Have you ever come across a hairless dog? No, not the shaved ones, but actual hairless pups! They are rare, but due to popularity in countries like Peru, they are becoming more visible. They are somewhat strange looking certainly, but they are actually wonderful, loving, and hilarious companions. What sets them apart, aside from their look, is the amount and type of maintenance they require to stay healthy, and finding a family that can give them the care they need is paramount. Before you decide to bring one into your home, here is run down of what you are getting into, and why caring for a hairless dog can be an incredible amount of fun!
What type of dog looks like that?!
The two primary breeds known for hairlessness are the Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-etz-queent-lee), the official dog of Mexico, and the Chinese Crested dog. Both breeds have been around for centuries, with the Xolo dating back more than 3000 years! The belief is that the Xolo evolved to survive in hot, tropical climates. Given its development in Mexico and a number of Central American countries, the hairless Xolo certainly have a more comfortable time in the heat than their furry counterparts. The Chinese Crested feature furred and hairless branches, and have been a popular dog since the 19th century. While breeding for hairlessness still happens, it is not a man-made trait. With their rich history, there are countless resources on the care of these breeds, and there are no shortage of those in need of homes.
So, What do i need to do?
Keep The Skin Clean!
You’ve probably brushed your pets before, which is essential for their health and keeping your house less furry as well. Well, hairless dogs need the same type of care, just minus the brush!
Since they lack fur, hairless breeds are much more prone to getting dirty and can more easily absorb toxins and pollutants through the skin. Their dead skin cells also stick to them, which can cause blockage on the skin.
This means your hair-free pooch needs regular bathes, more than a typical dog. Removing the build up dirt and oil will prevent blackheads and skin blemishes. Using a natural, low pH shampoo will help to prevent the blemishes. If you do find blackheads, be VERY GENTLE when clearing them out, and make sure to clean the pore to prevent infection. If you keep the skin clean, it should be a rare occurrence.
With bare skin exposed 24/7, it’s easy for your dog to dry out, especially after bathing. Make sure you have a hypoallergenic moisturizer on hand. Avoid barrier creams, heavy lotions, or any other type of lotion that isn’t quickly absorbed by the skin. Quickly being the operative word here. Leaving anything on them can cause blockage of pores and lead to further skin complications.
Sunscreen is important for you both!
It might seem strange, but the sun can irritate your pup as badly as it can you! Furry dogs have a natural shield against UV rays, so you need to provide your hairless dog with the same protection. There are myriad safe, non-toxic sunscreens that are perfect for protecting them from the sun. You can also use a lightweight coat on their bodies and just apply sunscreen to the head and feet. With Chinese Crested pups, they often have tufts on their paws and head, so a covering is perfect for them.
Snow is not their friend. . .
Many small dogs require sweaters or coats in the winter to keep their body temperature regulated, and hairless breeds need protection to a greater degree. Sweaters and boots will go a long way in protecting your dog from getting too cold, or getting frostbite in the most extreme cases. Don’t let them out without a coat!
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Xolo and Chinese Crested dogs are certainly different, but they are a beautiful and fun companion! Next time you’re looking to adopt, spend some time with one of these often overlooked breeds. It will be impossible not to fall in love.
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