Why are My Dogs Whiskers Falling Out?

What are Whiskers, and Why are they Sensitive? Which Processes are managed by Whiskers? Why are they known as Radars? Why do Whiskers fall out? What is Alopecia and What should be Avoided?
why do dogs whiskers falling out
Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash

You must have seen that having a pet dog is every kid’s desire. But unfortunately, some parents might not be very happy and supportive of it, because of the extra responsibility that comes with it. I guess they are not wrong because kids cannot handle that. Well, if you have decided to have one friendly dog, then do not panic when you see some health-related issues in dogs. You just have to be patient with the dogs whiskers falling out issue. Today you will get to know do dogs shed whiskers and do dogs lose whiskers naturally.

1. What are Whiskers?

Thick coarse hairs growing on the muzzle, above the eyes, and on the chin are known as whiskers. The location of whiskers can vary from breed to breed and every dog has whiskers. Puppies need not reach puberty for whiskers to grow because these hairs are present at birth. These are also known as tactile hairs. (See When and How do Body Systems Work together?)

2. Why Whiskers are Sensitive?

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Whiskers are more sensitive than fur hairs because each whisker originates from a follicle that has a network of blood vessels and nerves. Let me explain it with an example, what happens when suddenly your fingertips touch something hot or burning. Immediately you pull your hand back as a result of reflex action. Similarly, dog whiskers are also sensitive to touch. Also, check out the 12 catfish whiskers facts.

3. Why Whiskers are important for Dogs?

Whiskers make a dog’s face more prominent and noticeable. The shape of dog eyes is framed by their whiskers in the same way eyebrows frame human eyes. But whiskers have more to do than just be a kind of face enhancement. Whiskers are tuned specifically for sensory organs that help in managing the day-to-day activities of a dog. These hairs are the most sensible and act as sensory receptors. And about 40% of the sensory area of the brain of a dog aligns with the areas that have whiskers.

Before getting to know why are your dogs whiskers falling out, understand their purpose.

  • These hairs aid the vision of a dog.
  • It acts as a navigator for a dog.
  • These hairs transmit messages and information to the sensory cells as they detect objects or their movements.
  • Whiskers can detect even subtle changes in the air.
  • Information regarding the size, shape, and speed of any nearby object is transmitted to the brain through whiskers. (See Why do we have Eyebrows and Eyelashes?)

4. Do Whiskers work as a Radar Sensor?

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Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

Dogs do not have daytime visions as compared to their night vision accuracy. Also, their vision of nearby objects is not as clear as it is for a faraway moving object. Therefore, to cope with these drawbacks and still be at the top, their whiskers keep sending information regarding the things that are under their nose. Their whiskers can detect the faintest vibrations caused by changes in air currents. 

Moreover, in a wild dog, the whiskers inform the brain about the presence of its prey, the location of its pack, and the presence of any potential enemy. So. it acts as a radar in the wild to help the dog in hunting prey at night and prevent them from bumping into walls, trees, etc. It is like the sonar waves that bats release. (See Bloodhound – Dog with Best Sense of Smell)

5. Are Whiskers Communicators of Emotions?

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Photo by Fabio Tovar Valderrama on Unsplash

If you are concerned about dogs whiskers falling out, understand their importance.

  • The dog rests his whiskers when he sleeps and his whiskers are active as the dog wakes up.
  • Also, the whiskers above their eyes elevate their eyes when they are happy, giving them the cute wide-eyed face that is loved and adored by everyone.
  • But when the dog is in alert mode, or it feels threatened, the whiskers on his muzzle are directed forward. Must read Do Dogs Feel Emotion?

6. Are Whiskers eye-protectors?

These hairs protect the eyes from dust and other foreign material from entering the eyes. Whiskers on the muzzle indicate any potential leaf blades or any other harmful thing in their path. Also, whiskers help with distance measurement because they inform the brain if the space is broad enough for the dog to cross. (See 8 Types of Good Emotional Support Dogs)

7. Is it normal if Dogs Whiskers falling out?

Whiskers are after all hair and just like every other hair they also fall or break once in a while. You must have noticed a strand of hard and coarse hair on the rug or your bed. But very soon new whiskers grow in its place. (See How Dog see the World?)

8. Why do Dogs lose Whiskers?

Yes, a dog may lose a bunch of his whiskers due to some trauma or injury. This may confuse the animal because suddenly their sensory organ is not working like before. This feeling scares them, but there is nothing serious. But you should adopt every possible way to keep your friend calm. (See What is the Largest Wolf?)

9. What to do if Dogs Whiskers falling out?

It is a temporary loss and within a short period, with a proper diet and good blood flow in the follicles, the lost whiskers are replaced by new ones. But if the reason for whisker loss is due to some underlying health issue and the dog is losing his fur hairs too, it is advised to visit the vet. (See Why Are Dogs Not Supposed To Have Chocolate?)

10. Do Dogs shed Whiskers due to Alopecia?

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Photo by Vitor Fontes on Unsplash

Yes, it can be a factor. It is the term for hair loss disorder in dogs which affects their coat as well as their whiskers. It can be treated through medicine and proper diet maintenance.

11. What are the necessary precautions?

Whiskers are like their second eyes and noses. Therefore, it is better to undertake given precautions to avoid dogs whiskers falling out issue from arising.

  • Never shave off the whiskers.
  • Do not brush them harshly.
  • Never pluck them.
  • Always touch and rub them gently.
  • If you take your dog to a groomer, make sure to inform them to not trim off the whiskers.
  • Take good care of their skin.

I guess now you have understood the reasons behind dogs whiskers falling out. You also got to know about do dogs shed whiskers and how frequently do dogs lose whiskers. It is time to share this information with new pet parents to keep them updated. Must read about the  7 Facts About Dog Sled Teams.

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