How To Care For An Albino Dog

How To Care For An Albino Dog

Every one of our canine companions is special and unique in its own way. However, albino dogs are very rare compared to our other furry friends and require care that is slightly different from other dogs. If you are looking to adopt a dog and you are particularly interested in an albino dog due to its beautiful coats and pink eyes, you should know the additional care that comes along with owning one of these unique dogs.

Before making your adoption official, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the care that they require so you can ensure your dog has a happy and healthy life with you and your family.

Albinism In Dogs

Albinism can occur within any species of animals, including dogs. Albinism is not a particular breed of dog; instead, it is a genetic condition that is known as tyrosinase (full albino) or tyrosinase-positive (partial albino).

The condition of albinism causes a complete lack of pigmentation within the skin, hair, and eyes. This lack of pigmentation is also found within the blood vessels, which causes them to appear pinkish in color. However, there is a difference between dogs that have white fur and dogs that are consider albino animals. A true albino dog will have pink eyes, while a dog with white fur will not have this condition. A white-coated dog only carries the genetic make-up for white coat pigmentation. While a true albino dog has no pigmentation within its coat and is much different than a dog with a white coat.

The National Wildlife Federation stated, “Not all paler-than-usual animals are albinos, however. Some lack pigment everywhere except their eyes – a phenomenon called ‘leucistic’ by biologists.” This means that not all dogs that have white fur are albino. Take the Siberian Husky, for example, this dog often has white hair and blue eyes, so it would not be considered an albino dog.

In order for albinism to present itself within a dog, both of the parents must carry the gene that causes the condition. This gene can remain recessive within the parent breeds. This means that two black dogs that carry the recessive genes for albinism can give birth to an albino dog.

There are some dog breeds that are more prone to develop this genetic mutation. These breeds include the Collie and Great Dane. Within these breeds, partial albinism is also common, which manifests itself as white spotting. The dog may have white spots or other coat patterns on its chest or head. However, these dogs are not considered to be fully albino as they do not have all of the characteristics of albinism.

Health Issues Related To Albinism 

Due to the lack of melanin, albino dogs are not very resistant to the sun’s radiation. Dogs that do not have albinism have additional pigment within their fur that helps block the sun’s harmful UV rays. Due to this lack of pigment in albino dogs, they are photosensitive and extremely sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. It is important that you protect your albino dog from direct sunlight as not to irritate and burn the skin.

To protect your albino dog from UV rays, you should use protective accessories like bodysuits, shirts, and hats that protect from ultraviolet rays. You should also purchase a pair of doggy sunglasses for your albino dog to protect their sensitive eyes from harsh light when they are outside. This will ensure that their eyesight is not damaged. Albino dogs are also prone to having poor vision and light sensitivity.

The sun is able to cause a lot of damage to the skin of an albino dog; this damage can eventually lead to skin cancer. Just like humans with pale skin, albino dogs also need lots of care to prevent sun exposure in order to prevent the development of skin conditions, including melanoma. In addition to purchasing protective equipment and accessories, you should apply sunscreen to your dog’s skin. Before doing this, you should consult with your veterinarian as to what brand is best for your dog. Typically, sunscreen that is formulated for human babies is able to be used by dogs. It is important to check the label of the sunscreen and avoid and sunscreen that contains PABA or para-aminobenzoic as this is toxic to dogs.

Sun Protection In Albino Dogs

There are a lot of ways that you can protect your albino dog from the sun’s harmful radiation. One of the best ways is to keep your albino dog inside while the sun is at its peak; this includes the hours from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. It is best to take your albino dog for a walk earlier in the morning or in the evening to avoid harsh exposure to UV rays.

If you are taking your dog outside during the peak sun hours, be sure that they are wearing sunscreen. This sunscreen should be for sensitive skin to prevent irritation and a rash from forming on the dog. It is best to talk to your vet before applying sunscreen to your dog to prevent unwanted injury. As we said earlier, always avoid sunscreen that contains PABA or zinc oxide, as these ingredients are toxic to dogs.

In addition to sunscreen, you can purchase protective equipment like clothing to keep your dog’s skin safe from exposure. You can also try putting a large t-shirt on your dog, depending on their size.

Grooming Your Albino Dog

Albino dogs require a different grooming routine compared to other dogs. It is important that you never clip your albino dog as they need the fur for extra protection. Even though their fur does not have pigmentation in it, it still absorbs harmful UV rays from the sun. This offers their skin some protection and prevents the development of skin cancer.

Dogs that have albinism also have much more sensitive skin compared to other dogs. So, when you bathe your dog, be sure to use warm water and never hot water as it will cause irritation to their sensitive skin. Also, be careful when scrubbing your dog to prevent additional irritation.

Always use a dog shampoo that is designated for dogs with sensitive skin. This will ensure your albino dog does not suffer from a rash or skin irritation. Additionally, you should never blow dry your albino dog to get them dry; simply towel dry them and let them air dry.

Daily brushing with a soft brush will also help to keep them clean and keep their coats free of dirt and debris. Brushing will limit the number of times you need to bathe your dog.

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