Health and Care

Xoloitzcuintles are a very hardy dog. I am not aware of any particular genetic health problems that are specific to the breed. Their skin is tough and somewhat protective and when it is injured it heals quickly and the scar tissue has the same pigmentation as the original skin.

The Xolo sweats through its skin and also has sweat glands and subaceous glands in its feet, more than other breeds. I recommend that a Xolo be bathed at least once a week to keep the glands in the skin open. It is very important to use only a very gentle dog shampoo and follow the bath with a non-oily lotion, such as aloe vera lotion

Before bathing your Xolo it is very important to clean the ears. Liquid ear cleaning solutions can be purchased at your pet shop or if none are available a few drops of vegetable oil can be used to dissolve the ear wax build-up. During the bath it is very important to massage in between the toes with a little shampoo. The feet have active subaceous glands and sweat glands and must be kept clean.

The nails of your Xolo should be shortened a little after each bath. If this is done faithfully and gently from the time your Xolo is small you will never need to cope with overgrown nails.

Xolos that have white markings should have a sun block lotion applied to those areas when they will be out in the sun for more than a few minutes. Xolos with pigmentation seldom need protection from the sun.

Vegetables and some fruits appeal to the Xolo, and they often prefer a carrot to a rawhide toy. If your Xolo is being prepared for a show career it should never be given bones to chew or rawhide toys. It’s treats should be limited to raw vegetables in order to prevent damage to the teeth. Your dog should have at least half of his food given to him/her dry. This will help keep his teeth clean.

If you are in a cool climate, your hairless Xolo will need a sweater or two. The sweaters should be taken off when the dog is back in the house. If sweaters or coats are left on all the time, the Xolo may develop serious skin problems because of bacterial growth. It is also important to wash your Xolo’s sweaters and coats and blankets frequently. We add a splash of vinegar to the rinse water when washing all dog blankets and sweaters. This discourages bacterial growth and helps to eliminate odors.

ALWAYS have a leash ready and use it when you take your dog out of your home. This is important even with the best-trained dogs. If you love your dog, leash your dog. Talk to other dog owners who value their pets and locate a veterinarian who will give your Xolo good care. Keep records of all shots and update them annually. If your dog leaves home with you and is around other dogs in public areas, such as parks and at dog shows, it will need a vaccine for Bordatella (kennel cough) in addition to the regular vaccines.



Shampoo for Xolos with normal skin.

Into an empty gallon jug put:

1 bottle Ivory liquid or Planet liquid. (25 oz. bottle)

2 oz. glycerin

2 oz. white vinegar

& fill jug to 2/3 full with water.

If shampoo is for coated dogs, fill

the gallon jug to the top with water.



Healing Shampoo for Xolo skin.

(best for xolos with bumps & sores)

Betadine solution 4 oz. (50%)

Glycerin 2 oz. (25%)

Dish detergent

(Planet or Ivory) 2 oz. (25%)



Ear Cleaning Solution for Xolos

Into a plastic squeeze bottle:

fill 3/4 with water & 1/4

with white vinegar.

Squirt this into the ear & massage

the side of the head below the ear.

Use weekly before the bath.



Once a month put a few drops of olive oil into the Xolo’s ear and massage the head below the ear. This will soften any ear wax and prevent mites.

Hairless Xolos should be bathed and groomed once a week, including cleaning ears and clipping nails.

Coated Xolos can go longer between baths but need their ears cleaned and nails clipped every week.


For a hairless Xolo, follow the bath with a lotion, preferably one that contains cocoa butter.


For any Xolo, a vinegar rinse promotes healthy skin. After the bath, fill a cup with warm water and

add a splash of white vinegar. Pour this over the Xolo, saturating the skin. Do not rinse off.




Anesthesia of the Xoloitzcuintle by Greg Coleman, DVM

Anesthetic procedures involving the Xolo are similar to those involving other breeds of dogs. It is important to assure that the dog is in good health and is able to withstand the stresses of anesthesia. This certaintly involves a good preanesthetic physical exam, and in selected cases, further examination such as blood work, x-rays, etc. is warranted.

The minimum amount of medication that allows the procedure to be performed correctly is always best. Some treatments can be done under a light tranquilizer, while others require general anesthesia. The pain involved, the length of the procedure and the effect of movement are all factors that must be considered in choosing the type of restraint used.

When general anesthesia is required, we have had success in using the minimum of preanesthetic sedation, inducing with isoflurane and oxygen via a face mask, and maintaining with isoflurane. The Xolos seem to handle this very well and recover quickly.

Monitoring both during anesthesia and after recovery cannot be over emphasized. Xolos are prone to hypothermia due to their lack of a hair coat and supplemental heat should be provided. Be careful with heating pads, etc. as the same lack of a hair coat also makes them susceptible to burns. Temperature controlled cages seem to work very well. Intravenous fluids before, during and after anesthesia help to maintain circulation and temperature.


I have found that it is a good choice to put a sweater on your hairless xolo if it is going in for any kind of surgery.  I also take a heat lamp with me that can be placed outside the cage to provide sufficient heat if needed.  Another helpful way to help maintain the hairless dog’s body temperature is to put baby socks on their feet.  Quite a lot of body heat is lost through the feet.  Be especially cautious with hot water bottles.  They should be no warmer than the hairless dog’s body temperature and should be wrapped in a towel, never placed right next to the skin.