SKIN CARE TIPS
Welcome to our section on skin care for hairless Xolo’s!
As you can imagine or already know if you have a xolo, they have needs quite different from a hairy dog. We have heard them referred to as high maintenance. however with “proper” maintenance they are relatively easy to care for in this dept. In fact, not all that different than human skin.
Some important things to consider is that Xolo’s are a Primitive Breed. They did not have people dressing them and putting coconut oil on them hundreds of years ago. Of course their needs have changed a bit since they became domestic household pets just like any other animal but it is possible to over do it with bathing, lotioning and clothing. Their skin is tougher and more hyde like and can withstand many things that would seem to cause damage. Xolo play can be rough and can cause them to get “scratched up”. Even running through some bushes or too close to a fence can cause minor scratches but that should not be too much of a concern as they are built tough and heal up fast and quite nicely!
DIET: Nutrition is probably the number one cause of poor skin condition. Feeding Costco or Grocery store kibble is not a healthy choice for them for many reasons but we are talking about skin here. A high quality, grain free, wheat free, limited ingredient food is best. Some Xolo’s have allergies to poultry and peas. Many experts in the field suggest that a well balanced raw diet is ultimately the best choice for them since all dogs are carnivores. Please do your research on pet food and be sure to choose a food company that sources their ingredients locally and not imported from China.
BATHING: Probably the biggest topic of conversation about hairless dogs. There are many schools of thought on what “works” just like with people and acne. What works for you may not work for me. Some things are just trial and error. A simple unscented baby wash works well for many, and if the skin seems dry a little baby lotion or Neutrogena sensitive skin products.
They could be bathed once a week or so but too often can make things worse because it strips their skin of natural oils and makes them produce more which clogs the pore…hmmm, just like people! I tend to just smell my dogs and feel their skin. If they are too oily or smelly, in the bath they go. In the summer time when my dogs are going in the pool and sunbathing all day their skin looks much better than in the winter, again just like people!
That brings us to sunscreen. The lighter the skin the more your dog needs sunscreen. It doesn’t need it all the time but you should protect your Xolo during prolonged direct sun exposure. I try to bathe mine after a day in the sun with sunscreen to freshen them up and to be sure it doesn’t clog the pores. Baby sunscreen is best since it is less harsh than some of the other types.
Bragg’s Raw Cider Vinegar mixed with some water or cooled brewed green tea spritzed on the skin works wonder’s for the pesky bumps that Xolo’s tend to get. There are a whole slew of “products” that can be purchased from a vet or online to treat these problems but again please just do your research.
CLOTHING: If you are fortunate enough to live in a mild climate odds are your Xolo won’t need much in the way of clothing. If you are not so lucky then your dog will need a least a sweater and maybe a nice jacket. Super cold snowy places require booties for extended outdoor activity.
The more frequently you have clothes on your dog, the more you can expect skin problems. Skin needs to be aired out and left to do it’s thing and layering on a bunch thick clothes doesn’t allow nature to be nature. Many Xolo’s like to nest and when indoors a nice soft bed with some fluffy blankets will be a haven for napping and bedtime too if yours don’t sleep in your bed.
So ultimately, feed a species appropriate diet, bathe as needed, and clothe as infrequently as possible. Of course this is a basic guideline and there will always be a dog whose owners are doing all the right things and still has issues. Please consult your trusted veterinarian in difficult situations as there is always a chance of an underlying issue causing the problem. A holistic vet is a great resource if you would prefer to avoid mainstream vet care practices.
We can’t technically advise you one way or another on what you should do and encourage you to find a couple good online discussion communities and weigh all the options as everyone’s dog is going to be different.
If you have a specific question please feel free to send us an email. We are here to help educate as much as we are to rescue Xolo’s in need. If you need a referral to some good groups on Facebook or Yahoo we can link you up to those as well.