Oct 14 is the Be Bald and Free Day. This was conceived by Wellcat Holiday & Herbs to honor folks who are bald, either by chance or choice. After all, there’s enough attention heaped upon the long-tressed populace. Why not devote a day to hairless people – and even hairless pets. While most of us know a few folks with shaved pates, not many people own – or even know much about – hairless dogs and cats. Because of their unusual appearance, some fur-free breeds have gained notoriety in “Ugliest dog” contests- and as the feline companion to Austin Powers’ nemesis, Dr. Evil.
Sam, the World's Ugliest Dog
The World’s Ugliest Dogs?
If you’ve caught a glimpse of “Ugliest Dog” contest winners on the Internet, you’ve seen the best-known breed of hairless pup, the Hairless Chinese Crested. These dogs have no fur on their bodies, just on their feet, head and tail. Sam, the world’s most famous Chinese Crested, won the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest from 2003 to 2005. Rascal, another “Ugly Dog” contest winner, appeared on the Jay Leno show and in a few horror movies as well. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some of these pups are so homely they’re cute.
Other Hairless Dog Breeds
There are a few other hairless dog breeds, though none of them have achieved the celebrity status of the Chinese Crested. The energetic and loving American Hairless Terrier is a “nude” version of a Rat Terrier. Hairless Khalas, native to Latin American countries, resemble greyhounds. Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless, comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes.
A Sphynx cat on his kitty tower
He’s Not a Bad Cat, He Only Plays One in the Movies
Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Evil’s pet in the Austin Powers movies, was a Sphynx cat. Although this particular cat character was portrayed as a meanie, Sphynx cats are actually very sweet and loving in real life. They have a skin texture similar to Chamois leather and may have thin vellus hair or peach fuzz. They love cuddling up to their owners and other pets for warmth.
Ten Things You Need to Know about Hairless Dogs and Cats
1) They don’t shed! No fur to clog up vacuums or stray hairs all over the house.
2) Most allergy sufferers can live with a hairless dog or cat, since the dander and body hair that cause weezing are non-existent.
3) You can dress them up in shirts, sweaters, and costumes and they won’t mind. They need to cover-up when the weather is cool anyway, so why not do it fashionably!
4) They need less grooming. No combing, brushing or trips to the pet “hairstylist.” You will need to bathe them on a regular basis to keep them clean.
5) Use sunscreen on your hairless dog before walking them or letting them play outside. Since they don’t have a coat to protect their skin, cancer is a concern.
6) Check your hairless pet for scratches or cuts after playing outdoors. Some breeds can get pimples or rashes, just like humans!
7) Keep Sphynx cats indoors! Since they have no fur to protect them, a little bit of feline curiosity and the hot sun will cause injury and sunburn.
8) Keep your home, or at least the rooms where your hairless pets reside, relatively warm. Sphynx cats like temperatures of about 70 degrees, for example.
9) Hairless Chinese Crested tend to have tooth problems, so brush their teeth often.
10) You won’t have to worry about searching for hidden fleas or ticks in your pet’s fur.
The handsome American Hairless Terrier
Celebrate Be Bald and Free Day
on Oct 14 with your hairless pet (if you're lucky enough to have one) by buying them a new sweater or coat for the fall, or get them an extra-warm blanket or pillow. If you have a short or long-haired breed, as most of us do, take them in for a grooming or brush off excess fur with a “love glove.” They won’t be as bald and free as their born-hairless compatriots, but they’ll feel better!
A Chinese Crested Hairless pup
For more pet holidays, check out our blog Mark Your Calendar, Celebrate Fun Pet Holidays.
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About the author:
Marianne Moro is a freelance writer and publicist living in Hollywood, CA. She has written for many publications, clients and websites, including USA Today, Blogcritics Magazine, Modamag and Entertainment Today, among others. She's the proud co-o...