Does a senior dog’s fur turn gray or white like human hair?

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As we grow older, we begin losing the pigment cells which are responsible for the color of our hair. The result of this pigment loss is graying, white or, simply lighter hair.

The same process holds true for dogs, but rather than initially graying at the temples like a human, a dog will first gray at the muzzle.

Telling a dog’s age by his gray fur is definitely tricky. Just like humans, some dogs never go gray, while others may go gray prematurely. Also, some breeds go white sooner than others. Larger breed dogs, for the most part, grow old sooner than smaller breed dogs, so they will most likely have pigment loss at an earlier age.

Finally, like humans, dogs can actually lose pigment cells as a result of stress. A dog who has experienced trauma, such as being attacked by a larger animal or losing a loved one, may go white from the stress of the situation, giving them the appearance of an older canine.

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