Why is my dog's fur changing color & thinning?

Written by kay wagers
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Why is my dog's fur changing color & thinning?
One factor that can cause your dog's fur to thin and change colour is age. (Labrador dog image by muro from Fotolia.com)

Examining your dog's fur is a good way of monitoring its health. Skin conditions and other health problems can cause changes to a dog's fur, including altering its colour and thickness.

Dog Fur

Your dog's fur continuously renews itself with new hair growth to replace what is lost due to shedding. If a health problem interrupts this cycle, your dog's hair could change and get thinner.

Canine Follicular Dysplasia

Canine follicular dysplasia is a skin condition that affects breeds including Siberian Huskies and Portuguese Water Dogs. It causes hair thinning and hair loss. The hair that remains often changes to a lighter, redder colour.

Nutritional Deficiency

If your dog has a nutritional deficiency caused by poor diet or an internal parasite, then its fur could thin. According to the book "What Your Dog Is Trying to Tell You," the colour of your dog's hair could also change and become duller.


Your dog's fur changing colour and thinning could be a part of the ageing process. The ASPCA notes that many older dogs have thinner fur that is fading to grey.


A nutritional deficiency can be treated with a better diet or by removing the internal parasite. There is no cure for canine follicular dysplasia or, of course, ageing.

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