Snowy Winters Can Be Long For A Chihuahua
If you live in a region that gets a true winter equipped with snow and frigid temperatures, winter can be a long one for small dogs like the Chihuahua. The heavy double coated small dog breeds handle the snow and cold better than single thin coated breeds like the Chinese Crested or Chihuahua, which offers a host of challenges to the conscientious pet owner.
The thin single coat breeds like the Chihuahua were not bred to live in regions that have cold and snowy winters. Originally bred in warmer climates like Mexico, Chihuahua’s (or other thin coated dogs of any size) living in wintery regions come with a whole host of challenges for their conscientious owners. From the temperature of your home inside, to refusing to go potty outside or getting enough exercise and socialization, winter months can be difficult to manage. Cold temperatures and snow covered grounds are not welcomed by the Chihuahua, at all! So for the Chihuahua lover who reside in snow country, what are some options to keeping your pet socialized and active through the long winter months?
Chihuahua’s need socializing or they can become overly aggressive to strangers. They may be small but they display a ferocious attitude enough to make most people cautious of the pint size guard dog. Keeping that attitude under check requires regular socializing. If your normal activity revolves around outdoor activities such as parks and walks, you may need to find other options to keep your little companion happy through the winter.
I’ve taken my dog into many different stores without any problems from the proprietors. Of course I steer clear of grocery stores and focus more on hardware, craft and pet stores. I also keep him in the shopping cart which I’m sure offers the proprietor some comfort and insurance there will be no unfortunate accidents. To stop him from being nervous about his feet falling through the holes in the cart, I usually bring along a little blanket so he can have something to lay or sit on. Once in the cart he’s more than happy to let me push him around the store for a while. Of course I let him walk with me on a leash when we visit most pet stores. Although this does very little to nothing at all for physical exercise, but it does a world of good for keeping him mentally stimulated and acclimated to strangers. Exercise for many small dogs can be accomplished with a good game of fetch inside the house. An active half hour or so of chasing a ball down the hall way usually works up a good pant on my boys.
My Chihuahua’s are so used to traveling with me, even if it’s just around town to run errands that in the winter months they seem to get cabin fever. Sometimes I can satisfy their desire for mental stimulation and enrichment with nothing more than a ride in the car around town for 20 minutes or so. Since my boys travel with me a lot all my cars are equipped with dog car booster seats. These seats offer a familiar place for my dog to sit in the car and both of them have become used to the seats. It helps make the ride an enjoyable experience. He doesn’t fear that every time we get in the car we end up at the vet. My seat is actually a Lookout seat which rises him up enough to see out the window. In our pick-up truck I use a console seat which utilizes the center console. As a result, Jack enjoys a car ride in any of our vehicles, even when it doesn’t involve a stop at the park. And watching out the window at all the activity seems to be satisfaction enough for him.
Of course I prefer not to shield my Chihuahua entirely from the winter weather. I personally feel it is still good to have him take care of his potty business outside when possible. But I do have a standard set that if the temperatures are lower than 32 degrees outside a nice warm sweater or coat is required to be worn, just like as if he were a small child wanting to go play in the snow. This can be very important with the Chihuahua because they easily succumb to hypothermia. Due to their small size, it can take only a few minutes before a Chihuahua can start to go limb or incoherent due to the rapid loss of body heat. I also try to keep the snow cleared off on a small patch of ground so they don’t have to walk in the snow. Toes packed with ice can be extremely painful! But when the temps drop below zero, both of my boys are trained to use puppy pads and we forego the outdoor experience altogether until safer temperatures are seen. Please if you put your dog outside in freezing weather for potty breaks, keep a close eye on him! Be prepared to rush to their aid should you see them begin to stagger or waver at all! Quickly get them inside and warmed up.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As an avid animal lovers it is one of my goals to help educate people on responsible pet ownership as well as the importance of properly protecting your pet during travel. At http://www.dogcarboosterseat.com it is our goal to provide a wide selection of car seats that can provide the safety needed to ensure safe travels. Check out our wide variety of styles and colors of dog car booster seats, console seats and lookout seats today. We are sure to have something to complement any vehicle interior. All seats ship free! If you have questions about this subject, or any other article or blog I have published, please feel free to use the Contact Us page on our website.