My Cat’s or Dog’s Hair is Falling Out – What To Know about Cat & Dog Shedding

Shedding is a normal occurrence for many pets. Typically this natural process happens twice a year—in the fall and spring—however, some dogs can shed year round. But there are other reasons your pet’s hair might fall out. When hair loss occurs outside of the normal shedding season, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.

Medical causes for shedding

Hair loss in the offseason can be associated with your dog or cat scratching, chewing or over-grooming. These behaviors are often a way for your dog or cat to say that they don’t feel well, either because of anxiety or physical discomfort. Shedding in dogs and cats can be triggered by medical causes including:

  • Environmental allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Fleas
  • Mites (demodex and scabies)
  • Infection of the skin (both bacterial and fungal)
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • An underlying medical issue

Symptoms and treatment

If you notice that your pet is developing bald spots or if you see any changes in your pet’s skin such as redness, scabs, bumps, pimples or a rash, it’s important to visit your veterinarian sooner rather than later.

Treatments available for the hair loss will depend on the underlying cause. Options include:

  • Special shampoo
  • Change in diet/food
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Medication

Learn More

If you have any concerns about your pet’s hair or coat, or their overall health, you can always request an appointment with your local Banfield veterinarian.

You can  also learn more about some of the underlying issues that could cause hair loss by reading the articles below from our Pet Health Resources library.