Dog Losing Hair on Neck: What Are the Causes and Treatment?

dog losing hair on neck

Is your dog losing hair on neck ? Are clumps of dog hair falling out? This can be a sign of many different things, some of which are quite serious. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of hair loss in dogs and the treatment options available. Keep reading to learn more!

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | What Is Hair Loss?

dog losing hair on neck

It’s normal for your dog to lose hair, and sometimes they lose a lot of it. What isn’t normal is for this shedding to leave your dog with bald patches that you can see. Sometimes, a dog losing hair on head is not a serious problem but it can get uncomfortable for your dog. In some cases a dog losing clumps of hair cancer can lead to more serious health complications. But not to worry, a dog loss patch of hair is sometimes a result of allergies. This is why flea treatment for dog collar rubbing hair off is essential to curb hair loss. 

Why Is My Dog Losing Hair On Neck?

There are many reasons why your dog is losing hair on its neck. One possibility is that they have an allergy to something in their environment, such as pollen or dust. For pet owners here are some of the reasons why your dog develop hair loss on its neck:

Seasonal Shedding:

dog hair loss

Many dogs shed more during certain times of the year, such as spring and fall. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Dogs lose their fur when the hairs on their bodies get old or damaged, or when the weather gets warmer. A lot of dogs shed all year long.

In fact, cat hair loss is also pretty common. If you find your cat losing hair, then you should bring your pet to the vet so they can asses your cat’s hair loss. Your cat’s hair will get better in no time after being given the right medication.

Your dog may have symmetrical hair loss of hair on its neck because of a condition called symmetrical alopecia. This is when the hair loss is evenly distributed on both sides of the body. It can be caused by allergies, hormonal changes, or infections. 

Allergic Reactions:

Infected skin

Allergies are a common cause of hair loss in dogs. They can be allergic to anything in their environment, including pollen, dust, mold, or even the ingredients in their food. If your dog is itchy or has bald spots, it’s important to have them seen by a vet so they can determine the cause and get relief.

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If your vet thinks your pet has allergies, they may suggest getting rid of fleas, giving your pet medicine to stop the itching, staying away from allergens, or giving your pet a different food to rule out food allergies.

A food trial that lasts at least eight weeks is the only way to figure out if someone has a food allergy. If your vet puts your dog on a limited-ingredient diet or therapeutic food for a food trial, it is very important that your dog doesn’t eat anything else during the trial.

Hormonal Changes:

alopecia areata

Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty or pregnancy, can also cause hair loss. This type of hair loss is usually temporary and will resolve itself once the hormones even out. If your dog is pregnant, you can expect them to lose a little bit of hair around the time they give birth. Afterward, their fur will start to grow back in.


itchy skin

Bacterial and fungal infections can also cause hair loss in dogs. These infections are usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as itching, redness, and bald spots. If you think your dogs have infections, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can get the proper treatment.

Dogs can also contact ringworm, from other animals or contaminated surfaces. Ringworm can cause hair loss, itchiness, and bald spots. It’s important to bring your dogs to the vet if you think they have ringworm so they can be treated with medication.

Parasites such as fleas and mites:

pet parents

Parasites can also cause hair loss in dogs. Fleas are the most common parasite to cause hair loss. If your dog has fleas, you may notice them scratching a lot or biting their skin. This can lead to bald spots and hair loss.

Mites are another type of parasite that can cause hair loss. They’re usually found in the ears, but they can also affect the skin. Mange mites can cause your dog to itch and scratch a lot, which can lead to hair loss.

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Mites are tiny animals that live on the skin’s surface or in hair follicles. By burrowing or chewing on skin, they make people lose their hair and feel itchy. The Merck Veterinary Manual says that some mange mites, like the scabies mite, are very easy to pass on to both people and other dogs. Other mites, like Demodex mites, aren’t contagious, but they can still cause hair loss and may need to be treated.


skin condition

Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. Thyroxine, which handles metabolic activity, is made by the thyroid gland. The outcome can make your pet’s hair fall out and hurt its coat.

It can happen to any breed of dogs, but golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Irish setters, dachshunds, boxers, Alaskan malamute, Chinese crested and cocker spaniels are often affected. Most of the time, it occurs to medium and large dogs between the ages of 4 and 10.

Vets don’t know why, but neutered males and spayed females also have a higher risk. This can cause a lot of different symptoms, including hair loss. If you think your dog has hypothyroidism, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Cushing’s Disease:

diabetes mellitus

Cushing’s disease is a condition that occurs when the body produces too much cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that helps the body handle stress. It also helps regulate metabolism, blood pressure, and immunity.

Dogs with Cushing’s disease may have hair loss, skin problems, increased thirst and urination, and abdominal enlargement. The disease can be caused by a tumor on the adrenal gland or pituitary gland. It can also be caused by long-term use of corticosteroid medications.


Some dogs are simply more prone to hair loss than others. This can be due to genetic predisposition or the dog’s natural coat type. For example, some breeds, such as Yorkies and Maltese, have very fine hair that is prone to breakage. Other breeds, such as poodles and bichon frises, have curly hair that can matt and break easily. And some breeds, such as Labs and golden retrievers, have very thick coats that are difficult to keep clean and free of tangles. Some have hereditary conditions or diseases such as Diabetes mellitus.

Very Tight Collar:

pressure sores

If your Dog wears a very tight collar, it can cause hair loss. This is because the collar puts constant pressure on the neck, which can damage the hair follicles and skin. This can lead to bald spots and irritated skin. It’s important to make sure your Dog’s collar isn’t too tight and that they have enough room to move their head.

Irritation By A Foreign Body:

dog's body

If there’s something irritating your pet’s skin, it can cause hair loss. This could be a foreign object, such as a splinter or a tick. It could also be an allergic reaction to something like flea bites or pollen. If you think there’s something irritating your pet’s skin, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Other foreign irritants may include glass, thorns, or even a dog’s own coarse hair. If these irritants get stuck in its skin, it can cause inflammation and bald spots.

The irritant may need to be removed with a needle while the person is under local or general anesthesia, and antibiotics may be needed if there is a secondary bacterial infection.

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Symptoms Of Hair Loss In Dogs

senior dogs

See your vet if you don’t know why your dog has bald spots on the neck or if the spots are accompanied by:

  • The hair on the neck is getting thinner.
  • Foul odor
  • Itchiness
  • Black or dark gray skin under hair loss

dry skin

  • Skin that is dry and flaky at the neck
  • Red, inflamed skin infections in the neck are
  • Leaking water or bleeding around the neck area where hair is falling out (typically a secondary condition)
  • Changes in behavior

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Diagnosis:

Pattern Of How Hair Falls Out

ringworm infection

  • symmetrical pattern of hair loss on both sides of the neck.
  • have a random pattern of hair loss on the neck.
  • may have circular bald spots on the neck.
  • linear bald spots along the back of the neck where the collar rests.
  • It is important to check the pattern. This will give you an idea about what is causing the hair loss.

Skin Scraping:

veterinary medicine

Dogs may need a skin scraping to check for mites. This involves taking a small sample of skin and looking at it under the microscope.

Also dogs may need a fungal culture if ringworm is suspected.


inflammatory cells

A biopsy may be needed to check for certain types of skin diseases. This involves taking a small sample of skin and looking at it under the microscope.

If the vet thinks the problem is skin cancer, a tumor, or a sore that won’t go away, he or she may send a sample of the area to a lab to figure out what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Blood Tests:

other pets

One of the treatment options for your dogs include blood testing. Dogs may need a complete blood count (CBC) to check for underlying or secondary bacterial infections or inflammation. Dogs may need a serum biochemistry profile and urinalysis to check for other causes of hair loss, such as hormonal imbalances, skin allergies, or thyroid disease.

Skin Impression Smears:

post clipping alopecia

Impression smears are used to get the surface material from a wound, when dogs have skin lesions or sore that is draining or oozing so that it can be looked at more closely. Impression smears are made by pressing a clean glass slide firmly against the affected area and then pulling it away.

A skin impression smear is a way to check for mites. A small amount of mineral oil is placed on the pet’s skin. The vet then presses a piece of clear tape onto the skin and looks at it under the microscope. If there are mites, they’ll be visible on the tape.

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This is a test that is used to check for ringworm. A special light is shone on the pet’s skin.

Under the UV light from the black light, the fungus that causes ringworm glows. . If there are any areas of fungal infection, they will glow under the light and vets can see the fungus.

Allergy Testing:

certain breeds

Dogs may need environmental allergies testing if the vet thinks allergies are causing the hair loss. This involves taking a small sample of skin and looking at it under the microscope.

They may also need blood tests to check for allergies.

When testing for food allergens, the Dog is fed a food that they are allergic to and the vet monitors them for any reactions.

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Treatment

How should pet parents treat their dog’s hair loss will depend on what’s causing it, which could be any of a number of dog skin conditions. Make sure to talk to your vet to find out what’s wrong.

All dogs, not only those with flea allergies should get flea treatments on a regular basis, but if your vet thinks another problem is to blame, they might suggest other treatments, like an antifungal treatment for ringworm.

Check if the following treatments are covered by your pet insurance

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Antibiotics:

common allergies

If there is a bacterial infection, the Dog will need antibiotics. The type of antibiotic will depend on the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Corticosteroids:

vitamin e

If the Dog has an allergic reaction or has Cushing’s disease, they may be given corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation.

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Antifungal Medications:

If the Dog has ringworm, they will be given antifungal medication. The type of medication will depend on the severity of the infection.

Mite Treatment:

skin changes

Mite or flea allergies are some of the reasons for losing hair on neck. If the Dog has mites, they will be given a topical ointment or oral medication to kill the mites.

Special Shampoos:

Hair loss in dogs or if the dog has seborrhea, they may be given a special shampoo to help control the scale and itchiness.


pet insurance

In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove tumors or growths. You may check your pet insurance if this is part of your pet’s plan.

Immunosuppressive Drugs Or Anti-cytokine Drugs:

If the Dog has an autoimmune skin disease, they may be given immunosuppressive drugs or anti-cytokine drugs to help control the immune response and prevent dog hair loss.

Hormone therapy:

underlying cause

Some treatment options include hormone therapy. If the Dog has an endocrine disorder, receiving a hormone therapy will help regulate their hormones and prevent dog hair loss.

Dietary Changes:

Dog hair loss on its neck may be because of food allergies or pressure sores, they will need to be fed a special diet that does not contain the allergens they are allergic to.

Fit The Collar Properly:


Dog hair loss may be due to an ill-fitting collar, make sure to fit the collar properly.

The collar shouldn’t be too tight or too loose in general. You can use the two-finger rule to measure the size of your neck with a measuring tape. Between the collar and his neck, you should be able to fit two fingers.

Dog Losing Hair on Neck | Prevention

There is no sure way to prevent hair loss in Dogs, but there are some things you can do as pet parents to reduce the chances of it happening:

flea control

Keep your Dog’s skin clean and free of dirt and debris.

Brush your Dog’s coat regularly to help remove dead skin cells and promote new growth.

Avoid using harsh shampoos or soaps on your Dog’s skin.

medicated shampoos

Keep your Dog away from other Dogs that may have mites or other parasites.

If your Dog has allergies, try to avoid exposure to the allergens that trigger their reactions.

Talk to your vet about any concerns you have about your Dog’s health. They can provide you with information about how to best care for your Dog and prevent hair loss.

Can Dog Harness Cause Hair Loss?

Dog harnesses can cause hair loss if not used properly. There is a risk that the harness will be too tight, or will rub against the dog’s skin in sensitive areas such as the armpits.

If the dog is wearing it for too long, the continuous friction can lead to hair loss around the dog’s collar area. It’s important to make sure your dog’s harness isn’t too tight and that you adjust it periodically to prevent hair loss.

Additionally, make sure to only use a proper dog collar when out walking and never attach his leash directly to a harness, as this could also result in hair loss. With proper use, dog harnesses are an effective training tool and don’t harm your pup’s skin or fur!

Wrap It Up!

extreme itching

The dog’s neck is a common place for them to lose hair. There are many potential causes of this, some more serious than others. Some ways to help prevent your dog from losing hair on their neck include regular brushing and bathing, dietary changes, and supplements. 

If you notice your dog losing hair on their neck, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful in understanding why a dog may lose hair on their neck and what you can do to help prevent it. Check out all of our other blog posts – HERE! 

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