There are many reasons why your dog might be missing hair. Perhaps you had to shave it off to deal with a skin issue at home. Maybe the groomer got a little “clip happy” with their buzzer and shears. Of course, some dogs need to have their hair shaved in order to undergo surgery.
Other dogs may lose hair because of an illness or a particularly bad scrape or cut that not only damages the skin, but also removes some hair in the process.
In all of these cases, many dog owners are interested in getting their dogs’ hair back as soon as possible. They want them to look like themselves again. In some cases, they may even need them to regrow their hair in time for a dog show or photo shoot.
Still, the question remains: how long does it really take for a dog’s hair to grow back?
You’ll quickly find from this article that the length of time required in order for a dog’s hair to grow back depends on a variety of factors. Not only does the timeframe differ depending on where on the body the hair loss occurred in the first place, but it also changes according to how the hair was lost, the breed of your dog, what stage of hair growth the dog is currently in, the overall health of your dog, and several other factors.
We’ll dive in to all of these details below. If you want to know how long it will take for your dog’s hair to grow back, you’re in the right place!
Let’s get started.
How long does it take for dog hair to grow back?
This is a complicated question, but to give a simple answer right off the bat, you can expect your most dog hair to start regrowing in just a few weeks after the initial loss. Whether the hair was torn off due to an accident, shaved off by the veterinarian, or fell out due to an illness, if your dog recovers their health and well-being fairly quickly, you’ll see new hairs sprouting in a matter of weeks.
At the same time, as we stated in the introduction, there are numerous factors influencing how fast your dog’s hair grows. Most of all, it depends on the time of year it is and what phase of growth your dog’s hair is in. Breed also plays a role here.
Let’s talk a bit more about this.
Understanding the Phases of Hair Growth
There are three main stages to dog hair growth. These are: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
This is important to know because each phase causes a different rate of hair growth. For example, the anagen phase is the actual growth phase of the hair cycle, when you dog’s hair is actively growing. If your dog is in this phase of hair growth, you are going to see their missing hair grow back f quickly.
On the other hand, telogen is the resting phase of hair growth, and there’s also a sub phase of the telogen phase called the exogen phase, which is when dogs shed. Both of these phases will cause an extremely slow rate of hair growth. In fact, you might not see any growth at all during these phases. Catagen, too, is an extremely slow phase of hair growth.
Breed and Season
Your dog’s particular breed will influence how long they are in each phase of hair growth too.
This is actually a quite complicated affair because, as we know, a lot of dogs are mixed breeds. In this way, it can be difficult to know when they are in each phase of hair growth and for how long they will be there. Generally speaking, however, dogs that seem to shed a lot at one particular time of year typically have shorter anagen phases.
For example, the anagen phase may last just a month. Then they will shed. This tends to happen around spring. More hair will grow, but a lot of shedding happens in anticipation for summer as well. They are essentially growing a new coat — a summer coat that’s much lighter and cooler for their comfort.
As days grow shorter in the fall and into the winter, you’ll probably notice that your dog will start a rapid growth of hair. This is usually the longer anagen phase, during which your dog is growing their winter coat to keep them warm during the coldest months of the year.
Indoor Dogs Vs. Outdoor Dogs
Here, it’s important to note that where your dog lives also affects hair growth — that is, whether they live largley inside or mostly outside.
In fact, in this regard, dogs differ tremendously in how they grow their hair each year. Generally speaking, dogs that stay indoors most of the time tend to shift into an all year shedding phase. They grow their hair back at more of a steady rate because the weather and light — which influences their hormones — are not as important (inside, you can make it any temperature you want, no matter the time of year, and the lights that you use at night may confuse your dog’s hormone cycles too).
If your dog spends a lot of time outside, however, their bodies will recognize the shorter days of fall and winter and the rising temperatures during the spring and into summer. And this will influence their rate of hair growth on a greater scale.
How long does it take for a dog’s tail hair to grow back?
Now that we’ve established some of the main factors influencing how fast your dog’s hair will grow back, let’s take a look at some different parts of the body to see whether or not this will influence the rate of hair growth on your dog.
Let’s first discuss the hair on your dog’s tail.
Keep in mind that this hair is different than the rest of the hair found on your dog’s body. Unfortunately, it’s different in that it sometimes takes a long time to grow back. In fact, it might take quite a bit longer. In some cases, if your dog is used to having a large fluffy tail, it can take up to six months to recover the fullness and softness you’re used to.
How long does it take for a dog’s face hair to grow back?
This will vary from dog to dog. If your dog’s face is generally fluffy with longer hairs, the length of time required for hair to grow back will differ greatly from that of a dog who has tightly packed, short, hair. Again, it’s largely going to depend on the phase of hair growth that your dog is in, what breed they are, and their overall health.
How long does it take for a dog’s leg hair to grow back?
Leg hair is often similar to face hair on most dogs. It all depends on the main factors: Time of year, phase of regrowth, breed, and overall health. Fortunately, dog hair on the legs tends to be short, and hair loss there is not common unless it’s for something like an injury or surgery. This makes it far less noticeable in most cases.
Can I make my dog’s hair grow back faster?
Yes, in some cases, you can do some things at home that can help your dog’s hair regrow faster. Of course, if your dog has any underlying medical issues, you always want to address these first with your veterinarian.
Here are some at home hair regrowth ideas to get you started:
Bathe your dog with dog specific shampoo.
You’ll want to choose a dog specific shampoo for when you give your dog baths. These shampoos have been designed for the specific pH level of dog’s skin and will be the fastest topical remedy for helping them improve their coat and grow more hairs.
Remember that you should never use a regular dish soap or hand soap to wash your dog, and you should certainly avoid using human shampoo or conditioner. Dogs do not need conditioner to have a nice coat, and human shampoo is not made for their skin and hair type. Using any of these products can actually cause more harm than good in many cases.
Improve your dog’s nutrition.
How is your dog eating? What they eat and how often they eat naturally influence the health of their coat. For example, it’s possible you give your dog a relatively inexpensive brand of dog food, not thinking much of it. Perhaps because of this, your dog doesn’t seem particularly interested in their food. In this case, you might switch to a more appetizing brand and one that is more focused on complete nutrition for your dog’s age, size, and breed.
Improve your dog’s level of exercise.
How often does your dog get physical exercise? Do you take them for walks every day? Do they have an area in your backyard where they can run around and play? Most dogs need a lot of physical activity in order to stay healthy, and some dogs need so much physical activity that if you live in an apartment or a place where there’s nowhere to run around for your dog, you really should reconsider whether you are an appropriate caretaker.
Border collies, for example, require an immense amount of daily activity each day, and neglecting them opportunities to run and jump could mean causing detriment to their health. This can manifest in ways you might not expect, such as hair loss or patchy hair regrowth.
Brush your dog’s hair.
Finally, using a hair brush specifically debt designed for dogs, be sure to brush your dog’s hair at least once a day. Do so gently and for just a few minutes. Doing this can help stimulate new hair growth.
Can dog hair loss be reversed?
If your dog is suffering from a chronic loss of hair (such as is the case with dog alopecia, for example), you may or may not be able to reverse their hair loss. Sometimes, genetic and autoimmune issues that cause dog alopecia are simply not treatable or curable, and in these cases, your dog may never regrow their hair back.
If these underlying issues can be helped, however, you can definitely reverse dog hair loss. This is often achieved with the use of certain medications such as antifungals, anti-parasites, and antibiotics. Our best advice is to speak with your veterinarian to see whether or not one of these remedies or something else may help ameliorate your dog’s hair loss.
Of course, it’s also worth trying the other homeopathic remedies listed above, such as switching dog shampoos, improving your dog’s overall health through better nutrition and exercise, and brushing your dog’s hair regularly.