Accessibility View Close toolbar

Protect Your Hairless Pet's Sensitive Skin with These Tips

hairless cat

Protect Your Hairless Pet's Sensitive Skin with These Tips

Hairless pets are at increased risk of developing infections, sunburn, dry skin and other skin conditions that can make them very uncomfortable. Fortunately, it's easy to prevent these conditions by following these important tips.

Bathe Your Pet Often

Hairless pets and pets with only one coat of hair, such as greyhounds or chihuahuas, need more frequent baths than furry pets. Baths wash away pollen, dirt, bacteria, debris and pollutants that collect on exposed skin and cause irritation, skin allergies, and bacterial or fungal infections.

Bathing also helps keep natural skin oils under control. Have you ever noticed an oily spot on your bed or sofa after a visit from your fur-free pet? Skin oils are absorbed by hair in most pets but remain on the skin on hairless pets. Although oils help keep skin soft and supple, too much oil can clog skin follicles, triggering an outbreak of acne or blackheads.

Bathing your pet every week or two is a simple way to reduce oil buildup. During the bath, concentrate on removing dirt and oils from the folds that can hide these substances. Keeping folds as clean and dry as possible is the key to preventing bacterial and fungal infections.

If you end up covered with scratches when you bathe your cat, you may be able to reduce the frequency of the baths if you wipe his or skin with a moist washcloth in between bathing sessions.

Although bathing your pet often is a must, frequent trips to the bathtub can dry your pet's skin. Use lukewarm water and opt for shampoos that moisturize and condition the skin. Perfume-free shampoos are less likely to irritate your pet's sensitive skin. Use gentle pressure when washing your pet, as skin irritations due to vigorous scrubbing are more likely to occur in hairless pets.

Apply Sunblock

Although sunburn can occur if any pet spends too much time in the sun, hairless pets and those with only one coat of hair are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the sun. In addition to limiting walks or outdoor play time to the early morning or evening hours, applying sunscreen can help your dog avoid painful burns or skin cancer. Keep in mind that sunscreens and sunblocks that are safe for people aren't necessarily a good choice for your pooch. Choose products specifically intended for dogs, or try spray-on products designed for children. Products that contain zinc oxide should never be used on dogs or cats, as they can trigger severe anemia.

It's best to keep hairless cats indoors, rather than worry about a possible toxic reaction to sunscreens. If you do take your cat outside, ask your veterinarian about safe sunscreen choices.

Lightweight coats that cover your pet's entire body are an excellent alternative to sunscreen, although you'll still want to dab a little sunscreen on noses or other exposed areas, such as tails.

Buy a Winter Coat

Without an insulating layer of hair or fur, your pet will feel the cold more intensely. Warm coats can help decrease the chill whether your pet spends all day indoors or ventures outside for walks. Choose a coat or sweater that completely covers your pet's abdomen and extends to the base of his or her tail. If you plan to walk your dog on snowy or rainy days, buy a waterproof or water repellant coat.

Even hairless pets can become overheated when wearing coats or sweaters. If your dog or cat pulls or scratches at the coat, or starts to pant, take it off for a while. A heated bed or resting spot will help keep your pet warm if he or she doesn't appreciate the benefits of wearing a sweater. In some cases, pets may refuse to wear coats or sweaters due to comfort issues. Make sure that the garment isn't too tight and doesn't inhibit the ability to move freely.

Regular veterinary examinations can help you ensure that your hairless pet's skin remains in good condition year-round. Contact us to schedule your pet's next visit.

Sources:

VetInfo: Skin Care for Hairless Breeds

https://www.vetinfo.com/skin-care-hairless-dog.html

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University: Caring for the Hairless Dog, 3/15

http://www.tuftsyourdog.com/issues/21_3/features/Caring-for-the-Hairless-Dog-4-1.html

Vet Street: What You Need to Know About Pet Sun Protection This Summer, 6/19/15

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/what-you-need-to-know-about-pet-sun-protection-this-summer

PetMD: Sphynx Cat

https://www.petmd.com/cat/breeds/c_ct_sphynx

Healthy Pets: How Did These Breeds All End Up Naked?, 10/29/16

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/10/29/hairless-cat-dog-breeds.aspx

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Thursday:

9:00 AM-7:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Thanks for everything you did for Ready !
    Obviously he loved you all !"
    Bart V.
  • "I will continue to bring my furkids to Buck Road. They are absolutely wonderful with my dog and have been a great resource for my cat who suffers from allergies and kidney problems. They really care about their patients and their humans, and listen to me when I have concerns. They are never, ever overcrowded. Usually there is maybe one other dog in the waiting room. That is a relief and keeps everyone's stress levels down! The facility is clean and staff is always friendly and willing to walk you through, step by step, the treatment plan ahead. I never leave feeling confused. I love this place - and we keep coming back despite moving pretty far away!"
    Courtny S.
  • "Awesome staff ~ great veterinary care ~ Dutch is lucky to have such wonderful professionals looking after him!"
    Beverly B.
  • "A top notch practice. Highly recommend."
    Jason D.
  • "I've been bringing my pets to Buck Road Animal Hospital almost from the time they started and I have never had anything but positive experiences there. The staff feel like friends to me and they always make you feel like they're happy to see you and your pets. The vets take their time with you and your pets and they go out of their way to give you any information you might need about a pet's condition or treatment. I have A LOT of pets and some of my dogs have aggression issues but you'd never know it to see them there. They understand how to make any animal feel at ease and even my most difficult dog is welcomed there. I'd never go anywhere else. Best veterinary practice anywhere."
    Mary K.
  • "I have been a client of Buck Road Animal Hospital for 30 years..and they are the all the greatest caring friendly kind people..I would not go anywhere else..They go out of there way to accommodate you..They are Number 1..Hats off to Caroline Renee Leanne Donna Lindie and to the best vets Dr Steve and Dr Mary Pat."
    Carole M.
  • "Probably the greatest animal hospital of all-time. The staff is superb, and the Doctors are as kind and knowledgeable as they come. Can't wait for our next visit!"
    Andrew S.