It’s natural for dogs to shed fur, but not to the extent that they develop a balding spot. If your puppy developed a bald spot but the hair grew back, this is a sign that whatever problem caused the hair loss has either gone or receded. However, it’s always beneficial to know what caused the problem so you can take preventative action in the future.
Allergies are a frequent trigger for hair loss in dogs. Airborne pollutants can cause allergies. If you recently tried out a new perfume or started using a new air freshener, this may have caused balding spots on your puppy. The perfume scenario is especially probable if your puppy likes to follow you around or is comforted by your scent, as he is more likely to sleep in areas where the problem scent has been. The allergy caused skin irritation, which caused localized fur loss, but as soon as you removed the pollutant from the environment, the problem cleared up.
Flea and tick bites cause allergic reactions and hair loss. If the bite is causing itching or swelling, the puppy may lick and bite the fur, causing hair loss. The allergic reaction can last for days, after which time the affected area begins to calm down. Allergy caused by a bite would explain a temporary bald spot on a puppy.
Puppies are not as streetwise as adult dogs and their curiosity can get them into all sorts of trouble. If your puppy has stepped in a hazardous substance, such as antifreeze, or has a thorn stuck somewhere on his body, hair loss may occur. Hair loss can occur after the foreign body is removed, especially if your dog licks and chews the affected area. So if you’ve recently taken your dog to the vet to have a foreign body removed and were puzzled by a subsequent bald spot, this is the probable cause.
Compulsive Licking, Biting or Chewing
Stress and anxiety can cause compulsive behaviors. If your dog is chewing off his fur, he’ll have a bald spot. But if you manage to solve the stress problem, for example with training or counterconditioning, you may notice that puppy’s bald spot has disappeared.
Dermatitis and Skin Infections
Puppy acne, impetigo and surface dermatitis occur in puppies under 1 year old and affect the less hairy parts of the body, such as the abdomen and groin. These issues can be treated with topical solutions, such as antibiotics and medicated shampoo. Puppy acne typically resolves itself when the dog reaches sexual maturity.
Some breeds, especially those with thick coats like huskies and malamutes, are prone to alopecia after fur clipping. This is a bald spot that occurs in the area where the hair has already been clipped. It is simply a failure of the hair to regrow at the same rate as it did before. Some dogs develop alopecia after an injection, so if your pup received his vaccinations recently, this may explain why he had a bald spot that grew back.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.