As the winter months approach, it becomes increasingly important to keep our little Chihuahuas warm and safe. And as most owners already know, Chihuahuas easily feel the cold!
This guide acts as a complete winter safety guide for Chihuahuas and provides some excellent tips on keeping your furry friend safe.
The best way to keep Chihuahuas warm in winter is for them to wear a soft jumper, have access to a bed with soft blankets, and be kept inside warm rooms.
3 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Feel The Cold Easily
Any owner knows that their Chihuahua gets cold easily, even in spring and early summer it’s still possible for them to feel cold and start shivering.
So why does it happen?
1. Chihuahuas are super small
Small dogs feel the cold more than large dogs. Simply put, they have less body mass, less muscle, less fat, and less warm blood flowing around their body.
Additionally, due to their small legs, Chihuahuas are very close to the ground, which most of the time will be cold and constantly drawing out their body heat.
Their small size is one of the main reasons Chihuahuas get cold so easily!
2. Chihuahuas have thin short coats
Chihuahuas have very thin, short, single-layered coats. This kind of coat doesn’t do a great job of retaining body heat.
Compare this kind of coat to that of a northern breed that has a thick double coat. So much of a Chihuahua’s body heat is lost through the skin and coat.
3. Chihuahuas originate from a hot climate
Chihuahuas come from the Mexican state, of Chihuahua. Needless to say, this is a hot part of the world. This is also why Chihuahuas do not boast thick double coats, as they simply did not need them in such a climate.
Nowadays, however, Chihuahuas are finding themselves in all parts of the world, some of which experience icy cold winters.
Simply put, Chihuahuas are dogs that have not had a long history of being exposed to cold temperatures. Place a Chihuahua in Canada, and they will feel it right away!
What Temperature Is Too Cold for a Chihuahua
To be safe, Chihuahua’s temperature tolerance is between 45-55f (7-12c). Temperature colder than this will not be handled well by most Chihuahuas.
Important note: It’s not always about the temperature, but more so the weather conditions and what it feels like.
50f (10c) on a sunny, dry, wind-free day is completely different to the same temperature but on a wet and windy day.
It’s crucial that owners always factor in the weather conditions and what it “feels like” rather than just the local weather temperature readings.
If the temperature drops below 45f (7c) it’s advised to keep Chihuahuas inside, especially if the conditions are not optimal.
How To Keep Chihuahuas Warm In Cold Weather
Let’s run through the best ways to keep your Chihuahua warm and safe during winter weather.
1. Jumpers and winter jackets
As most already know, jumpers and winter jackets are a must for Chihuahuas if you live in a cold region.
Soft jumpers can be worn throughout the entire day if your home has cold rooms, and winter jackets are almost mandatory for outside walks (if temperatures are below 45f).
Using jumpers and winter jackets will instantly provide an extra layer of protection against the outside temperature and help your Chi retain more body heat.
2. Avoid rainy days altogether
Remaining dry is crucial in keeping warm. The moment your Chihuahua gets even a little bit damp, all body heat will be lost, and they’ll feel the cold immediately.
If it’s rainy, foggy, or icy, it’s best to stay inside. This is especially true if the temperature is below 50f (10c).
3. Lukewarm drinking water
It’s surprising just how cold the water can get in our dog’s water bowls during winter. Especially if it’s in a room with cold tiles. And the last thing they want is icy cold water.
Keeping their drinking water neither warm nor cold will encourage them to stay hydrated and won’t negatively impact their body temperature each time.
4. Extra blankets and bedding
Be sure to provide extra blankets and soft bedding/cushions for your Chihuahua. Whether this is on the couch or just in their own bed, it’ll help them out a lot.
Soft cotton is ideal for keeping them warm without irritating their skin or making them itchy.
Providing extra blankets will also give your Chihuahua the option to bury themselves under the covers and remain warm if they feel they need to.
5. Let them snuggle with you
We give off a lot of body heat, all of which your Chihuahua will be thankful for.
Always allow your Chihuahua to snuggle up to you on the couch or bed if they seem like they want to.
Not only will it keep them warm, but it’ll also act a great bonding moment between the both of you.
6. Hot water bottles
The best time to use a hot water bottle is during the night while they sleep. This will prevent their core body temperature from dropping too much and should also increase sleep quality.
Still, hot water bottles aren’t just limited to nighttime use. They can be used throughout the daytime too.
Just be sure to sufficiently wrap them in a blanket as you don’t want your Chihuahua laying directly on the hot material.
7. Winter boots or paw wax
When you venture outside for daily walks, it’s important to protect their feet from the cold surfaces.
Their paws are very sensitive to temperature and it’s their first point of contact to the ground.
If you can find doggy winter boots small enough for your Chihuahua, they are advisable. If not, the least we can do is rub some paw wax on their feet.
Paw wax will still provide a layer of protection from the cold surface, ice-melt chemicals, and grit that is often used on pavements and roads throughout winter.
Signs Your Chihuahua Is Too Cold
Knowing the signs that your Chihuahua is too cold is crucial in preventing a bad situation from happening.
Hypothermia or frostbite can happen quickly, so if you spot any of the following signs it’s time to act quicky and bring your Chihuahua to a warmer place.
Signs your Chihuahua is feeling very cold:
- They have a hunched back
- Their tail is tucked under
- Their movements have slowed right down
- Reluctant to move or continue with the walk
- Shivering and shaking
- Holding any of their paws off the ground
- Whining or random barking
- Any other irregular behavior
These are all important signs to be aware of, especially when outside walking your Chihuahua.
It’s key to remember that Chihuahuas feel the cold significantly more than we do, so even though we might feel toasty and warm, your little furry friend might not.
What To Do If Your Chihuahua Is Too Cold?
If you notice signs that your Chihuahua is feeling very cold, then it’s important to act quickly, but gently.
What we mean by this, is that we need to find a warmer place for your Chihuahua ASAP, but we should avoid trying to heat them up too quickly or harshly.
How to warm your Chihuahua up safely:
- Warm drinking water (helps immediately)
- Hold them close to your body
- Provide a warm blanket
- Place their bed in a warm part of the room
- Invite them into bed or the couch
Doing at least one of the above tips will help your Chihuahua come back to a safe and comfortable temperature.
If your Chihuahua is still cold to touch, and shivering continuously hours after attempts to warm them up, then it’s important to contact your local veterinarian for immediate advice.
Chihuahuas In Cold Weather FAQs
Do Chihuahuas Feel The Cold?
Yes, Chihuahuas feel the cold easily due to their small size and thing short coat. Extra steps must be taken in winter to keep them safe and warm.
What Temperature Is Too Cold For a Chihuahua?
Temperature below 45-55f (7-12c) is the lower limit for Chihuahuas. Still, outside conditions impact this as well. Dry and sunny weather vs wet and windy impacts how cold it feels.
What’s The Best Way to Keep Chihuahuas Warm?
To keep Chihuahuas warm, provide them with soft warm blankets, a hot water bottle, lukewarm drinking water, and keep the room temperature at least 70f (20c).
Do Chihuahuas Need Winter Jackets?
Yes, doggy winter jackets are definitely recommended for Chihuahuas in cold weather. This will keep them warm and dry for much longer when outside on walks.
Can Chihuahuas Go Out In Snow?
Chihuahuas like to play in the snow, but caution must be taken. They will get extremely cold very quickly with the icy wet conditions. Owners must use common sense when letting their Chihuahua out in the snow.
Is 20c Too Cold For Chihuahuas?
20f (-6c) is too cold for a Chihuahua. They must stay inside in a warm room and have adequate blankets. A hot water bottle may also be advised. At this temperature they certainly should not go outside.