Dog’s hair is a living part of their body. It needs nourishment, nutrition and care to thrive as the rest of the body does. If there is anything wrong with your dog’s body this will show up in the coat and the condition of the hair as well.
If your dog’s hair is not growing back and you are worried about it, you are certainly not alone as this happens to dogs and owners all the time. You will notice this especially after having your dog groomed. This is not to say that it will happen all the time every time, it may even never happen or you may never notice it. Dogs go through shedding cycles which is a natural phase where they lose their hair and re grow new hair. At the height of their shedding cycle they lose hair rather than grow it. Some dogs only grow new hair twice a year, and when this happens it is preceded by first losing those hairs going into the summer and again going into the winter. If your dog is shaved you will obviously not notice the loss of hair as the coat is short. It is when the coat doesn’t grow back that you notice it. Only the undercoat of your dog will re-grow and you will be able to tell it apart by the feel of the hair. The undercoat is a much softer smoother, almost fuzzy feeling hair whilst the upper layer is a thicker harder hair.
Your dog can have problems with the re-growth of their hair for a few different reasons. These include when they are ill, they have hypothyroid problems, when they have a hormonal imbalance, when they have recently had puppies, if they have malnutrition, or when they are becoming old.
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Genetics: Double coated breeds
Some breeds should never be cut as the hair does not ever grow back the same again. This includes dogs like German shepherd and all husky breeds, pomerians and Golden Retrievers. If you have one of these dogs and had the coat shaved, you can safely assume that it is because of the breed that the hair does not grow back right. If you cut one of these dogs you can be lucky and have the coat grow back with no problems, but there is no telling how much “abuse” the hair can take before it refuses to grow back properly. If your dog has any hereditary link to any of these breeds, meaning somewhere in the bloodline there is a cross with these breeds; this could also be the reason of hair not growing back after a shave.
You can make use of supplements
Like we mentioned before, a poor diet can lead to unhealthy coat. Make sure you are feeding all the nutrients your dog needs for a healthy shiny coat. You can add a supplement containing Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins (such as Vitamin C). This will aid in the re-growth of your dog’s hair.
As it happens with us humans, it happens that as dogs age their metabolisms slow down. This means that everything takes longer. This includes the growth of hair. If your dog is older, problems can start to show with the re-growth of hair. There is nothing you can do and if you are sure there are no other underlying conditions, all you can do is wait it out or keep cutting the hair that does re-grow to make it less obvious.
The more worrying health concern is hypothyroidism. Hair loss and not re-growing is a symptom that points to problems with the thyroid gland. A blood test is recommended and this will rule out or show any problems. Thyroid problems are not life-threatening and can be controlled with medication that your vet will prescribe.
Hormonal imbalances can also affect the hair growth of your dog. Your vet will be able to test and point out any imbalances or rule out this as a reason
often people who have had a high fever will notice some months later that their hair is thinning. Having a high temperature disrupts the cycle of hair growth. You may even have forgotten that your dog was ill and then months later when the shedding cycle starts there is less replacement hair than normal and you just don’t know why. If your dog was ill in the last couple of months, it could be a by-product that is only showing up now.
Grooming: daily brushing
In addition, daily brushing will increase the blood flow and help with healthy skin and coat when natural oils are released. This will help with the re-growth of your dog’s hair. Not in a hugely visible way, but it will help all the same.