity and other signs of stress, you may also notice a sudden loss of hair on its coat.
This is because stress causes hair follicles to enter the “resting” phase, which means no more new hairs grow in that spot, bringing about hair loss.
4) Invasion Of Bacteria And Fungi
Your little canine’s coat is always susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections due to the microbes that inhabit the skin.
When things get out hand, the microbes multiply and cause a severe skin infection. This may manifest in the form of reddened skin, inflamed skin, and itchy skin.
Such conditions are usually accompanied by loss of hair in the affected areas. Ringworm is another cause of skin infection that results in the loss of the puppy coat.
Late treatment may lead to the infection spreading to all parts of the skin, leaving the dog hairless and frustrated.
5) Lack Of A Healthy Diet
Your dog’s overall health majorly depends on the type of food and the amount of exercise you give them.
Other than causing allergic reactions, a poor diet may lack the crucial nutrients and minerals that play a significant role in promoting a healthy and furry coat.
For example, Vitamin C helps speed up the healing process of wounds on the dog’s skin. Also, Vitamin E is the real deal when it comes to shielding the skin from oxidant damage.
If your dog’s diet lacks such essential nutrients, your innocent pet may suffer hair loss due to unhealthy skin.
4 Tips On How To Minimize Puppy Coat Shedding
As much you can’t prevent the natural shedding process, you can at least minimize the amount of hair your dog sheds. Here are some of the tips for reducing coat shedding.
1) Regular Grooming
Combing and brushing your dog’s coat can help a great deal in removing the damaged hair before it falls off on its own.
For instance, the thick hairs that grow in winter can be removed gradually through grooming your dog every day before shedding happens.
Grooming also removes debris and microbes inhabiting in the follicles of the hairs.
DeShedding is also a particular way of grooming your dog to minimize shedding. It works perfectly for dogs with thick wiry coats. Make sure you find the right deShedding tool for better results.
2) Proper Nutrition
As mentioned earlier, a poor diet could be the reason your little canine is continuously losing its coat. The only way to solve this is to feed your dog on the right diet recommended by your vet.
High-quality dog food contains all the necessary nutrients in the required quantities.
In case foods don’t do much on your dog’s coat, you can add supplements. However, always consult your vet before settling for any diet supplements.
Note that various dog breeds may react to different supplements in a range of ways.
3) Maintaining Hygiene
A dirty environment is a breeding ground for all manner of microbes, including bacteria and fungi. It also provides a haven for parasites like fleas and mites, which in turn make your dog’s life a nightmare.
Microorganisms bring about infections, causing itching and inflammation of the skin in dogs, hence hair loss.
Simple hygiene measures can go a long way in saving your little puppy from such predicaments.
Moreover, always use dog-friendly detergents and grooming products to save your pet from allergic reactions. You can also ensure all surfaces are dry to prevent mold from growing.
4) Regular Checkups
Stress and certain underlying medical conditions can cause your canine to lose hair. Regular checkups at the vets can help detect such issues and treat them before the damage occurs.
Hormonal imbalance is another cause of hair loss in dogs.
Such conditions can be detected by the vet way earlier before they reach the point of causing hair loss to your dog.
Your vet can also advise you on healthy dog foods that can supply the much-needed nutritional value to maintain a healthy dog skin and overall good health.
I have discussed and revealed common reasons why do dogs lose their puppy coat. When you see this happen, just understand that it can be minimized but reduce shedding takes and patients on your part.
However, long term you and your best friend can go on enjoying life. Of course, if excessive shedding continues, I would always recommend seeking advice from a professional.