Xoloitzcuintli. That might sound like the scientific name of a plant or a Greek creature but it is actually just another name for a dog breed. If you have not heard that word before, maybe you know this breed as the Mexican Hairless.
The word Xoloitzcuintli is the combination of Xolo + itzcuintli which is Xolo meaning the Aztec god of fire and lightning and itzcuintli which simply means dog. The second part of the name is a big let down after the Aztec reference. True. But they had to let us know what they were talking about.
The name is pronounced as show-lo-its-queen-tlee and also roughly translates to ‘God Dog’. This is one of the oldest breeds in the whole world and its origins can be traced back to almost three thousand years in the past. And those are not legends.
There is actual archaeological evidence that shows that these dogs were with the first humans who lived in Mexico. There is also evidence in the journals of the Italian explorer and navigator Christopher Columbus who described them as strange, hairless dogs. Xolos are also one of the rarest breeds on the planet and are said to have been kept by the Mayans and the Aztecs back in the day.
If you’ve never seen a Mexican Hairless dog, you should know that, as the name suggests, these dogs have little to no hair at all and come with large erect ears. It makes them look quite ferocious but really, Xolos are curious and loyal dogs that get along quite well with children too because they are calm by nature.
Since they are hairless, you don’t have to worry about shedding or fleas which keeps grooming costs at a low. We’ll talk about that in detail in a bit. Mexican Hairless dogs are also referred to as Velcro dogs because they love to chill by your feet while you sit and follow you when you walk around the house.
This is also a very intelligent breed of dogs which means they are easy to train which is just one of the many great things about having a Xolo as a pet. These dogs typically have a lifespan of 13 to 18 years.
Why Are Mexican Hairless Dogs So Rare?
When the Aztecs were defeated by the Spanish in the 1500s, the breed numbers went down drastically. It did not go extinct thanks to the mountain-dwelling Indians but it stayed extremely rare.
In 1956, the Mexican Hairless dog was formally recognised by the Mexican Kennel Club which revived interest in the breed. Today, it is known to be a loyal, calm, loving, clean and compassionate dog.
They are also used as service dogs and therapy dogs which shows their range when it comes to performing duties. Now, let’s see what it takes to own one.
How Much You Are Likely to Spend If You Get a Mexican Hairless Dog
Now, a lot of the below-mentioned costs are estimates because the specifics depend on your lifestyle choices. For starters, it can be a challenge just to get this dog because, as mentioned before, it is a rare breed that just about survived extinction.
In the UK, you might even have to be on a waitlist before it is your turn to get a Xolo. And when you do, a well-bred puppy can cost anywhere from £800 to £1,500. Sometimes it can be more than that.
This is not about ornamental stuff for special occasions like Easter or Christmas. Here, we are talking about essential equipment like collars, food bowls, a bed and affiliate items that every pet needs.
Also, take harnesses and vests into account depending on the weather of the region you live in. All of it together will roughly cost about £200.
This is pretty much a one-time investment that should ideally see you through the first year. But with beds and toys, you are going to have to make your own calculations because these things depend on behaviour which is dictated by things like training.
Next up is feeding. This breed needs high-quality food because it is a purebred. And Xolo puppies need the extra energy that can only come with nutritious and balanced meals. Now, there are three types of Xolo dogs—toy, miniature and standard.
If you get a toy Xolo, it is going to weigh about 4 to 7 kilos, a miniature will be 6 to 14 kilos and a standard will be 14 to 25 kilos. The actual quantity of food the dog needs depends on the individual’s size and the amount of physical activity. But a typical meal is about 5/8th to one and three-quarters of a cup of dry dog food.
But on average, every Xolo puppy needs the same quantity of food three to four times a day. And once they are an adult dog, they will need two meals of the same quantity every day.
A senior Xolo needs up to 990 calories every day. An adult needs up to 1,100 calories every day. And a physically active one needs 1,230 calories every day. Divide that up, in whichever way it works for you.
Just remember to keep the schedule consistent in the initial stages. In terms of how much that will cost, you can expect the ballpark figure to land anywhere between £20 to £30 each month.
These dogs need well-formulated food with low-fat content. But if you get them used to scraps, you risk mineral and vitamin imbalances. So, you could go with homemade food instead of commercial brands.
And if you do, remember that the dog loves fruits and vegetables. So, add plenty of those. You must also remember not to figure out what is best for your little buddy on your own. Instead, consult your vet and make a food schedule and plan. Speaking of the medical services…there’s healthcare.
Let’s start with the basics. The cost for things like vaccinations, neutering or spaying and boosters are likely to go up to £800 a year. You can manage some of those expenses if you get the right kind of pet insurance (although a lot of them don’t cover many of these expenses).
Pet insurance will also help you take care of medical expenses if there is an accident, illness or some other kind of emergency. Mexican Hairless dogs are known to have skin problems like clogged hair follicles if their skin gets wet or dirty.
There is also the issue of blackheads on their exposed skin (which is likely to be all of it). These dogs are also prone to allergies of the skin which causes them to scratch themselves rather vigorously and inadvertently tear their own skin. Some of these skin allergies are also likely to lead to bacterial infections.
Then there are dental problems. Xolos are famously hairless and the genes that make this happen also lead to missing or bad teeth. That can become a serious condition if you neglect it.
While they don’t have too many hereditary or congenital conditions, you must keep an eye out for hip dysplasia and loose knees which are likely. Xolos are also no strangers to eye diseases, unfortunately.
As a pet parent, you must be prepared to take care of any of these situations. That can be done with insurance and the costs of that depend on your dog’s age, your location, the insurer you choose and the specifics of the policy.
Broadly speaking, you estimate those costs to come up to about £23 for a limited cover and about £44 for a lifetime cover. You must also consider vet expenses which can be a recurring theme with their skin and eyes. And no matter what kind of insurance coverage you get, it is wise to set aside £50 to £80 for emergencies just to be safe.
This is typically considered to be an easy one with a Mexican Hairless dog. It is considered a low-maintenance dog in terms of grooming because it has little to no hair.
Even when it has a little coat, the Xolo is an easy dog to maintain. You need to brush the coat only once a week and give it a bath occasionally when it starts to smell.
Now, you don’t need to get a fancy shampoo because the skin needs only mild soap to stay shiny. Yes, the God Dog with no coat can be shiny. If you just want to keep its pores clean, soak a soft cloth in warm water and run it over your furry friend’s body. If you don’t want to trim their nails yourself, you can take them to the groomers and it will cost you less than £10. Easily done.
Xolos are intelligent and energetic dogs that are easy to train. So, you can do it yourself especially if you are trying to avoid the costs of getting a trainer. But you must be gentle with them because these dogs don’t respond well to harsh commands and you might scar your relationship with them for life.
By nature, Xolos are affectionate dogs but they are cautious and remain aloof when they are around strangers and other dogs too. They are also likely to bond with one member of the family. So, if you combine being attached to one person and not getting along with anyone else, that can be a difficult situation.
That is why you must consider taking them to obedience classes so that they are socialised early and well and stay comfortable and at ease when outside. Considering these complications, it is also recommended by first-time pet parents might have difficulty navigating their way through being a Xolo parent. Why?
Puppies also need a lot of attention as that is the foundational stage and they take about two years to really mature.
So, in these first two years, you need to manage their need for attention (because they are Velcro dogs even as adults) and balance it with the amount of socialisation that is needed to keep them calm and even tempered.
Meanwhile, you must also remember that their ability to learn complex commands doesn’t kick in right away even though they are intelligent dogs. All of this takes some patience on the pet parent’s part and if that is neglected, the canine ends up chewing on anything they can find.
That’s more unnecessary dog-related expenses that are not really related to the dog. First-timers may find all of this a bit overwhelming.
You must also remember that this is a big dog. So, while it is friendly towards children, the interactions must be supervised so that you don’t end up with other indirect bills.
This depends on your schedule because if you can walk your dog yourself, you won’t have to pay for it. Daily walks are important to keep their obesity in check. Remember that Xolos are prone to loose knees which means ignoring walks can lead to health problems which will add to your costs.
But you must also remember that they have sensitive skin and the weather outside during these walks is something to take into consideration. Or you will end up with medical expenses. These are healthy dogs which need about 45 minutes of exercises. This includes physical and mental activities.
Xoloitzcuintli Cost In The UK – The Bottom Line
The costs of owning a dog are not just limited to buying one from a breeder and getting a few toys. There are many things that can add to the expenses of owning a pet, especially a rare purebred like the Mexican Hairless.
That is true for all breeds of dogs. You could accidentally do one thing wrong and cause behavioural problems that will need some professional assistance to fix. It’s the same with things like grooming and food.
If you take it casually and give your purebred scraps or table food, they will end up with problems that might require medical attention. That is very true for a Xolo.