Vizslas are versatile and rugged, but elegant dogs of Hungarian descent that are renowned for their gorgeous golden-rust-colored coats. Though, it is quite a common thing to see the coat of Vizslas turning gray, which is quite perplexing and a cause of concern for Vizsla owners who take pride in their pet’s gorgeous golden-rust color.
So why and when does the color of the Vizsla’s coat turn gray? In this article, we’ll discuss this aspect in detail.
Like humans start going gray, which is a natural process of aging, similarly, as dogs grow older, the pigment cells stop producing melanin and white hairs start appearing around your pet’s muzzle.
Typically, this kind of graying can be seen when dogs are around 5 years old; though, if your Vizsla is turning gray before he is 5, at a much younger age, then this is known as premature graying.
The main reasons for graying in Vizslas are natural aging, genetics and stress. Graying may also be caused because of health problems such as hypothyroidism; however, this is quite uncommon.
A common reason that causes graying in Vizslas is stress or anxiety. When the Vizsla is stressed, the cells in the body act negatively causing the hair to gray. Although the exact reason for this is not known, it is possible that because of stress, it may impact the normal production of melanin, causing your pet’s hair to turn gray.
So, what causes stress in Vizslas? Stress in canines can be caused because of various factors including environmental factors, daily routines, lifestyle, quality of diet, exercise, the relationship between the owner and the dog, interaction levels and health issues.
All these aspects can contribute to the overall stress levels of your Vizsla, causing anxiety and this, in turn, can cause graying in your pet. If you want to confirm that your Vizsla’s hair is turning gray because of stress, then it may be a good idea to keep an eye on your pet and his behavior.
Check your pet’s mood at different times and check if he is having mood swings. If you notice that your pet is barking very often without any reason, getting angry, is agitated and restless all the time or is not wanting to play, then all these may be indications that your Vizsla is suffering from stress or anxiety.
If your Vizsla is showing some or all of the above behaviors, then it is a good idea to consult your vet to get advice on how to prevent your pet from being anxious or stressed. Also, ensuring that your Vizsla gets sufficient exercise and mental stimulation can help to keep him healthy, happy and stress-free.
Also Read: Is My Vizsla Too Skinny?
Just as it occurs in humans, graying in Vizslas can be caused by the natural aging process. And, if the graying in your Vizsla is because of old age, then the entire coat of your pet may not turn gray. Generally, your pet will start graying around the muzzle, as well as the face.
The presence of the progressive gene or graying gene causes graying in dogs, causing your pet’s coat to turn silver or gray. While this gene affects only a small section of dog breeds and is not found in Vizslas, however, if your Vizsla is graying, then it could be because of other factors such as age and stress.
Graying is a very common phenomenon in dogs; however, it is important to understand that not all Vizslas will turn gray and a lot of them retain their gorgeous golden-reddish color all their lives. Your Vizsla may start graying when he is around 4-5 years old with gray hairs popping up around the muzzle.
However, some dogs may start graying before they are 2 while others may not show signs of graying until they are around 7 to 8 years old. So, the age for graying in Vizslas can vary and there is no specific age when this occurs. Also, the rate of graying varies.
While for some Vizslas the gray hairs may appear thick and very fast, for others, the gray hairs will appear slowly over the years, changing their natural golden-red coat color to gray. And, if you find that your Vizsla is graying, then there is no reason to panic. Graying in dogs is simply a cosmetic issue and not a cause of concern.
While Vizslas can gray anywhere, the graying occurs more around the muzzle, as well as the face. For some Vizslas, the graying may occur around the muzzle and then stop, but in others, the graying may occur in other parts of the body such as the neck, underbelly, back, legs and paws. In some cases, your Vizsla may end up with his entire coat turning gray.
Although it is not very likely, there is a possibility that rather than due to stress or age factors, your Vizsla may experience graying because of a health issue. Graying of hair may occur in your Vizsla if he is suffering from hypothyroidism, which is a common health problem that affects canines.
Hypothyroidism is caused when the thyroid glands don’t function properly and causes several symptoms such as weight gain and also related to the dog’s coat and skin such as excessive shedding, hair loss, roughness of hair, pigmentation, poor hair growth and graying around the muzzle and face.
Graying of hair may also be caused if your Vizsla is suffering from kidney or liver disease. So, if you think that your pet may be suffering from a health problem, then it is a good idea to consult your vet as soon as possible to get medical treatment.
Also Read: How Much Do Vizslas Cost?
In conclusion, Vizslas are gorgeous dogs with stunning-colored coats. You may notice that your Vizsla’s hair is turning gray; though, there is no reason to get worried. The reasons for your pet’s coat turning gray may not be very serious and be simply related to age or stress. So, if you suspect that there could be some other reason for the graying, then it is best to take your Vizsla to the vet.