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The Chinese Crested is one of the more unique dogs in that they don't have coats like many other breeds. Although this means their grooming needs are minimal, it does not mean their skin doesn't need special care and attention. Not having a coat exposes these charming little dogs to the elements and they feel the cold as well as being more susceptible to sunburn. As such, the condition of a Chinese Crested's skin is all-important so things stay nice and healthy all year round.
All hairless dog breeds including the Chinese Crested, need to be bathed more often than their hairy counterparts. As a rule of thumb, most Cresteds need to be bathed at least once a week depending on the time of the year and the environment they live in which can affect how quickly a dog’s skin dries up. It is essential that a Crested's skin remains very clean and moist to prevent pores from getting dirty and therefore clogging up which can then lead to sores and flare ups.
Cresteds must be thoroughly dried off after being bathed and before applying moisturiser to their skin. With this said, it's crucial to avoid a dog's skin from drying out too much while at the same time not letting it get too oily either. In short, it's a fine balance and a routine that needs to be set up right from the word go. As with everything, all dogs are different and what might suit one Crested might not work that well on another so it's important to see what suits a dog best and which products work the best, bearing in mind that some hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested are allergic to lanolin and some are even sensitive to anything that contains wool too.
A lot of Chinese Cresteds suffer from a condition known as teenage acne which typically develops when a dog is anything from 6 to 18 months old. In some cases, the condition can be severe whereas in other dogs it's a lot milder. With this said, if parent dogs suffer from the disorder, the chances are that their offspring will to. If a dog shows signs of developing teenage acne, there are some useful products to use on their skin to ease the discomfort and to control things too. These include the following:
However, before using any over-the-counter produce on a Crested's skin, it's important to discuss their condition with a vet first who might prescribe some sort of topical medication for them instead.
Diet can also play an important role when it comes to teenage acne and other skin problems often seen in the breed and some vets recommend supplementing a Crested's food with Vitamin E.
There are many good canine products on the market that are very effective when used on hairless breeds and this includes the following:
As previously mentioned, Crested's are susceptible to sunburn when the weather is hot with the lighter pigmented parts of their body being more at risk than the darker patches. As such, it's essential for their skin to be properly protected using the right dog specific suntan lotions although many breeders also suggest using human sun products which are perfectly safe to use on dogs providing they are fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic and a factor 50. When the weather is extra hot, many owners even dress their Cresteds in tea shirts to make sure they are protected from being sunburnt too.
Chinese Cresteds are not particularly fond of the cold weather although some of them don’t mind when the weather turns chilly. However, they all need to be protected from the elements which means making sure they are wrapped up warmly when temperatures drop. Choosing the right dog coat and more especially the material they are made from is essential because as previously touched upon, many Crested are allergic to certain things and this includes "wool". As such, the best choice is typically dog coats made from a coton fabric and then a heavier top coat which ensures they stay nice and toasty when and they go outside.
Most houses are nice and warm these days thanks to central heating which means Chinese Cresteds don't need to wear coats indoors. However, indoor heating has a very drying effect on a dog's skin and therefore extra care should be taken to make sure it does not dry out so much that it causes problems. This means keeping a close eye on a Crested's skin and to moisturise it when necessary to prevent cracks from developing which could turn very nasty all too quickly.
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