If there’s one thing that distinguishes Poodles from other dog breeds, it’s their hair. While most dogs have thick coats of fur that shed during the warmer months, Poodles have tightly curled hair – and they don’t shed. Unfortunately, hair loss can become a genuine concern.
But if your Poodle is experiencing hair loss or bald spots, don’t panic. Here are 11 real reasons Poodles get bald spots and how to prevent them.
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1. Matted Hair
Just like human hair, Poodle hair can tangle and clump together if not correctly – and consistently – groomed. Unfortunately, if a Poodle’s hair is too matted, you cannot comb the mats out. Instead, you will have to cut them out or take them to a groomer to be appropriately handled.
The best way to prevent matting is to get ahead of it before it can happen. Brush your dog a few times a week and have your Poodle groomed by professionals at least every two months.
Female Poodles can suffer from hair loss as a result of hormonal fluctuation. When your Poodle is in heat, the increase of estrogen can result in hair thinning. In some cases, hair loss can be so severe that it results in bald Poodle spots.
The best way to prevent this is to spay your female Poodle if you are not planning on breeding her.
Even though Poodles are hypoallergenic, they can still suffer from allergies, resulting in bald Poodle spots. Some of the most common allergic reactions in Poodles that trigger hair loss are pollen, mold, and household cleaners. In addition, Poodles can have allergic reactions to various foods, including pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and wheat.
Getting to the bottom of a food allergy can be complicated. The key is to pay attention, and if you notice your loveable companion itching, scratching, or showing signs of nausea, take it to the vet. And then there are contact allergies: carpets, soaps, laundry detergents, etc.
The best way to prevent these kinds of reactions is to use hypoallergenic laundry detergent and bathing products.
Contrary to what you may think, ringworm has nothing to do with worms. Instead, it’s a rash on the skin that is caused by a fungal infection. Think of it as an athlete’s foot but all over your body or your Poodle’s body.
So how can you tell if your Poodle has ringworm? You guessed it: bald spots.
If you suspect you or your pet has ringworm, visit a medical professional. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to kill the fungus, so the best way to prevent bald Poodles from ringworm on your Poodle is to prevent them from getting ringworm in the first place.
You can do this by cleaning your carpet and floors, couch, bedding, bowls, and any tools that your animal comes into contact with regularly.
If your bald Poodle does not have a fungal infection like ringworm, there’s a chance it has a bacterial infection. In addition, if your dog spends a lot of time outside, it will be even more susceptible to this form of infection.
However, you can prevent fungal and bacterial infections with good hygiene. Wash your hands and wash them well and give your dog baths regularly. Allergies can also lead to bacterial infections, so treating them can help prevent them.
You’re probably familiar with this next condition called Alopecia. It’s a condition where the immune system turns against the hair follicles. Most common in male Miniature Poodles, it can be triggered by ringworm, mites, or other things.
If you’ve confirmed that your dog is not losing hair due to allergies, a fungal infection, or a bacterial infection, you might consider checking for alopecia with your local vet.
Treatment for alopecia can include antibiotics, antifungals, or steroids.
7. Nutritional Deficiencies
Nutrition is essential for healthy hair. If your dog is deficient in specific nutrients, it can cause hair loss. VCA Hospitals notes that if the food does not have sufficient fat content or is poor in quality, it may result in bald spots.
To prevent this, VCA Hospitals points out that you can get ahead of this by purchasing specific dog food. The fat content should be 10-15%, and the protein content should be 25-30%. However, you should give puppies food with 30-35% protein and 15-30% fat.
Another hormone-related cause of bald Poodle spots could be hypothyroidism, which often affects Poodles. Hypothyroidism is a serious issue that affects not only your dog’s hormones but also its personality.
If you notice that your Poodle is overly-lethargic or slow to respond – and it’s also experiencing hair loss – it could suffer from hypothyroidism. The best way to prevent further balding is to have your dog diagnosed immediately by a medical professional.
Although Poodles don’t shed like other dogs, their hair will thin if they are chronically overheated. The easiest way to prevent this is pretty straightforward: keep them cool. If you live in a hot area, make sure to keep your house at a comfortable temperature for them during the day.
If you live near water, take your Poodle for a swim. They were originally bred as water retrievers, so historically, they have always been avid swimmers. Letting them swim is a great way to cool them down during hotter months.
You can also set up a small pool in your backyard for them to lay down or play in.
10. Parasites or bugs
Fleas, lice, and mites are common pests that pet owners hate but often have to treat consistently. Parasites can cause skin irritation which, in turn, can cause hair loss. Skin irritation causes itchiness, and when your pet itches the same area for long periods, it can lead to bald spots.
Routine pet care and veterinary services are the best way to prevent these annoying pests. At your local vet, you will likely receive a prescription for medication as a preventative measure for fleas, lice, and mites. You can also purchase them online or at pet stores.
Silly as it may seem, split-ends and brittle hair can result in your Poodle getting bald spots. Over-brushing is a chief cause of this kind of hair loss. While your dog may love getting a good brush, you shouldn’t overdo it as it could lead to bald spots.
But it’s not just brushing. Extreme heat from a hair dryer or harsh soap can also cause split ends. So pay attention to what you’re using on your pet and research the products and their ingredients before using them.
If you see more hair loss than usual, stop using that product immediately.
If you notice that your Poodle is getting bald spots, there are several potential causes. Whether it’s something as simple as matted hair or as severe as hypothyroidism, there are measures that you can take to see your Poodle’s hair healthy once again.
Some of the causes of bald spots are more serious than others. The best first measure is to take your pet to a vet to assess it. Note any recent changes you may have made in routine, nutrition, or grooming service.