If you live somewhere where it gets cold and/or snows in the winter, it’s time to get your Chihuahua ready for what may be the season when he needs the most special care. A Chihuahua of any age can be hurt by the dry, dusty air and cold temperatures of winter. There will also be changes in how people act that you should be aware of. Because of this, we will tell you everything you need to know about bringing your puppy, old, or senior Chihuahua inside for the winter.
Coat And Skin Protection
The skin and coat of a dog get damaged by the cold winter air. During the whole season, the air is much drier than in the spring and summer. This often has a negative effect that gets worse as the season goes on. The skin will start to get dry, and the fur can get rough and dry. Some Chihuahuas’ fur gets so dry that if you rubbed a piece between your fingers, it would feel hard and crispy, like hay.
This is a problem that keeps getting worse because dry skin makes the fur rough, and rough fur doesn’t do much to protect the body. Even though problems can be fixed with some work, it is best to keep them from happening in the first place.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your Chihuahua’s skin and coat stay healthy all winter long including:
1. Set the bath times
Keep to the plan of giving baths every three weeks. You might think that your Chihuahua doesn’t need as many baths in the winter, especially if he stays inside more than he does in the summer. However, baths aren’t just to get rid of dirt. They also get rid of the skin and fur of the body oils that are constantly being made. After 3 weeks, there is enough oil that it can start to smell, and the tiny furs that shed off trap this near the skin’s surface, making it smell even worse.
2. Look over the shampoo and conditioner you use on your Chihuahua
If you aren’t happy with the bath products for your chihuahua, now is the time to decide if you want to make a change.
It’s crucial to use a shampoo for dogs that helps get rid of the buildup of body oil and debris in the coat. But doesn’t take away too much oil and leaves the skin dry and prone to peeling.
For conditioner, you should use a product that coats the fur well without clogging the pores of the skin. Those with oatmeal and other high-quality ingredients are important for a healthy coat and skin.
1. Look for a quality spray
If there was one thing a Chihuahua’s coat needed in the winter to stay healthy. It would be a good spray.
Look for a good spray that is light but still protects. And if you want your Chihuahua to smell nice, you may want to choose one that has a light, fresh scent. The best way to use this is once a day. Mist the coat while holding the bottle about 5 to 6 inches away, and then use a small soft bristle brush to spread it from the roots to the ends.
Be careful not to use too much. You want to lightly coat the fur, not soak it.
One of the worst things about winter for a Chihuahua is how the ground changes.
Many chemicals used to melt ice are poisonous to dogs if they eat them, and they can also burn their paws. Even if you don’t use these kinds of products, many town and city governments do. They put them on the roads, which makes it easy for them to get into your neighborhood.
Over weeks and days of walking over these chemicals in the winter, the skin on the paws can get hurt slowly. This usually covers the whole bottom of the pad and starts to look like skin that has been peeled. Over time, the burns can get worse, which can hurt and could lead to an infection.
1. Cold Air
You could perhaps think that the air is cold during the winter, but it is even colder where your Chihuahua will be walking. Cold air sinks, so it’s often colder near the ground than it is up high. Roads also hold up in the cold. When you add frozen ice or snow to that, you have a surface that can hurt a small dog’s paws a lot.
Paws can get very dry over the course of the season. In the worst case, they can peel and then crack, which can be quite painful. Once the skin on the paw is cracked, it can be infected.
Protecting your dog’s paws is an important part of winter care for your Chihuahua. There are two ways to do this:
- A good dog’s paw wax makes it easier for a dog to walk on slippery surfaces in the winter and protects his paws from the elements. It will keep the paws moist and keep away anything that could hurt them. If a Chihuahua’s paws are already broken, a good wax can fix the damage and heal the skin. You should look for one that soaks in quickly and lasts for a long time. Good waxes don’t need to be put on more than once every three days.
- Give your Chihuahua dog booties. Some dogs love it, but some don’t. If you decide to go this route, look for booties with ankle straps that you can tighten or loosen to make sure they fit well and stay on. Also, look for winter boots with soles that give you a good grip.
A Chihuahua’s nose can get very bad during the winter. A Chihuahua’s nose can quickly get sore from the cold, dry air and strong winds of winter. And this can quickly become a big problem before the owner can do anything about it. It is best to be proactive about this and take care of the nose as well as the rest of the dog during the winter.
One problem with this is that chihuahuas often lick their noses all day long. So, once the nose is a little dry, licking it all the time will make the problem worse. A dry nose can quickly turn into a peeling nose, which can quickly turn into a cracked nose, which is very painful and, like paws, can be open to bacterial infections.
- Use good nose butter or balm for dogs before the nose gets hurt. These serve two purposes: They protect a dog’s nose from dry air and cold winds, and they can also treat dryness that has already happened.
- Since Chihuahuas lick their noses a lot, you’ll want to choose a nose butter that absorbs quickly and is safe if a dog licks it before it’s dry.
- For protection, put a dab on your Chihuahua once during the morning and once right before your dog goes to bed.
- If your Chihuahua’s nose is dry, peeling, or cracked, put this on it 3–4 times a day, including a good amount right before he goes to sleep. With the right product, you can see results after just one or two uses.
Chihuahua Body Troubles During Winter
The Chihuahua may have the hardest time keeping its body temperature stable out of all the dog breeds. Chihuahuas get cold very quickly because they are so small and don’t have much fat to keep them warm. Did you know this is the main reason why Chihuahuas shake so much, It’s not because they are scared, but because they are cold.
A Chihuahua can also feel cold in a house that seems perfectly warm to you. Mostly, this is because of cold drafts. When a person is sitting on a piece of furniture, they might not notice that pets play and rest in cold spots close to the floor.
Many owners don’t realize how nervous their Chihuahua was until they put a shirt on their family pet or dog and see how much happier it seems to be.
- When you take your Chihuahua outside, make sure to bundle him up. This is important for housebreaking puppies because one of the most common problems is when owners don’t let the puppy stay outside long enough for his bladder and bowel muscles to relax. It’s cold, and both the owner and the dog look cold… So, the Chihuahua doesn’t have enough time to learn to go to the bathroom in the right place. But this is also something to think about when you take your Chihuahua outside for his daily walk. No one wants to go outside when it’s cold. But if you bundle up your Chihuahua and dress him right, it will help you stay on track and make sure he gets the exercise he needs. A good vest, hoodie, or even parka (on days when it’s below freezing) will help keep a Chihuahua warm. If there is wet snow, you’ll want to wear something that won’t get wet.
- Look for drafts in your house. To see what your dog is going through, you’ll have to get down on the floor. If you find any drafts in the winter, you can either block them (which is the best way to save money on your heating bill) or move your dog’s resting, sleeping, or playing area to a warmer place.
- You might be surprised at how many Chihuahuas love to wear a shirt or sweater indoors. In fact, many of them find it comforting and will fight you to keep it on. So, when you’re inside, choose a light shirt with short or long sleeves that adds a layer of protection that can make all the difference.
Chihuahua’s Eating, Mood, And Activity Level
On a cold, snowy day, have you ever just wanted to stay inside and binge-watch a good show and eat comfort foods?
Well, your Chihuahua might desire to do the same thing Dogs often eat a little bit more, move around less, and even get a little bit sad.
- Food Problems: In the winter, dogs tend to eat more, and in the summer, they tend to eat less. There can be as much as a 20% difference. This is usually not a problem for the Chihuahua breed, as this breed rarely gets too fat.
If your Chihuahua appears to crave more food during the colder months, it’s fine to give them an extra treat or make their meals a little bigger. They’ll “make up for it” when the weather warms up again.
- Mood and Activities: If there was one thing that most affected a chihuahua’s mood and ability to stay calm inside. It would be how much he or she exercises and moves around. How a Chihuahua behaves when he is inside has a direct relation with how long and how often he is decided to walk on purpose each day. It is a myth that small breeds can “self-exercise” by moving around inside. If they don’t get enough exercise, this breed can have trouble letting off steam. So, unless there is a blizzard or it is below freezing, keep taking your Chihuahua for walks outside.
Chihuahua’s Runny Nose and Dry, Red Eyes During Cold Season
For a Chihuahua’s winter care, you may also need to take steps to prevent or treat sniffles and red eyes, which many dogs get in the winter. This is often because the air in the house is too dry.
Warm air can hold more water than cold air can. The only difference between the air inside your house and the air outside is that the air inside is heated. But heating it doesn’t make it moister; in fact, it takes away moisture.
Because of this, a Chihuahua may get red, itchy eyes, and/or a bit of a runny or stuffy nose during the winter. It can also make a Chihuahua start snoring at night. The same indoor winter environment is also bad for the skin and coat.
- Add moisture. Using humidifiers is one of the best ways to do this. If you don’t have enough for the whole house, the best thing to do is put one near where the dog sleeps.
- Ensure that you wash the filtration and keep the cords out of your dog’s reach. Other, less effective ways to get rid of them are to put out a lot of houseplants. Leave bowls of water out, or leave the bathroom door open when you shower.
Chihuahuas don’t do too well when it’s cold outside. These little creatures need to stay warm in the winter. So please be careful now that snow, ice, and colder weather are common.
As a breed, they are one of the most likely to have trouble with cold weather.
Chihuahuas can handle cold weather to some extent. But there is a tipping point where you should pay more attention. You can see these temperature ranges in the graphic at the top of this guide.
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