It can be quite alarming to realize that your dog’s fur is changing color in spots. Once you make this observation, you will probably want to know whether it is normal, what may be causing it, and what can be done about it. Read on, for answers.
Common reasons for dog’s fur changing color in spots include improper grooming, illness, staining, nutritional issues and hormonal issues. Others are aging, injuries and parasite infestations.
Note that in this context, focus is on the situation where you have dog fur changing color in spots. That is quite different from where you have dogs fur changing color as a whole, and not in spots.
So what usually happens here is that the dog’s core coat color remains. But you may have dark spots on dog fur. Or you may have spots/sections on the dog’s coat that acquire a different hue from what was originally there.
Therefore that is what dogs hair color changing in spots entails. In some cases, what you may witness is dog hair changing color and texture in certain spots. Or it may be dog hair color change alone: without a change in texture.
Whichever way they manifest, dog coat changes can be quite alarming. Whether it is dog coat getting lighter or darker at certain spots, the whole thing can cause quite a bit of a scare.
Thankfully, as we shall see shortly, most fur changes in dogs are due to issues that are easy to deal with. In fact, some coat changes in dogs are due to natural issues, which you don’t need to do anything about.
Is It Normal For Dog’s Fur To Change Color In Spots?
Upon noticing your dog’s fur changing color in spots, the first thing you may want to know is whether that is normal. So the underlying question would be, is it normal for a dog’s coat to change color?
Now perhaps a good place to start is by asking, can dogs change colors in the first place? More specifically, can dogs change fur color? And the answer is yes. Dogs do change fur color.
Therefore if you are noticing a dog color fur change, you need to know that it is not something unique to your dog. It is something we see in many other dogs. So it is ‘normal’ in that sense.
But we should also be quick to point out that some color dog fur change causes are worrisome. Thus whereas the dog’s coat changing color may be normal, the reason behind it may be worrisome.
All in all, the answer to the can dogs change color question is ‘yes’.
In fact, very few dogs go through life without color changing fur coat at some point. Therefore the answer to the how common is it for dogs to change color question is that ‘it is quite common’.
You will often hear someone saying, my dog’s hair is getting darker in spots or that my dog’s hair has recently changed colors and it’s not everywhere. It is something that happens commonly.
Then again, it is worth pointing out our focus here is on dog’s fur – and not the underlying skin. So if it was a question of dogs skin color changing, then it would be rather different.
Also note that the emphasis is on color change specifically. If, for instance, one introduces the aspect of dog fur changing color and texture, the dynamics would be rather different.
Why Is My Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots?
The moment you notice that your dog’s fur is changing color in spots, you will probably want to know the reason(s) behind it.
This is what may lead to questions like, why did my dogs hair change color in spots?
Where you are specifically looking at dark spots, the question will be, why is my dog getting dark spots on her fur? Or why does my dog’s fur look spotty?
Where it is accompanied by thinning, you will want to know, why is my dog’s fur changing color & thinning? Or generally really, why do dogs hair change color?
So indeed, what can make a dog’s fur change color in spots? Well, in some cases, it is due to improper grooming. In other cases, you find that dog color change in fur is due to illness. There are also cases where dog fur color change in spots is due to staining.
Further, nutrition, aging, injuries and parasite infestations can cause fur color changes in dogs.
Those are the main causes for dog’s fur changing color in spots.
Therefore if you have the why does my dog’s fur change color in spots question, then the answer is likely to be one of the above.
Even in answering the why do dogs’ fur change color in spots question at a general level, the answer would usually be one of these factors.
We will now proceed to individually look at each of these common causes of dog’s fur changing color in spots.
Improper Grooming As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
Sometimes, you find that a dog’s fur changing color in spots is due to improper grooming.
If, for instance, you use a shampoo that is made using very harsh chemicals, it may cause your dog’s hair to change color in spots.
Or if in the course of grooming, you cut your dog’s coat very short, then you may see the fur changing color in spots.
Thus if you were wondering, why is my dogs fur getting lighter, then this may be the reason behind it.
Or if you were wondering, can a dog’s fur change color due to grooming, now you know that the answer is ‘yes’.
So improper grooming is one of the reasons why dogs’ furs change color in spots sometimes.
Illness As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
There are several illnesses that can make your dog’s fur change color in spots.
Examples include hypothyroidism, certain cancers and the condition we refer to as vitiligo.
Thus if you have your dog’s fur changing color in spots, this may be the reason.
Where the color change is due to illness, it is typically accompanied by other symptoms.
For instance, if it is due to hypothyroidism, the dog will be lethargic, intolerant of cold and with a slow heartbeat.
Where it is due to cancer, there may be fast weight loss, palpable tumors alongside other cancer symptoms.
Vitiligo mainly manifests through pigment changes of the skin and coat in dogs. It may not be easy to notice in dogs with different color fur. But in dogs with colored hair, where the fur is of one color, vitiligo is usually very easy to note.
Dog breeds that change color often due to vitiligo include the likes of Rottweilers, Dachshunds and German Shepherds.
Needless to say, where dog’s fur changing color in spots is due to illness, then it would be very worrisome.
Staining As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
There are instances where you find that a dog’s fur is changing color in spots due to staining.
What may be causing the staining could be chemicals that the dog is exposed to. These incidentally include the chemicals in the dog’s saliva, and which come into contact with the fur when the dog licks itself.
The staining can also be due to exposure to the sun, especially during the summer.
Sometimes, the color changes that are due to staining may be rather dramatic.
All in all while, for instance, trying to figure out, why is my dog’s fur changing from white to brown, you need to know that staining may be the reason.
In fact, if you were trying to learn how to change dog color (or how to color your dog’s fur differently), you would realize that this staining approach is one of the most practical.
But then again, some of the chemicals whose exposure causes this sort of staining can be harmful in other ways.
Hormonal Issues As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
There are instances where we find dog’s fur changing color in spots due to hormonal issues.
Dogs with hormonal imbalances or other forms of hormonal deficiencies may have their fur changing color in spots.
The color changes that are due to hormonal issues are usually not very dramatic. It is typically a case of the dog’s existing color lightening or darkening.
Nonetheless if your dog’s fur is changing color in spots, this may well be the reason.
Nutritional Issues As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
There are cases where you find that the reason for dog’s fur changing color in spots is nutrition.
If, for instance, a dog is not getting all the nutrients it needs, its body may not have the resources it needs to form pigmentation properly.
Therefore such a dog may end up acquiring light spots on its skin.
The dyes that we often find in the various kibbles that we feed our dogs on can also cause changes in fur color.
Thus, you may have a dogs fur turning orange due to the dye in its kibble.
Aging As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
One of the most frequently asked questions about dog fur color changes is this: do dogs fur change color as they get older? Or, to put it differently, do dogs fur change as they age?
And the answer is yes. For instance, as a dog gets older, you may see more grays on its fur.
But in this context, ‘aging’ doesn’t only refer to where the dog is becoming very elderly. Even puppies, as they grow into adult dogs, experience fur color changes.
Puppy hair changing color is in fact a very common phenomenon.
Usually, a new dog owner poses the question: will my puppy’s coat change colour as it grows? And the answer is ‘yes’. Some degree of color change is expectable.
Thankfully, unless there are other factors at play, the puppy coat color change is not usually very dramatic.
So puppy fur color change tends to be quite modest.
But then one may ask, when do puppies fur change color? And the answer is that puppies usually experience some fur color change in the first year of their lives.
Therefore this sort of color change is a normal part of growth.
And if you have been wondering, why is my puppy’s fur changing color, then this may be the reason.
To reiterate, we have at least two aging-related color changes in dogs’ furs.
We have those in which we see puppies’ furs changing color, as they grow into adult dogs.
Then we have those in which senior dogs’ furs change, as they acquire grays due to the aging process.
Injuries As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
When dogs incur injuries, these can lead to fur color changes in spots. So you simply find that dog’s fur changes color in spot of injury. There are several mechanisms through which this sort of dog fur color change happens.
First is where you find increased melanin production in the spot where there was injury. This will cause the hair above such spots to have darker color. So the dog ends up with dark spots.
The other mechanism is where there is damage to the hair follicles on the spot where there was injury. This then causes the hair that subsequently grows there to have a different color.
All in all, if a dog had injuries – including those that arise in the course of grooming – at various spots, that may lead to fur color changes.
Parasite Infestations As A Reason For Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
The parasites in question here are external ones, like mites and ticks.
A dog with severe infestation of such parasites may end up with its fur changing color in spots.
Therefore if you have your dog’s fur changing color in spots, this is still one of the possibilities that are worth exploring.
And where a dog’s fur is changing color in spots due to parasite infestation, it is quite worrisome. That is because besides causing fur color changes, the parasites are likely to be causing damage in other ways within the dog’s body.
Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots – Should I Be Worried?
Where you have a dog whose fur is changing color in spots, you should at least be concerned. The least you can do is try to investigate the reason behind it.
Some of the factors that may cause a dog’s fur to change color in spots are not worrisome. Such include where it is due to aging.
But other factors that may cause a dog’s fur to change color in spots are very worrisome. Like where it is due to a disease such as hypothyroidism, or where it is due to nutritional deficiencies, or parasite infestations, then it would be very worrisome.
Therefore you should at least be concerned, and undertake some investigation, to identify the reason for the dog’s fur to change color in spots.
Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots – What To Do?
The first step is to try to figure out the reason behind the dog’s fur changing color in spots.
There are cases where the reasons for the dog’s fur changing its color in spots are easy to identify.
Like where, for instance, it is due to improper grooming or where it is due to external parasite infestations. In such cases, it should be quite easy to figure it out.
But there are other cases where you may need to enlist the help of a veterinarian, to figure out exactly why your dog’s fur is changing color in spots.
Like where it is due to diseases such as hypothyroidism or nutritional deficiencies, it may take a vet’s expertise to pinpoint the reason.
All in all, once you understand the reason behind the dog’s fur changing its color in spots, then it should be easy to chart the way forward.
If, for instance, it is due to improper grooming, you can adopt better grooming practices. You may switch to less harsh shampoos. Or you may need to stop cutting the coat very short.
Where it is due to nutritional deficiencies, you may need to change the dog’s diet radically.
And where it is due to illnesses, you may need to have a vet diagnose and treat them, to resolve the issue.
Where it is due to parasite infestations, you may similarly need to have a vet prescribe the necessary formulations to ward them off.
Final Verdict – Dog’s Fur Changing Color In Spots
There are many possible reasons for dog’s fur changing color in spots. It can be due to improper grooming, illnesses, injuries or due to the normal growth and aging process.
It can also be due to nutritional issues, staining, hormonal issues or parasite infestations.
If it is due to the dog’s normal growth and aging process, then you need to accept and embrace it.
In the cases where it is due to improper grooming, you may need to change the grooming practices. Where it is due to nutritional issues, you may need to adopt a better diet.
And if it is due to parasite infestations, hormonal issues, injuries or illnesses, veterinary treatment would be necessary.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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