Not only second-term presidents and history professors can pull off the distinguished salt-and-pepper appearance. Puppies age, too, but have you ever questioned whether yours is displaying their canine years earlier than they should be?
Similar to people, dogs age naturally and frequently develop gray hair. Similar to humans, when dogs age, the pigment cells that give their color (particularly, melanin) stop producing, resulting in lighter-colored strands, such as gray or white. Around the age of five, the average dog begins to gray, usually around the muzzle.
Puppies can also prematurely gray: In humans, premature graying is defined as occurring before the age of 30. That corresponds to roughly 4 years of age for dogs. What you need to know if your dog’s muzzle has silver around that time or earlier is as follows:
One of the most frequent causes of a pet’s graying is age. This process closely resembles the aging process that occurs in humans. Dogs don’t typically turn gray throughout their entire coat, in contrast to humans. The muzzle and face will get the greatest amount of graying. In dogs, graying typically begins with a salt-and-pepper appearance.
Naturally gray dogs can also exhibit aging symptoms, however you might find it more challenging to identify these changes. You could start to notice that the texture of your dog’s fur is different than it used to be since, generally speaking, coat texture varies with age. Additionally, as they mature, gray dogs may begin to turn more white than gray.
Stress and Anxiety
Your dog’s fur going white could also be brought on by stress and worry. Although the mechanism is uncertain, it’s probable that stress contributes in some way to the body’s decreased ability to produce pigment. You might ask your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist what you can do to lessen the stress in your dog’s life if you’re not sure whether stress or anxiety is harming your pet.
You might find it fascinating that genetics can affect when your dog’s hair begins to turn white if it appears like they aren’t old enough to start graying. Do you have a friend who began graying before the age of 30? Consider your dog in the same manner. Even dogs in great condition could have a genetic predisposition to early graying. In actuality, graying hair can begin in puppies and progress to becoming more silvery as they age.
There are some breeds that are more likely to have a genetic predisposition to graying. Greyhounds and Weimaraners have naturally gray coats, while Schnauzers are noted for their gray beards. Additionally, black dogs frequently get gray hairs earlier than canines of lighter coloring.
Sometimes a disorder known as vitiligo is the cause of your dog’s whitened fur. A uncommon skin disorder called vitiligo can lead to pigment loss in some skin and fur regions. Despite the fact that the causes of vitiligo are unknown, many researchers think that the disorder is inherited. It is evident that vitiligo develops when the body’s melanin-producing cells are damaged, though.
Every dog is affected by vitiligo slightly differently. Some dogs lose pigmentation all over their bodies, while others only experience it in a few locations. During the first few months after the condition’s onset, depigmentation might also advance. Skin lesions and dandruff can also be brought on by vitiligo. Fortunately, your dog will not experience any pain from any of the vitiligo symptoms.
Even though vitiligo is extremely uncommon, the following breeds are most likely to develop it:
- Sheepdog in Old English
- English Shepherd
- European Tervuren
Because vitiligo is a hereditary illness, purebred dogs are also more likely to develop it.
Your dog may start to become gray due to a few health conditions. The hypothyroidism is one of these conditions. Thyroid glands that are underactive are found in hypothyroid dogs. There are numerous additional symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, such as weight gain and skin issues. Getting your dog the appropriate hypothyroidism therapy should stop the graying of the fur.
Graying can also be brought on by liver and renal disorders. This is a fairly uncommon sign of these illnesses, though. Because the toxins aren’t getting out of the body rapidly enough, these disorders cause graying fur. Reversing the graying requires treating the underlying issue.
Does stress cause dogs to gray?
Similar to people, dogs experience the negative impacts of stress, which include, according to a recent study, early graying.
400 canines between the ages of 1 and 4 were studied by Northern Illinois University researchers. In order to avoid receiving biased responses, the owners of the dogs filled out a questionnaire evaluating impulsive and anxiety-related behaviors without being informed of the study’s objectives (e.g., persistent barking, jumping). Photographs of the dogs were also provided by their owners. Because it was extremely challenging for researchers to distinguish gray hairs from their regular coat color in lighter-colored and merled dogs, they were excluded from the study.
The study’s findings, which were just published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, showed that young pups with anxiety symptoms were more likely to develop muzzle graying. Additionally, female dogs were more likely than male dogs to become gray at a young age, but other variables, such as size and spay/neuter status, did not appear to have an impact.
The researchers think that veterinary healthcare specialists could utilize this knowledge to identify and treat anxiety and behavior issues early on. “These dogs might be assessed more thoroughly for anxiety/impulsivity/fear problems and, if necessary, started on behavior modification programs earlier in their developmental life stages,” the author writes. “If dog professionals (veterinarians, applied behaviorists, dog trainers, etc.) are able to note premature graying in their assessments and/or training.
The more overt symptoms of anxiety could not just include crouching and shaking. Other unexpected symptoms of stress in dogs include shedding, humming, and yawning.
Speak to your veterinarian or the AKC GoodDog! Helpline for advice if you suspect your dog may be anxious.
Tips for Responsible Dog Owners
Anyone who is thinking about getting a dog or currently has one can benefit greatly from this ebook. For advice on how to be the best dog owner possible, download.
What is a Silver Boxer?
Boxers who are older than seven are referred to as “Due to the silver or gray hair that frequently covers their muzzles and the rest of their bodies, Boxers are also known as “Silver Boxers.”
Silver Boxers are quite regal and gorgeous. Because their owners no longer want to care for them or would rather to get that new, adorable puppy, many Boxers over the age of seven find up in shelters or rescue groups. These dogs won’t have a chance against younger, naughtier Boxers who don’t have a gray hair in sight for adoption!
Keep in mind that these canines were once young too, and that they now require assistance to maintain their dignity as they get older.
Silver Boxers should have loving family to spend the rest of their life with. Boxers can live longer than their 10- to 12-year life expectancy thanks to modern medical advancements! Consider an older Boxer if you don’t want to deal with toilet training a puppy and puppy proofing your home. They are quiet, peaceful, and kind. They deserve to be loved by a family that will also love them back. Consider adopting an older Boxer adult and proving to him that he was deserving of saving.
Be not deceived! At the age of 2 or 3, some Boxers already have gray hair on their muzzles. Be cautious and don’t assume a dog is friendly “You’re too old if you have gray hair.
Please read My Best Friend Adopted Me for a touching homage to a very unique Boxer boy by the name of Bo.
- Most older Boxers are trained to use the toilet!
- Older Boxers typically have a foundation of obedience and are familiar with the commands “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel,” etc.
- The temperament of adult Boxers is better than that of young ones! They still enjoy playing and require daily exercise, but they don’t have the “younger dog’s Energizer Bunny vigor.
- Because older Boxers are already adults, there is no need to speculate about how they will behave or look when they are fully grown.
- Older boxers rarely do “since they have passed the teething stage, chew. Many are content to be couch potatoes and won’t even jump up on people.
- They appear to be grateful for the chance to be adopted and are also quite appreciative of affection and care.
Wrong! When referring to a Boxer, the proverb “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is entirely wrong! The misconception that older dogs are “stuck in their ways” and that the new guardian would be unable to train or “break habits” is widespread. That is untrue. The Boxer dog DESIRES to please his owner and LOVES him! They are devoted dogs who will go to great lengths to please and appease their owners. That Boxer will go above and above for you with only a few sweet words and a pat, hug, or kiss!
If you have an elderly animal, please take responsibility and care for him for the rest of his life, even if his health begins to fail. Never forget that you will get old one day. Wouldn’t you want your family to treat you with the dignity and respect you’ll need in your latter years? By remaining by your pet’s side as he ages, you may return his lifetime of commitment to you and show him the same respect.
For the Boxers
The Florida Boxer Rescue makes use of a safe online donation platform. You have the option of paying directly by eCheck, credit card, or debit card.
Send your money to: if you’d prefer to mail it.
Please be aware that the aforementioned address is a drop box for donations and other mail correspondence. We do not have a central physical location because of the vast geographic area that we service in Florida.
About Florida Boxer Rescue
The only aim of Florida Boxer Rescue, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is to help owners who must find new homes for their cherished Boxer dogs as well as to find permanent and loving homes for mistreated and abandoned Boxers who are in shelters. All of the volunteers who work for the organization are committed, and all of the Boxers in our program are placed in foster homes where they can get the care, affection, and medical treatment they require.
When does a puppy’s fur begin to change color?
How different does your dog’s appearance now seem from when he was a puppy? Some breeds of puppies look like smaller versions of their adult counterparts. Other breeds undergo drastic changes in size, color, and coat texture. Five breeds are prepared to provide samples of how their looks have changed over time. Who knows, but maybe uncomfortable adolescence isn’t just a problem for humans.
We were raised to shoot small game and birds in Ireland. By no means lax, we also kept an eye on the farm, collected waterfowl, and herded livestock. Although we go by the name Kerry Blues, we were born black. Between the ages of six and eighteen months, we begin to change color. A pale silver blue to a dark slate blue could be our final shade. The texture of our puppy coat was distinct from that of our adult coat. The texture of the puppy coat was softer and more open. Our coat is thick, silky, velvety, and wavy as an adult (but not curly). Regardless of our skin tone, we are unwaveringly devoted to our family.
We have a long tradition of escorting horse-drawn coaches and fire apparatus, and we are renowned for our athleticism. We’re renowned for having shiny, smooth coats with spots. Did you know that we are born white with no visible spots unless we are patched? Actually, we are born with pigmented (spotted) skin, but you generally won’t notice it unless we’re wet. Over the course of around two weeks, our spots progressively become visible. You’ll be able to notice the patches on our fur by the time we’re two to three weeks old. On those of us who are extensively marked, the spots can “explode or develop in tandem. Our marks get darker and more distinct as we get bigger. Finally, as we become older, some of us start to tick more frequently. From the time we are puppies to the time we are old, we are all about the spots!
We are a very vivacious miniature dog that was developed from larger Spitz breeds in the Pomerania region. Although we only weigh approximately 5 pounds, we are brave, quick, and self-assured. Although our coats appear to require a lot of upkeep, we only require routine brushing (and extra brushing a few times a year when we blow coat). You humans refer to the transitional stage between our puppy and adult coats as the “ugly puppies. Although you seem to say it gently, it seems a little harsh. We typically shed our puppy coat between the ages of 4 and 6 months, and the adult coat gradually takes its place. Our adult hair frequently grows in on our faces first, giving us a rather monkey-like appearance. Our “Ugly people are a common occurrence. Have you noticed how my mature coat has a richer, fuller, and even more lovely texture? The wait is worthwhile!
We’re naturally hunting Terriers that were created in England to chase away rats and pests. We could go after prey on the move and go after quarry on the ground because to our speed and tenacity. Now, a lot of people remark on how much we resemble lambs. Meh, I say in response. One lamb that rushes down its prey, please! Our puppy’s appearance now: We have a silky coat at birth that is significantly different from our adult coat. Our two dominant puppy hues are blue and liver. As we become older, our coat grows a mix of coarse and fine hair that protrudes from the skin. Adult coats come in a variety of colors, including blue, sandy, liver, and certain blends. The feel of my mature coat is like linty cotton wool. However, the word “Wool doesn’t give permission for more lamb remarks!