Chihuahuas originated in warm dry climates where a single-layer coat of thin fur was adequate insulation. Their small size combined with their thin coat makes them especially vulnerable to ice, cold and snow in the winter. For the best winter protection, emphasize form over function in your pup's wardrobe.
Dress your Chihuahua in a soft knit sweater. Small knit sweaters slide more easily under a jacket than the chunky knit variety. Sweaters are important and effective insulators, but the knitted porous material won't protect your pup from icy winds. If you save money in the winter by lowering the heat, a sweater is necessary for your Chihuahua indoors.
Cover your Chihuahua's sweater with a doggie jacket. Choose a practically designed jacket without embellishments that annoy him, like faux-fur necklines or poorly fitted hoods. Choose snaps and clips over Velcro. You're going to be putting this coat on your pup several times a day for several months, and frequent use makes Velcro patches less effective.
Put small winter booties on your Chihuahua's feet before braving the icy salt-covered streets. The chemicals in salt can easily become wedged inside your small pup's paw, causing painful burning and irritation. Boots also protect him from exposure. Because your Chihuahua only stands a few inches off the ground, it doesn't take much snow before his paws are completely submerged in freezing snow and developing frostbite.
- Wash your Chihuahua's sweaters and jackets weekly. This is especially necessary for males whose urine backsprays. Nobody wants their Chihuahua dressed in something that reeks of stale urine.
- Purchase a few high-quality pieces of winter wear rather than dozens of poorly fitted clothing that falls apart in the laundry.
- Always rinse your Chihuahua's feet in warm water if he goes outside without wearing boots. Removing the salt and corrosive chemicals before he licks them off his paws will keep your Chihuahua happy and healthy.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.