Skin Care for Hairless Dog Breeds

Any dog that's hairless requires special skin care because they don't have the natural protection that hair provides. Because of their special circumstances, hairless breeds are prone to a variety of dog skin problems that can be avoided with some basic care.

Hairless Dogs Require More Baths

While most would think that a hairless dog would require less bathing, the exact opposite is true. Because their skin isn't offered the natural protection a layer of fur provides, it is important to bathe a hairless dog more frequently in order to rid the skin of pollutants and dirt that could cause problems. These irritants can not only cause infections or skin allergies, but could lead to acne and blackheads on hairless dogs. Using a mild shampoo like oatmeal based shampoo, the dog should be bathed every 1 to 2 weeks, depending upon their environment and how quickly their skin dries out.

If you're going to remove blackheads, it is advised you gently squeeze them under running warm water and to then bathe the dog in a mild antiseptic shampoo in order to prevent infection. If blackheads exist, the dog should be bathed at least once, sometimes twice a day, in order to prevent infection and avoid the start of additional blackheads. Using a bath glove when bathing a hairless dog helps remove dead skin and prevents blackheads. Caution must be used in these instances to avoid causing raw spots from rubbing too hard.

Moisturizers to Balance Out Frequent Bathing

With the amount of bathing that a hairless dog requires, it is important to use a moisturizer on the dog's skin to keep it smooth and supple. Oatmeal-based moisturizers and moisturizers from the Cetafil line of products are hypoallergenic and can be used without irritating the skin or causing allergic reactions. Aloe vera products are a good natural option, but must be watched for indications of allergies. Be sure to moisturize year-round as the cold weather can be just as drying to the skin as summer weather.

Sunscreen to Prevent Sunburn

Hairless dogs can sunburn. Without hair, their skin is left unprotected and vulnerable. When selecting a sunscreen, choose one that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic and suitable for children or people with sensitive skin. Follow the guidelines for application, reapplying as necessary. Be sure to apply lotion to the ears as they are particularly sensitive.

Prevent Drying in Cold Weather

It is important during the fall and winter months to protect your hairless dog's skin by dressing him in sweaters or coats when they go outside. This will protect their skin from pollutants in the air, rain or snow and protect the skin from excessive drying. Be sure to choose clothing made of natural fibers as they will be most gentle against the dog's skin. Probably the best guideline is to dress your hairless dog as you would a toddler preparing to go outside into the same weather.

It is important to take care of your hairless dog's skin in order to prevent problems further down the road. Aside from a good diet with essential fatty acids, bathing, moisturizing and protecting your dog's skin will keep it healthy and supple year round.