During winter, I took Coco, my little short-haired chihuahua on a walk in my neighborhood. I was quadruple layered with an inner shirt, shirt, sweater, and coat, while my pet was cheerfully scuffling in front of me, with only the leash around her neck.
This was when I began to wonder, what temperature is too cold for chihuahua? Do they feel cold while they follow us out during winter? Or is their small layer of fur enough to keep them warm? And since dog noses are supposed to be wet, how do I know if she has a cold?
With all these questions running through my mind, I couldn’t help but look for answers. Let’s discuss what I discovered in detail.
What Temperature Is Too Cold For Chihuahua?
Let’s get started with my first question – what temperature is too cold for chihuahua? This temperature is about 4 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. And when you have wet or rainy weather, the cold becomes even worse. Just like human beings, there’s a point when the cold gets too much for a chihuahua.
I discovered that a Chihuahua lets you know they’re cold by lifting their paws off the ground. So, when I took Coco out on a walk again, I watched her until she didn’t want to keep her paws on the ground. This is probably because the floor is too cold for them.
Let’s take a look at some temperature guidelines to keep in mind while taking care of your chihuahua.
- 50-60 degrees and more are generally safe for your chihuahua.
- 45 -50 degrees is acceptable, but you should still keep your eyes open for cold symptoms.
- 30-40 degrees is potentially unsafe for your chihuahua.
- 25-30 degrees is dangerous for your chihuahua.
- Anything below 25 degrees can threaten the life of your pet.
Why Chihuahuas Can’t Handle The Cold?
But, why can’t our little friends handle the cold weather?
Chihuahuas get cold in winter because of their breed, called brachycephalic. Dogs in this breed are usually sensitive to lower temperatures. They have a longer soft palate, so they get breathing problems easily and their bodies lose heat speedily too.
Cold temperatures can be a struggle for your cute buddy. Chihuahuas usually have short coats, so there’s not enough fur to keep them protected from the winter cold like other hairy and tough dogs. Even the Chi with a long coat cannot withstand the cold.
These adorable dogs are simply not made to be outdoor dogs, especially during winter. Because of the cold weather, chihuahuas can suffer from hypothermia. Also, they stay dehydrated during the coldest winter days.
So, whenever summer fades away and winter comes, you should pay special attention to your chihuahua.
How Do Know Your Chihuahua Is Feeling Cold?
If you want to pay special attention to your pet, you need to familiarize yourself with the common symptoms your chihuahua can display during cold weather or snow. These will hint to you that your pet is suffering in the cold.
In the case where you identify these symptoms in your Chihuahua, you need to find ways to keep them warm. You can also seek professional advice from a vet to make sure your dog does not have a cold.
Not all dogs are comfortable with colder temperatures so your Chi is susceptible to these:
1. Makes a nest for warmth by putting blankets together or snuggles in a bed.
2. Seems to be lethargic or troubled.
3. Is barking or whining for no particular reason you’re aware of.
4. Doesn’t want to go outside.
5. Is shivering.
6. Lifts its paws off the ground when it agrees to go outside.
What Is Hypothermia In Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas can get hypothermia during the cold weather, and if they’re out in the snow, they can also get frostbite.
Hypothermia is deadly for your pet and it means blood isn’t circulating its body. Your chihuahua can show signs like shivering, trembling, slowing down, walking troubles, cold fur/skin, dilated pupils, no movement, breathing problems, slow heart rate, pale gums, etc.
These symptoms develop into deadlier illnesses if they are not addressed correctly. Chihuahuas are a brachycephalic breed, so the cavities in their skull are smaller than most dogs. This means that the mucus can block their cavity, leading to serious illnesses.
Although these seem deadly, you don’t have to worry too much. All you have to do is take care of your chihuahua whenever winter comes or the weather is cold.
Don’t bring them out in a snowy weather without frostbite protection gear! With proper care, the worst that could happen is your chihuahua only having hypothermia.
As long as you do proper care of your chihuahua, they can stay safe and cherry whenever the weather is cold.
You should be on the lookout for:
- Runny or watery eyes
- Trouble breathing
- Runny nose and nasal discharge
- Wet-sounding coughs
- Lack of appetite
- Warm ears
What To Do When Your Chihuahua Has A Cold?
Your Chihuahua will most likely have a cold symptom once in their life, so most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. When you should be worried is when they start coughing or showing too many symptoms during cold weather.
You can make sure by putting your ear to the Chihuahua’s chest. If you hear rattling and gurgling, it’s a sign of a cold and mucus. I do this for Coco often whenever winter comes, and so far, so good.
When your Chihuahua has a cold, nothing can replace professional treatment from a vet. But there are some tips you can use to make them feel better or apply as first aid.
1) Encourage Fluid Intake
Your Chihuahua should take enough fluids to prevent the risk of hypothermia. It might be hard for them to drink a lot of water when they are sick, so you can use chicken broth instead.
2) Give Them Dietary Supplements
Add some supplements to their food and extra nutrition so that your Chihuahua can recover quickly. They can eat more boiled chicken, coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon. They also improve their immune system.
3) Maximize Rest
Reduce their outside and physical activity time so that they can stay healthier. Dogs usually go out for toilet breaks, so if you want to stop them, you can switch to puppy pads.
4) Use a Nose Balm
You can also apply a Chihuahua nose balm or butter when their noses are dry and cracked during winter. Their nose can also run with hypothermia. You can purchase dog nose butter to do this.
5) Steam Vaporizer and Hot Water Bottle
You can place a steam vaporizer close to their bed to clear their bronchial tubes and relieve their cold symptoms. A hot water bottle can also keep them warm.
But, when do you have to go to the vet?
There’s a time when the symptoms get too serious, and you can’t handle it alone with good diets and nose balms. You should call the vet when your Chihuahua is coughing, seems to be in constant pain, doesn’t take fluids anymore, and has a constant rattling sound in their chest.
You can also take them to the vet whether it looks serious or not so that the symptoms don’t become worse.
How To Protect Your Chihuahua During Cold Weather? 10 Simple Tips!
There are different ways you can protect your chihuahua during cold weather, and here are some tips you can follow to keep your little friend comfortable.
1) Supply More Bedding
Give your chihuahua more than enough bedding to nest and keep warm during the winter months. There are a lot of comfortable dog beds like Petmate Pet Bed you can purchase, and couple these with soft, warm blankets.
2) Don’t Give Them Cold Drinking Water
Your chihuahua’s drinking water shouldn’t be cold, especially during the winter months. It can cause them to have a sore throat and other cold symptoms. Give them tepid water instead.
3) Don’t Go For Walks
During the winter months, it’s best to refrain from walks. Even if they’re begging to go outside, it’s better to keep them where it’s warm and find ways to use up all that energy indoors. If you have a big yard or compound, you can also let them stretch their legs for a while, although this is only if it’s not too cold.
And, if you decide to bring your Chihuahua out on a walk, you can use these dog boots as winter paw protection to keep their feet warm. Coco also uses these Boots Shoes Socks for brief walks during winter, although I don’t keep her out for too long.
4) Use Potty Training Pads
If it’s too cold to even step outside, you don’t want your dog finding it hard to pee. Instead, use puppy pads and train them to use them indoors. If your Chihuahua is an adult, you can still use the pee pad. Your dog might remember how to use them, so they should be ideal during the cool season. You can purchase a large packet of them like Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy Pads when the winter season approaches it.
5) Use A Winter Jacket
You can join winter comfort with style for your Chihuahua by getting them winter jackets. There are many jackets you can purchase. Here are some functional, practical, and stylish jackets you can choose from:
6) Don’t Let Your Chihuahua Get Wet
When the cold weather is also damp, wet, or rainy, it becomes even worse for your chihuahua. It can lead to hypothermia and other cold issues. If they play in the snow, you should dry them up afterward. You can generally stop them from getting wet by keeping them indoors, but if you have no choice but to take them out, you should guide them gently with their leash and collar to keep them on track.
7) Don’t Let Them Eat Snow
You should also prevent your chihuahua from eating snow whenever you go out. They usually try to do this when they’re seeing it for the first time. Coco is a testament to this, and it was a lot of trouble pulling her back each time I saw her attempt to do it. Keep an eye on your pet to prevent this.
8) Don’t Leave Your Chihuahua In The Car
Cars can be very hot when the weather is hot, and so it’s the same thing when the weather is cold. A cold car can keep your Chihuahua freezing, so don’t leave them there. If you do take them out, you can keep them warm with a blanket and take them out of the car once you get to your destination.
9) Keep Them Warm At Night
When nighttime comes, you need to focus more on keeping your chihuahua warm, especially if the weather is unbearably cold outdoors. Place their beds in warm areas and add more blankets. Rather than putting too many blankets around them, you can switch to using electrically heated dog beds like SereneLife Electric Heated Pet Warmer Bed. This keeps them warm and comfortable, without too much bundling.
10) Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Lastly, you can protect your dog’s foot by moisturizing your Chi’s paw in the winter. If his paw is dry, it may crack or bleed. You can apply some lotion specifically made for your dog’s paw pads. Do not use human lotion because it can make it too smooth and may cause harm to them due to some ingredients.
FAQ On What Temperature Is Too Cold for Chihuahua?
1) Can I Take My Chihuahua Out In The Snow?
Yes, you can. When you take your Chihuahua out in the snow, you have to first keep an eye on them so they don’t do anything wrong like get wet or eat snow.
At the same time, you shouldn’t keep them out for too long and check if they are showing any signs of discomfort. The only purpose of taking them out in the snow should be for exercise.
2) How Long Should Your Chihuahua Be Outside When It’s Cold?
Not too long. Your Chihuahua should stay outside when it’s cold for the shortest amount of time possible. Depending on how cold it is, you can let them stay outside for fifteen to twenty minutes.
You must know what temperature is too cold for Chihuahua so he’ll not catch any sickness. If it’s too cold, five to ten minutes should suffice, only if they need to exercise or pee.
3) How Do I Exercise My Chihuahua In The Winter?
If the weather is so cold, you can’t even take your Chihuahua outside to exercise, you can’t let them turn into couch potatoes. You can play games with them indoors.
During Winter, I usually play tug-of-war and fetch with Coco, where I know we won’t break anything. You can take it up a notch by making an indoor agility course.
Now that you know what temperature is too cold for Chihuahua and even more, you can take care of your little friend whenever winter rolls around. Remember to keep your Chihuahua warm whenever the temperature is unsafe or dangerous, and if you think anything is out of the ordinary, you should take them to the vet.
Give your Chihuahuas their ideal temperature so you can keep them healthy and safe. You should know what’s comfortable for your dog’s body. So when the weather gets chilly, your house temperature should be Chi-friendly and keeping their body heat in place will ensure cold-free and ill-free Chihuahua!