7 Unusual Hairless Pets
Stop cleaning up pet hair and take a look at these strange hairless breeds that could make your pet allergies a thing of the past.
The Naked Truth
Our four-legged friends don’t need a full coat of fur to warm our hearts – or so says show-dog breeder Nancy Patterson, who owns a Chinese crested dog and a sphynx cat. “They’re unique and playful, like little clowns,” she says.
The American hairless terrier, the skinny pig (a hairless guinea pig) and other bald critters are growing in popularity. There are dozens of Canadian breeders specialized in furless pets and the Chinese Crested Club of Canada reports their membership has increased about 50 percent in the last five years. What’s the appeal? The animals suit people who are allergic to pet dander (which tends to collect on fur) or who dislike shedding. But a big part of the allure is their distinctive appearance and quirky personalities.
Consider the sphynx (think Dr. Evil’s cat in the Austin Powers movies or the one pictured here), which has an unusually sociable and notably unfeline demeanour. “It’s a cat with the disposition of a puppy,” says Carol Haydu, a sphynx breeder near Windsor, Ontario.
Note, however, that furless doesn’t mean fuss-free: the Chinese crested needs a good sunscreen and is susceptible to tooth loss and decay; the sphynx needs a weekly bath to get rid of the oils that a coat would normally absorb.
Despite the to-do, bald creatures have a unique charm, says sphynx breeder Robert Morris. He compares them to a certain movie character: “In his ugliness, we all fall in love with ET.”
2. Chinese Crested Dog
Fun Fact: Despite its name, the Chinese Crested’s origins trace back to Africa.
4. Peruvian Hairless
Fun Fact: The genes that cause hairlessness means that these dogs are also sometimes missing some of their teeth!
(Photo courtesy of David d’O/Flickr)
5. Skinny Pig
Fun Fact: Skinny Pigs sometimes need to eat slightly more than regular Guinea Pigs to help maintain body heat.
(Photo courtesy of fairysari/Flickr)