One debate I often hear is whether should chihuahuas wear clothes. The answer is most likely, yes, with some stipulations.
We often have adorable Chis in adorable clothes show up on our Facebook page. Sometimes the pet parents are given a hard time because of those clothes. The usual statement is something to the effect of “Your dog is not a doll to play dress up with” or “let dogs be dogs” or “my dog hates clothes; I would never force her to wear them”.
All of those are valid viewpoints but not really fair to people who choose to dress their Chihuahuas. There are some very valid reasons to dress your dog. And contrary to popular belief, not all dogs hate it. Many dogs love dressing up. I know this first hand (not with my Chi but with one of my big dogs).
Reasons to Dress Your Chi:
- Warmth Chihuahuas tend to get cold easily so it’s a good idea to at least have a sweater or shirt for them to wear in cool weather or highly air-conditioned homes.
- Protection Clothes can provide protection from the elements. It can protect them from getting burnt by the sun, or bit by insects, and even lessens the allergens that attach to your dog’s fur. Boots and shoes can protect their paws from hot cement, ice, sharp rocks, and glass, salt, or de-icer chemicals.
- Cuteness You can’t deny the cuteness factor of a little Chi girl in a frilly dress or a little Chi boy looking dapper in a cute outfit. Many Chihuahuas love the attention they get from looking so cute in their clothes.
Reasons NOT to Dress Your Chi:
- Your dog hates wearing clothes and totally freaks out when you try to put them on.
- Your dog easily gets overheated (usually not an issue with Chihuahuas).
So do I dress my Chihuahua Lucy? Yes and no. I do have a few beautiful dresses for photo ops and such. But Lucy is long-haired and double-coated. She’s one of those rare chis that gets hot a lot. So though we do have a few sweaters for her, so far, she has never needed them.
Her brothers (a chihuahua-Yorkie mix and 2 Yorkies) wear sweatshirts all winter long. And one of them wears a shirt all year long because he has allergies and having a lightweight cotton shirt on keeps him from scratching.
I really enjoy seeing clothes on other dogs and I enjoy shopping for my boy dogs. You are seeing some of my favorites in this post.
Feel free to click on any of them if you’d like to order one for your Chi. They are all on Amazon and if you order through the links on my page, I Love My Chi gets a small compensation but it doesn’t cost any extra for you.
How to Get Your Chihuahua to Wear Clothes
- Make it a fun experience by having some treats ready. Give one at the beginning when you pull the clothes out and let your chi smell and check out the clothes. Give another treat or two after you put the clothes on.
- Praise your dog while dressing them.
- If your dog doesn’t seem to mind the clothes, just leave them on awhile but if they seem to hate them, leave on for 10-20 minutes and then take them off (all the while praising them for being such a good boy or girl for wearing their clothes and giving a treat here and there. Then try again later in the day for a longer period of time. Over time, your chi will associate clothes with good things and will be used to wearing them.
- Use easy clothes to start with such as a cotton T-shirt. Stay away from buttons, straps, or multiple pieces of clothing.
- Make sure the clothes are comfortable, soft, and not binding.
When Should Your Chihuahua Wear Clothes
- If the temperature gets below 45 F degrees.
- If it’s cold, rainy or snowy.
- If the ground is very hot or icy (wear booties).
- If the sun is extremely strong (a light T-shirt for protection).
- If you are going to be out in inclement weather for longer than 10 minutes.
TIP: Whatever piece of clothing you buy, make sure there is enough room for your dog to pee and poop without getting it on the clothing.
So to answer the question, “Does my Chihuahua need clothing?” the answer is yes, but it’s really up to you.
I believe Chihuahuas being the cold-natured little critters they are, do need some clothing, at least enough to be comfortable and warm. The rest is up to you and your Chi.
We have some other clothes-related posts you may want to check out:
- Where to find coats for tiny dogs
- How to find clothes for tiny dogs
- We have a whole series of posts about chihuahua sweaters here.
Do you dress your Chi? Why or why not?
Here’s some more chi things you may want to check out: