I’m writing this on the first day of winter, and even though the temps are well into the 70’s here (they are supposed to reach the 80’s by Christmas Eve) I know the cold weather will hit us sooner or later. It may have already hit where you live.
Every winter, people do their best to prepare for the cold. We fill up our oil tanks, buy new blankets and purchase new winter coats. And of course, we can’t forget out beloved little Chis! Being that they are naturally warm weather dogs, the cold temps can be rough on them.
If you are seeking ways to keep your pooch warm and toasty, here are a few useful ideas.
Buying salt to melt the snow on your walkway is something you probably do without even thinking about it. You probably have never considered the harmful effect these products can have on your chihuahua’s paws. It is best to use sand since your pet’s paws are used to walking across gritty paths, but if you must use salt, make sure that you only consider brands that are labeled as pet-safe.
Instead of taking your pooch on long extended walks like you do when it is warm outside, you should start going out for only brief periods. Breaking up their outdoor time is a great idea since this means they will not be exposed to the elements for too long. If you usually go out for 40 minutes at a time, you should consider 10-minute walks four times daily. Your dog will get the same amount of activity as normal without worrying about frostbite.
Keep an eye on your dog when walking them outside to be sure they don’t lick up any antifreeze that one of your neighbor’s may have spilled. It’s highly toxic and the older containers of antifreeze had a sweet taste that animals were attracted to. The newer ones have had something put in them to discourage animals but you never know what kind of antifreeze someone has used.
Purchase a winter coat for your dog This is the only article of clothing that is really necessary. You do not want to buy a coat that is so heavy that your dog feels stifled. Sure, you want to keep them warm, but they already have a layer of fur. The coat you buy should reinforce the warmth from their fur without being overpowering.
While you may be tempted to buy the boots to match, they are an uncomfortable nuisance for many dogs. If you know your dog will wear them, go ahead and get them as they will add extra protection for your dog’s paws.
Speaking of paws, leave a soft towel near your door to wipe your dog’s paws when they come inside. It’s a good way to keep them from dragging in mud, snow, etc. This is the time to also check your dog’s paws for any cracking or other injuries from the cold weather.
Also wipe their bellies. Since we have such little guys, their undersides can often come in contact with deicers and other bad things.
When you think about electric blankets, you probably think about those ugly, bulky monstrosities that old grannies use to stay warm at night. There are actually products that are made specifically for keeping pets warm when it is frigid outside. Placing this blanket on top of a bed that has been fitted with an additional padding is the perfect way to show your chihuahua you love them.
Indoor pee pads and real grass patches are ideal if you live in an area that is particularly rough during the winter. Instead of letting the dog go out into the yard alone or walking them through the neighborhood, you can let them use the bathroom indoors. The only downside to this is that you will have to be vigilant and clean up after them right away, or your home will smell less than pleasant.
Of course, snuggle with those fur babies whenever you can. Kilo wants me to hold her all the time when it’s chilly. Does your Chihuahua do that too?
Have any tips I have forgotten? Leave them in the comments!