Sweaters and Shirts
There are 2 different times when this type of Chihuahua clothing is needed:
- When a Chi is very young and first away from the dam (if the room is below a certain temperature)
- At any age, when it is below a certain temperature - most often when you take your Chihuahua outside
Let's take a look at age appropriate clothing:
A newborn is a puppy between the ages of 1 day old and 7 weeks old. During this time, keeping the pup warm is very important.
From the day of birth until 3-4 weeks (4 weeks is recommended), the puppy should not leave the dam. It is important that he or she receive the heat that she offers. Any time that the puppy is taken away, their body heat will rapidly drop.
Therefore, if the newborn is away from the dam, be sure to have a heating pad under the blanket in the whelping box.
A heating pad and the heat of the dam will be more than enough to keep a newborn warm and clothing is not needed at this young age
Puppies 4-8 Weeks Old
After 4 weeks, the young one is going to want to venture out. It is out of healthy curiosity that a puppy will want to begin exploring his world. It will be the owner's job to make sure that that world is as safe as possible, both inside and outdoors.
You will want to:
- Puppy-proof the area for any objects that are small enough for the pup to mouth - This includes keys, coins, cords and shoes. Go over all rooms that the Chihuahua will have access to, placing items up high and out of reach.
- Slip a comfortable hoodie, shirt or sweater on your Chihuahua puppy any time that the house is below 68 degrees F (20 C).
Puppies 8 Weeks and Older
It is recommended to place clothes on your Chihuahua any time that it is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius).
If you will be outside, you must take into account in the wind chill factor. You may be surprised how often it will be appropriate to put clothing on your little Chihuahua. If the outside air temperature is 55 degrees F (12.7 C), with a wind of 10 mph, the wind chill factor makes it feel like 47 degrees (8.3 C). With a 15 mile per hour wind, that same 55 degree day will feel like 40 (4.4 C).
In areas that experience wintertime, cold temperatures of a 40 degree day with a wind of 5 mph will have a chill effect that brings it to 36 F (2.2 C) which is very close to the freezing mark.
Some people see Chihuahuas shaking
and mistakenly believe this is due to a high metabolism or nervousness. This is most common with young and very small Chihuahuas, but can happen to a Chi of any age and size. The idea that this is due to metabolism or nerves is often incorrect.
The most common reason for a Chihuahua trembling and shivering is an involuntary physical reaction as the body tries to warm up.
When the body is cold, the brain automatically sends signals to nerves all over the body that tells the muscles to tighten and loosen very rapidly, as this generates heat.
When a Chihuahua has to do this, over and over, it can be quite exhausting and puts stress on the dog. Protecting your Chihuahua with a clothing such as a sweater, vest, hoodie or jacket will stop the shaking and endless cycle of shivering to stop.
Whether you are taking your Chihuahua outside for his bathroom needs, bringing him outside for his daily exercise and walk or bringing him to run errands with you, it is important to protect your dog from the cold with quality clothing if the temperature is below 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius).
Core body temperature can quickly drop for this tiny dog breed and it is highly recommended to offer a 2nd layer of warmth protection during these times. Clothing will be most critical for undersized Chihuahuas (miniature teacup Chihuahuas
) and seniors over the age of 8 years; though a dog of any age is prone to feeling the effects of the weather.
Additionally, a puppy or dog with health issues
and/or injury will be more vulnerable to the cold and catching the chills.
How Clothing Helps with House Training
Many owners write in to say that they are having problems bringing their Chihuahua outside for bathroom needs when it is cold or when it is raining outside. They write about how their dog wants to run right back inside of the house. Since most humans want to run in from the rain, it makes sense that dogs will as well.
Reluctance to be brought outside when it is freezing out or rainy is very common. Simply placing a rain coat or snow coat and booties on a Chihuahua can often resolve the issue immediately.
In rainy conditions, a slicker waterproof jacket will help to prevent that 'wet dog smell' that is common after the coat becomes soaking wet. This is due to water mixing with the natural oils on the skin, which then emits a musty type of smell that is difficult to remove without a complete bath, using canine shampoo and conditioner.
In the wintertime, clothing will allow a Chihuahua plenty of time to find just the right spot. On average, a dog takes 5 to 15 minutes to choose his spot. When the dog, the owner or both are too cold to have the patience for this, it can put a big hiccup in housebreaking.
If both owner and dog are bundled up warm and a path to the designated area is shoveled clear, then this should take care of any issues.