0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

In This Article

Premature greying: Reasons why your dog goes grey early
120

Premature greying: Reasons why your dog goes grey early

Some breeds are prone to go grey early, but it doesn’t affect their lifespan or health, unless they have any other conditions, say experts

Some dogs can develop grey hair earlier than other breeds, and even before stepping into their senior years.

Watching your furbabies turn grey as they grow older can be difficult. And when it happens ahead of time, several questions can arise about their health and well-being. However, grey fur does not always indicate their seniority. Sometimes, like humans, dogs can have premature greying.

When do dogs start going grey?

Experts say the onset of grey fur in dogs varies based on their breed, genetics, and health conditions. Greying is usually seen in dogs when they grow old. The age at which they attain seniority depends on their size. Smaller breeds like Maltese dogs and Pomeranians attain seniority around 10 years of age while bigger breeds like labradors and German shepherds become seniors around seven to eight years of age. However, some can start going grey much earlier.

Generally, if a dog develops grey fur before five years of age, it is called premature greying, says Dr Lohith HD, veterinarian, Bangalore Pet Hospital, Bangalore. He adds, “In some dogs, like those with white coats, it may be difficult to spot grey fur. On the other hand, it is easy to spot premature greying in dogs with dark-colored coats, like Rottweilers, Labradors and German Shepherds.”

What causes premature greying in dogs?

Several factors — pathological, physiological, environmental, genetic and nutritional — can play a role in premature greying. Dr Nanjundappa VM, general pet practitioner, V Care Pet Polyclinics, Bangalore, shares, “The effects of the dog’s environment is one of the foremost causes of greying. It can manifest as allergies. Nutrition also plays a vital role. Dogs require a meat-based diet, but some pet parents feed them an incomplete diet consisting of vegetarian food or even just leftovers. As a result, their meals are deficient in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin A, which contribute to the health of their skin, coat and fur.”

Premature greying in dogs can also be a result of liver or kidney issues or hyperthyroidism. Some also develop grey fur early due to genetic factors. Dr Lohith adds that many dogs suffer from zinc deficiency, a primary cause of premature greying. “Some breeds, like Huskies, are genetically prone to zinc deficiency,” he shares.

Ensuring a well-balanced diet and addressing any underlying health issues can contribute to maintaining a healthier coat. Dogs experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety or going through significant life events may show signs of premature aging. Dr Kuldeep Kumar Tyagi, professor and head, department of animal genetics and breeding, College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, adds, “Just like in humans, genetics play a crucial role in the aging process of dogs. Some breeds are more predisposed to premature greying, while others may maintain their original coat color for longer.”

Dog breeds that go grey early

However, experts share that premature greying, when hereditary, does not affect the pet’s lifespan. Dr Nanjundappa adds that its cause can be determined through blood tests and other diagnostic tests, including ultrasound. “Premature greying can also be a symptom of certain health issues. However, once they are diagnosed on time and treated appropriately, the pet can recover and their coat color can improve,” he adds.

Is it safe to dye your dog’s fur?

Experts advise against dyeing a dog’s grey fur. Dr Lohith explains that dogs could lick the dye, leading to health issues. Moreover, they have sensitive skin and their coat aids in various ways including protection and temperature regulation. Dr Tyagi explains, “Using human hair dye or chemical products on a dog’s fur can pose serious health risks. It may lead to skin irritation, allergic reactions or even toxicity. It’s crucial to consult with a professional dog groomer or veterinarian who can recommend pet-friendly products before considering any cosmetic changes to your dog’s coat.

How to get rid of the greys in dogs?

Some measures can help reduce the chances of premature greying in dogs that are not genetically prone to it. They include:

  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular grooming
  • Providing a safe and comfortable living environment
  • Avoiding excessive sun exposure
  • Reducing stress
  • Avoiding isolating pets for a long time
  • Regular vet checkups

“It’s important to recognize that genes play a significant role in coat color changes, and some breeds may naturally show signs of greying earlier than others. While these tips may contribute to coat health, they may not prevent all instances of premature greying,” adds Dr Tyagi.

Takeaways

  • Some dogs can develop grey hair earlier than other breeds, and even before stepping into their senior years.
  • Premature greying can be caused due to hormonal issues, environmental factors, hereditary and liver or kidney issues.
  • Some breeds prone to premature greying include Rottweilers, Huskies and Boxers.
  • Ensuring proper nutrition and providing them with safe and comfortable living conditions can help reduce the chances of premature greying if it is not hereditary.
  • Premature greying does not affect the pet’s lifespan if it is hereditary. If it is caused by a health issue that is diagnosed and treated on time, the pet can recover and their coat condition can improve.

Share Your Experience/Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Summit Registration

NOTE: The summit will be held at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bengaluru.

Wellness Registration Form

-
-
-
Total Amount INR 3000
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts
Article
Summer drinks, though hydrating, can have excess sugar. Nutritionists suggest a few alternatives to keep the body temperature and sugar levels down
Article
Packed with protein, this recipe will help in weight management by keeping you full for a long time
Article
Researchers have found that a quick snooze can improve the retention of information by strengthening memories, leading to better recollection over an extended period
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts

0

0

0

Web Stories 

0

0

0

0

0

0

Opt-in To Our Daily Newsletter

* Please check your Spam folder for the Opt-in confirmation mail

Opt-in To Our
Daily Newsletter

We use cookies to customize your user experience, view our policy here

Your feedback has been submitted successfully.

The Happiest Health team will reach out to you at the earliest