You may have loved the salt and pepper look till the date but watching your fur-bud's muzzle turning grey can be really agonizing.
Leo, my GSD, suddenly started growing grey strands all over his body. I'm well aware of the dog's aging but never imagined that I would see such changes in him just at the age of 3.
So, there was no option other than rushing to my vet. And she did answer 'why do dogs get grey hair early?' Stay glued; I'm obviously going to share.
Just like humans, going grey is a natural process of dogs' aging. As they get older, their pigment cells, i.e. melanin stops being produced like us.
In turn, white or lighter hair strands come out around the muzzle. Generally these changes become distinct in dogs at the age of 5. If your do
g is turning grey at an age below than 5, then you must consider it as premature greyness. Now that's a thing to get worried about.
But not anymore! Yes, I'm going to share the reasons to dogs' premature greying and the process of preventing your dog from going even more grey. Have a look!
4 Causes Why Do Dogs Get Grey Hair Early
There can be different reasons behind your dog's premature greyness. Starting from stress or anxiety to genetic dominance- anything can make your canine friend look old. Here I have shared all 4 reasons in detail to help you identify the one, which is responsible for your dog's premature greying. Dive in!
Yes, you heard it right! Some breeds are predisposed to grow grey hair early. There is the term "progressive greying," which refers to the dominance of certain types of a gene.
Long-haired breeds like Poodles, bearded collies are meant to get grey hair at an early age. Some sheepdogs also get white hairs early because of the dominant early-aging gene.
However, do a little bit of online research on your dog’s breed type and find out whether your dog belongs to one of those or not. If he doesn't, check the other reasons to find out what's up with your dog, why he’s going grey?
Stress and Anxiety
If your dog has any kind of anxiety or stress, it may impact the melanin production in his body. To confirm whether the cause of your dog's gery hair is stress or anything else, you need to keep an eye on his behavior.
Check his moods at different times and address his mood swings. If you see him getting angry or often barking without any reason, or not willing to play, or agitated all the time, then these can be signs of stress and anxiety.
In this case, you need to consult and take advices from your vet. Plus, give your dog enough mental and physical stimulation. Keeping him cheered up will also work.
Does your dog have white hair at some parts of his body? Do the hair strands look like patches? If yes, you may talk to your vet immediately to find out whether it's vitiligo or something else.
Vitiligo is a specific type of skin condition which encourages the loss of pigment on a certain part of your dog's body. No theory is there to address the exact cause of vitiligo, but some hypotheses are there, which say vitiligo comes from hereditary.
Vitiligo affects different dog breeds differently. Some lose the whole fur-color while others just get white spots at some body parts.
Sometimes, this depigmentation can take months to show sheer effects, whereas a few dog breeds get the symptoms just within the first 3 or 4 months of the infection.
Whatever the reason is, you must consult your vet and give your dog proper clinical treatment. The worst part is, vitiligo can also cause other skin irritations and dandruff on your dog's body.
Fortunately, vitiligo is rare, but a few dog breeds are there who tend to suffer from vitiligo more than other brees.
If your dog is one of such breeds, i.e., Old English Sheepdog, Rottweiler, Belgian Tervuren, German Shepherd, or Dachshund, then vitiligo is a potential cause that you must consider.
Other Health Issues
Many dogs are there who suffer premature greyness because of their underperforming thyroid glands.
This disease is called hypothyroidism. This issue not only causes fur pigmentation, but some other signs are also there like excessive weight gain.
Apart from that, many dogs have liver or kidney disease, which causes greying. Though it's very rare, you still should find out why your dog is getting grey hair early.
However, no matter what the cause is, proper treatment can restrict white hair growth. In the case of hypothyroidism or liver/kidney issues, clinical attention at the right time may cure your dog.
If the reason behind your dog’s premature greyness is a skin disease or other health issue, or genetic disorder, you can’t really help him except taking his physical care.
But your vet can. So, nothing to be numb! But, in case the reason is anxiety or stress definitely, there are some remedies. Look below, you’ll know!
How to Stop Your Dog from Going Prematurely Grey?
Only medication won't help if you don't take proper care of your fur-buddy in such conditions. You can help him to manage his anxiety and stay calm. First, find out what triggers his destructive behavior.
Once you find it, just keep your dog away from those. Along with that, give your dog proper attention and get him used to with a daily-routine. Set his playtime or snooze time according to your time of absence.
In this way, your dog will understand when not to expect your attention. Keep following the same even after you see changes in your dog's behavior. That's the key to keep him happy and well-behaved all the time.
That's all! I have shared all about why do dogs get grey hair early, and how to prevent growth? Now it's your turn to find out the reason and help your dog.
Also, don't forget to share the reason with me in the comment box below. If you have further queries, drop it in the same box. Stay connected for more pet guides. Happy Petting!