If you have a Chihuahua, you know that she can get cold long before you're reaching for your own jacket. And if you have ever seen one seek out a sun patch, you might be concerned about adding a little extra solar protection on her head to shield delicate skin.
Types of Hats
Costume hats for Chihuahuas, from a little sombrero to an elf cap, are readily available in pet shops according to the season. If you're looking for function over fun, though, options are found year-round. In the summertime, caps with visors help keep rays out of a pup's delicate eyes. In the wintertime, cozy snow hats can give a dog who's sensitive to the chill an extra measure of warmth outdoors. Consider materials your dog might be sensitive to, such as wool that could exacerbate a skin allergy.
A challenge for a Chihuahua owner searching for a doggie cap can be accommodating the breed's large, wide-set, angled, stand-up ears. Some dog hats are designed on the premise that a pup's floppy ears fed through the ear holes will keep the cap tacked to his head. When buying a prefabricated hat, be sure to try it on first and watch your Chihuahua to see if the cap causes discomfort around the ears. Consider a custom-knit or crocheted hat that is sized specifically to account for the positioning and size of your dog's ears.
Keeping It On
Since the position of a Chihuahua's ears already pose a challenge in getting a hat to fit, your next challenge is finding headgear that stays on. Long-haired Chihuahuas can take advantage of decorative or functional hats that are assisted by a clip, but there is not enough fluff on a smooth-coat dog to make this work. You also want to be sure that you're securing the hat in a way that does not pose a danger to your dog or cause her pain. For tiny toy dogs, a comfortable, adjustable chin strap works well to keep a hat in place.
Some cold-weather hats function like a snood -- a neck warmer that pulls over the top of the head and ears with the face exposed and neck covered. To do double-duty of keeping your Chihuahua's body warm while offering the functional, cute addition of a head covering, consider putting her in a warm hoodie. That way you can pull the hood up when venturing out into the cold or when a wind picks up, and pull the hood back for her comfort when the extra head warmth isn't needed. Try on hoodies before buying to make sure the hood portion fits comfortably over your Chihuahua's large ears.