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Why is my Pet’s Hair Color Changing?

I know you 've been asked this question before, but here goes: I have a year and a half old Shih Tzu boy and I'm...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Sep 30th 2009


I know you ‘ve been asked this question before, but here goes: I have a year and a half old Shih Tzu boy and I’m feeding him HALO. His hair is mostly black and white with a bit of grey, but his black parts are turning tan. Started on his rear end and now working up his back. Any suggestions?

Andrea
Chapel Hill, NC

My suggestion is to embrace the change. I don’t think there is anything you can do to stop it.

The ravages of time affect everyone who is lucky enough to age. Skin and hair are especially susceptible to changes relating to maturing.

No person’s skin is the same at 49 as it is at 19. The same holds true for cats and dogs. And, as most middle aged and older men can attest, hair is a luxury. As an individual goes through life, hair changes. It may grow thinner. It may become coarser. It may change color.

It is especially common for darkly pigmented hair to become lighter. Pigment takes a great deal of energy for the body to make. Bodies are prone to directing resources towards other needs. A trip down the drug store hair care aisle will show how prevalent this issue is in people. It occurs in dogs and cats as well.

If your dog’s skin is itchy, red, irritated, malodorous or sensitive then you should take him to the vet. But if his hair is simply changing color, you should treat it as a mark of distinction.

Photo: Mhuffin’s hair is perfect. For now.

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