You have probably wondered whether or not Chihuahuas need clothes given their small body size. Before you start to dismiss this idea, know that Chihuahua clothes are not just for fashion statements. They can also help keep your dog warm in the winter and protect them from the rain.
Do Chihuahuas need clothes?
Chihuahuas’ small size and thin coats make them more likely to feel colder when the temperature drops or during winter. Therefore, it’s a good idea to dress them in clothes when it’s chilly outside. Wearing clothes will help them stay warm and comfortable.
4 Reasons When It IS Okay To Dress Up Your Chihuahua
1. To Keep Them Warm
The most obvious and acceptable reason to dress up your chihuahua is when the temperature is chilly. If you want to take your chihuahua out and the weather isn’t warm enough for them to go naked, consider putting clothes on your dog.
During wintertime, it is essential to dress up your chihuahua in clothes or sweaters to provide extra warmth and comfort. This helps them stay healthy and at a comfortable body temperature. Make sure you are dressing them in clothes that are appropriate for the weather.
If it’s below 60° F, you should dress your pet up in materials that are suitable for cold temperatures. Thick sweaters are a good choice to keep their thin coats warm during chilly weather.
This research states that dogs that are small size may not be able to tolerate the cold and Chihuahuas are definitely one of these dogs.
2. To Protect Them From The Elements
Another good reason to dress up your chihuahua is to protect them from the elements.
Wind, rain, and snow can be very harsh on their skin and fur. By dressing them in clothes, you can help shield them from these elements:
- UV Rays: Clothing with UV protection can protect them from the harmful sun rays
- Rain: Raincoat can shield them from the rain especially when they are out doing their business while it is raining
- Sharp or Hot objects on the ground: Wearing boots or dog shoes can keep their paws safe
3. To Protect Them From Insects And Pests
If your chihuahua plays or frequents areas that may be infested with bugs and insects, you may need to dress them up in clothes.
Bugs and insects can bite your pet’s skin as well as cause them discomfort. Bugs such as ticks and fleas can cause serious infections or even transmit diseases if not treated early on.
Wearing clothing will help protect your chihuahua from these pests. You can find clothing that is designed to protect your pet from ticks, fleas, and other insects.
4. To Reduce Exposure To Allergens (Contact Dermatitis)
Some chihuahuas are allergic to certain things in their environment such as plants, pollen, and grass.
These allergens can cause them to develop an itchy skin condition called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a red, inflamed rash that is often caused by an allergic reaction.
If your chihuahua is constantly scratching and licking himself, he may be suffering from contact dermatitis.
One way to help reduce his exposure to allergens is to dress him up in clothes. This will help shield him from all the allergens in the environment. You can find clothing that is made from hypoallergenic materials to reduce your chihuahua’s exposure to allergens.
3 Reasons When It Is Not Okay To Dress Up Your Chihuahua?
1. When It’s Too Hot
Dressing up your chihuahua when it’s too hot is not advisable.
If the weather is hot and humid, your pet can easily become overheated and uncomfortable. A good guideline to follow is if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your chihuahua.
2. When They Aren’t Used To It
Some chihuahuas may not be used to wearing clothes and may feel uncomfortable in them.
If your chihuahua doesn’t seem too keen on wearing clothes, it’s best to just let him be. You don’t want to force him to wear something he’s not comfortable with.
3. When You Just Don’t Want To Clothes Them
If you don’t want to dress up your chihuahua, that’s fine too.
It is not a requirement for pet owners to dress up their dogs if they don’t feel it necessary or comfortable to do so. If you choose not to dress up your chihuahua, you should still provide them with other forms of warmth and shelter during the winter.
Is It Okay To Dress Up Your Chihuahua Just Because It Looks Cute?
Dressing up your chihuahua may be for purely aesthetic reasons could be acceptable, only if your chihuahua accepts wearing those clothes.
Some chihuahuas may not be too keen on wearing clothes and will try to remove them as soon as they can. My chihuahua will freeze the moment I put on any clothes on it. Unless your chihuahua is okay with wearing clothes, it’s best not to force the issue.
What temperature is too cold for Chihuahuas?
This temperature is about 4 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, your chihuahua may start to shiver profusely and lift their paws off the ground when walking.
Therefore, if you are noticing that your chihuahua is shivering or walking on his hind legs, it may be time to dress him up in something warm.
If possible, take them inside where it’s warmer because once they start shivering, it’s very hard for them to stop.
How to Dress Up Your Chihuahua
1. What To Put On First
It is advisable to start with a dog shirt or sweater when putting clothes on your chihuahua.
Choose a shirt or sweater that is the correct size for your pet. The collar should be big enough to slide two fingers through so you can get it off easily once its time to remove the clothing.
The length of the shirt should be long enough to cover their back end and reduce exposure to their skin.
2. How To Put On A Dog Coat
If your chihuahua needs a coat to stay warm, put it on last.
The coat should be big enough to fit easily over the shirt or sweater. Make sure the coat isn’t too tight or it will be difficult for your chihuahua to move around in.
3. How To Put On A Dog Hat
To put on a dog hat, fit it over your chihuahua’s head and ensure that the ears are covered. The hat should be snug, but not tight, so it doesn’t fall off.
If your chihuahua is having a hard time walking in his clothes, you can try to loosen them up a bit.
You can also help him walk by holding onto the leash and leading him around.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your pet when you first dress him up.
You should make sure that he can navigate his way around by himself. Take note if he starts bouncing off things because the clothing is too tight or if you are having trouble removing it later on.
5. How To Keep Your Chihuahua Warm
Even if you dress your chihuahua up in clothes, it may not be enough to keep them warm.
Chihuahuas can be susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite if they are out in the snow or freezing weather for too long.
If you are taking your chihuahua out in the snow or cold weather, take them on a short walk before bringing them back inside. Give them time to get warm and dry before subjecting them to prolonged periods of being outside.
Here are some additional tips you can do to help keep your pet warm:
- Bring him inside when it’s cold outside.
- Provide a blanket or an electric heating pad for extra warmth.
- If your chihuahua is still shivering, you can provide a heater for them too.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not to dress your chihuahua in clothes.
If you do choose to dress them up, make sure that the clothing is comfortable and doesn’t inhibit their movement. And also, always make sure that your chihuahua is okay with wearing clothes.