If dog hair is all over your place suddenly, you might wonder: do dogs lose hair after having puppies? The answer is yes but read on to understand the whys and hows.
Yes, dogs lose hair after having puppies. Losing hair is a common after-effect of pregnancy. Most likely, your dog will lose their entire coat of hair once the puppies are weaned.
The coat blow can take place once every few months. Your dog may lose their hair coming out in clumps.
Loss of hair is a natural process, but you can take some steps to speed it up so that the dog is not in discomfort for too long, and neither are you. The loss of hair is sometimes a good thing as well as your dog might have a new full and shiny coat.
Hair Cycle Of Dogs
In order to understand sudden hair loss after pregnancy, it is important to know about the hair cycle of dogs first. Their hair cycle has mainly three phases.
- The first phase is the hair growing phase, also known as Anagen.
- The second stage of the hair cycle is Catagen. In this phase, the hair stops growing.
- The last hair cycle phase is Telogen, when the hair enters a resting phase.
Sudden hair loss happens when many follicles move to the Telogen stage simultaneously.
Why Do Dogs Lose Hair After Having Puppies?
A drop in hormones is the biggest reason why dogs lose hair after having puppies. The change in hormones takes the hair follicles to the resting phase, i.e., Telogen, which helps her feed her pups adequately.
The other reason can be, as the pups suck the milk, they also suck the mother’s nutrients, resultantly affecting her immune system. Due to which she loses her hair.
Last but not least, like humans, dogs also experience a certain amount of stress during pregnancy. This can cause all dormant hair follicles to come to a Telogen stage, so the dogs end up shedding all the hairs at once over a short period, generally between 1 to 3 weeks.
Why Dogs Lose Hair: Other Reasons
Besides pregnancy, stress, and hormonal changes, there are several other reasons in dogs that lead to hair loss. Some of these reasons are:
Allergies are one of the common reasons why dogs shed. Some of these allergies can be environmental allergies, food allergies, and flea allergies. Some of the common allergy symptoms include patchy hair loss, itchy skin, gas, or diarrhea.
Some dogs naturally shed their hair after attaining a certain age. They develop bald patches as they get older, often after they reach the 1-year mark.
Most dogs live with Demodex mites. These mites can cause “mange” (patchy hair loss). A weak immune system or excessive stress can cause these mites to multiply uncontrollably and cause significant hair loss.
Like humans, dogs, too, can get fungal or bacterial infections. Candida, a yeast infection, can occur when the yeast always present on a dog’s skin grows a lot. Itching and skin irritation are common symptoms of Candida, which also lead to hair loss. Ringworm is a common fungal infection in dogs that leads to hair loss. Similarly, pyoderma, a common bacterial skin infection, may also lead to significant hair loss.
Common Hair Loss Symptoms In Dogs
- Thinning of hair is a very evident symptom that your dog is suffering from bad hair health. Dogs are more likely to suffer from hair loss once you notice thinning of the hair.
- Hair loss around the eyes and the mouth is a telltale sign that your dog is about to lose a lot of hair suddenly.
- There may be patches on your dog’s coat where there may be less hair or no hair at all. You will get to know about this when you observe the fur coat of your dog very carefully.
- Foul odor and itchiness from the fur coat is also an indicator of hair loss. If your dog has black or dark grey skin along with hair loss, then it is a severe condition that you should immediately get checked out. Observing red skin patches around the area with the hair loss can also help you indicate signs of hair loss.
How To Manage Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
After pregnancy, there are usually two types of shedding of hair among the dogs. The first type of shedding occurs two weeks after giving birth, and the second type of shedding happens after these two weeks.
The former usually happens because of physical strain and exertion after giving birth, and the latter happens mainly due to the stress and anxiety created after giving birth to puppies.
Hormonal changes are also a significant factor contributing to hair loss after pregnancy. There are some essential tips and routines that you must follow to manage this hair loss or help your dog to grow a shinier coat of hair.
Brush The Hair
Regularly brushing the coat will help remove trapped hair and keep the coat from becoming knotted. Dogs suffer from hair loss after pregnancy because new hair starts pushing out. Due to this reason, the old hair starts falling.
Stress and hormonal changes can also be massive contributors to hair loss after pregnancy. You can manage the hair loss up to some extent. Brushing also helps you clean up the hair, as most of the hair will fall at that time. You can easily collect and then throw this hair.
Another benefit of regularly brushing your dog’s hair is there is less hair throughout your home.
Feeding your dog with a properly nutritious diet can also help them to cope with hair loss. Hair loss mainly occurs due to some hormonal changes or the lack of some nutrients in the body.
You must start feeding your dog after 12 hours of giving birth. You can even feed your dog twice the amount of food they regularly eat as they need to compensate for the loss of calories and proteins after giving birth.
You can also feed your dog with high-quality dog food. Select the dog food that is rich in protein and fats. Sometimes feeding your dogs with puppy food also helps as it may help your dog with extra protein while lactating.
Consulting your dog’s vet is also a good idea as they can help you with a proper diet plan as they are aware of your dog’s medical history.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for a dog to get back to normal after having puppies?
The time your dog takes to get back to normal after having puppies will differ for everyone as plenty of other factors might come into play.
The recovery time in dogs is different because different dogs have different health standards. Some dogs might be completely fine in a day or two, whereas some dogs may take up to a week to get back to normal.
Once your dog feels that her puppies are independent and they can take some care of themselves, your dog will again gradually start spending more time with you.
In a few short weeks, your dog’s behavior will return to what it was before having the puppies.
Do dogs look different after having puppies?
Yes, a dog’s body also undergoes many changes, just like a woman. The only significant difference between them is that these changes occur in dogs for a shorter period than in women.
The changes that occur in a dog after giving birth to puppies are also known as whelping. After whelping, there are a lot of physical changes that occur in the body of a dog.
Dogs during and after pregnancy tend to consume more and more food. This often results in weight gain, and now this weight gain is low or high depending on your dog.
Another physical change in their body is that post-pregnancy pain. Due to this pain, your dog might cry or squeal. The best solution is to try to medicate your dogs properly.
What are the bad signs after a dog gives birth?
The period after a dog gives birth to puppies is crucial as they can suffer from many health hazards. You should immediately contact the doctor of your dog if your dog has any of the following symptoms.
If your dog has a fever, listlessness, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, vomiting, or loss of appetite. You should also consider no interest in the puppies or even have decreased milk production.
When does it become essential to reach out to the vet?
On average, your dog must stop shedding hair after three months of having puppies. If your dog has hair loss after these months, there can be some other issues, as mentioned above, such as skin infection, skin irritation, mites, or fleas. After three months, it becomes necessary that you contact a vet.
Do Dogs Lose Hair After Having Puppies: Yes, It Is Common And Nothing To Worry About
While hair loss may be a big mess for you to clean, it is a natural phenomenon that you can expect after the mother gives birth to a litter of pups. With a bit of love, patience, and care, you can help the new mother regain her coat in no time.