Hairless dog breeds can be a gift for dog lovers with allergies. And that includes an allergy to Hoovering the house! A hairless dog requires no brushing, and sheds little to no hair.
But beware, these lookers still require skin care and bathing. It’s also worth noting that some people are allergic to dog ‘dander’ (skin flakes) and saliva rather than their hair. So if dog allergies are an issue in your home, make sure to check thoroughly before inviting a hairless dog breed to stay.
A brief history of the hairless dog
Hairlessness in dogs is a matter of genetics. Some dogs have been bred to have no fur. Others seem to have always been that way, due to a dominant hairless breed. The elegant Peruvian Inca Orchid is one such example of the latter type.
What you need to know about getting a hairless dog
A great source of appeal for welcoming a dog to your family is the pleasure of rubbing his or her soft fur. A hairless dog still loves to be rubbed, even though it might feel weird to you at first.
You might also notice that the colour of your hairless dog’s skin changes from season to season. This is basically the tanning cycle. It’s natural and inevitable, so don’t buy a pale pink hairless dog just because he matches your sofa.
Cosmetics of the hairless dog
You don’t need to brush a hairless dog, of course, but you should still clip his nails. If he scratches that exposed skin it could become infected, especially if you’ve allowed him to get sunburned.
You’ll need to bathe your hairless dog at least once a fortnight. Just be grateful he won’t smell of wet dog fur afterwards! You can use a sponge or loofah to make sure his skin is exfoliated in the process. Oatmeal-based cleansers can work a dream.
Afterwards, you should moisturise his skin so that it doesn’t dry out, and remains pliant and healthy enough to deal with day-to-day wear.
A hairless dog in the summer
Your hairless dog will also require sunscreen when taken out in the sun. You should be able to find special dog sun lotion. Ask your vet if it’s a problem. Otherwise, you can use a natural one that is stated to be safe for babies.
Never use sunscreen that has zinc oxide as an ingredient. Always check the ingredients. Zinc oxide can be toxic to your dog.
Whatever lotion you find for him, try it on a small area of his skin first to make sure he doesn’t suffer an allergic reaction.
You should also provide plenty of shade for your hairless dog, as you would for a furry one.
A hairless dog in winter
Hairless dogs don’t come with their own coat. So you need to buy a coat or a jumper for him. Try to create a wardrobe with natural fibres that won’t irritate his skin. And remember that small dogs suffer from the cold more than bigger ones.
Types of hairless dog
The Xoloitzcuintli or Xolo Dog became something of a celebrity following the Pixar movie, Coco. Also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog, the xolo is a lively and active family dog who can be both protective and sociable. The xolo was believed by the Aztecs to accompany the dead to the underworld, so that gives you a clue how loyal they can be. The god Xolotl was said to have created the dog from the Bone of Life. Yum.
The Chinese Hairless Crested dog is a real babe. Although ‘hairless,’ he may have fur on his legs, head, and tail. He’s better in the heat than in the cold, which he detests. He’s playful and sociable, even needy – though he can be quite fragile, so think twice before introducing him into a family with young children who love to poke and prod!
A hairless dog by chance
Although there are several well-known hairless dog breeds, some ‘hairy’ dogs occasionally pop out hairless, too. Chihuahuas and pugs are among those furry friends who sometimes feature that hairless gene.
Maybe you’ll consider him blessed, or just unusual. Make sure to treat him right, though, and you should get plenty of love back from the baldy in your life.