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Caring for an albino dog

Updated on June 19, 2013

Dogs are probably the most loving pet anyone can have. These four legged friends provide loving and loyal companionship. No wonder humans have treated these animals as family members. The responsibility of a dog owner goes beyond providing the pet with regular meals. A pet owner is responsible for the general well being of the pet. Can this be the reason why some members of the society, those that profess to be dog lovers would not dare take on an albino dog for a pet? It is a known fact that albino dogs have special needs and there is a notion that these dogs are difficult to care for.

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What is albinism?

Albinism is an inherited congenital pigmentation deficiency. This disorder that occurs in different levels results in white fur, pink eyes and pink skin. The lack of the enzyme necessary in the production of pigment or melanin not only results in the absence of skin pigmentation. Studies have shown that this deficiency is also associated with some health issues. Albinism is most common in Doberman pinscher.

Health concerns associated with albino dogs

The lack of pigmentation in the eye causes an albino dog to have impaired vision. These dogs are sensitive to sunlight as well. Due to the lack of pigmentation in the iris, the retina is exposed making the dog highly sensitive to bright lights. The dog is more prone to sunburn as the skin is not protected by pigmentation. The incidence of skin lesions and skin cancer are higher in albino dogs. The genetic mutation that that results to the lack of color also causes the dog to have other health concerns. Dogs may have missing teeth or would have very small teeth. Experts tell us that albino dogs are not suitable for families with small children because of the dogs’ unstable temperament. Immunological and neurological disorders are common in albino dogs.  Owners have a hard time in keeping the dog healthy. Most albino dogs have shorter life spans.

Caring for an albino dog

Dog experts may advice against using albino dogs for breeding but no dog lover would advice a would-be owner against caring for this unique dog. Albinism cannot be treated. The good news is that it can be managed. Albino dogs have special needs. An owner that does not have the time nor the inclination to provide the pet with more TLC had best opt for another dog. As mentioned, the absence of melanin, the pigmentation that protects the skin from sun radiation makes an albino dog prone to sunburn. These dogs are also vulnerable to skin cancers. This concern can be prevented by avoiding too much exposure to sunlight. Albino dogs, despite the defect are affectionate beautiful dogs. Owners would naturally want to have the dog around. Lazing in the pool during the hot summer days, or an outing to the beach is a no, no. The skin and the eyes of the pet must always be protected from harsh sunlight. Human sun block creams can be used on the dog’s exposed skin. Dog goggles would protect the pet eyes from glaring light.

Sylar, an albino dog

Albino Chihuahua

Dylan the Albino Dog

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      Evelyn Hayes 

      4 months ago

      I have an Albino Chihuahua/Westie ? who was dropped off in the neighborhood. He is very sweet who ever dropped him off missed out on a beautiful little guy . I would love to know exact breed, however DNA is cost prohibitive. Would love to know if he needs special treatment.He gets along great with my other dogs. He has green eyes, white nose and is white/wheat in color. I am having a real hard time bathing him, he hates the water, any suggestions?.

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      Jen 

      2 years ago

      My mini schnauzer just had a litter of pups. Amoung them, 1 is a little girl, were she is not white, she is pink. Her eyes wont be open for about 10 days, then we will find out if she all albino. Thank you for all the usefull info on albion dogs. At this point she is 1 day old and doing just as well as all the other puppies. :)

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      Jason 

      5 years ago

      Albino dog are just the same as any other dog. The only thing you have to do is make sure they don't get sunburn. Albino dogs may had bad eyesight, but this is not a problem for dog... which use scent and hearing above eyesight.

      Temperament, health and everything else is the same as a non albino dog.

      May other animals like mice, rabbits, hamsters etc, are albino and breeding them is no problem either. You can breed an albino dog..... its just going to be harder getting families for them as people keep thinking they are somehow weak and not beautiful.

    • profile image

      no 

      6 years ago

      I have an albino jack rusell:(

    • profile image

      Elizabeth Herring 

      6 years ago

      Loving Albino Dog.... This is not an Albino dog. She is just a special Dog...

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