Can Chihuahuas Live Outside in the Cold?

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Chihuahuas are expressive and crammed with personality compared to other dog breeds. Habitually, you will find Chihuahuas playful burrowing under sheets and licking everything that amuses them. They also possess confident, intelligent, peaceful, and bold traits that make them fit for keeping indoors. But the question is, “can Chihuahuas live outside in the cold?” 

The answer is NO! It doesn’t count on whether your Chi has a bushy coat, longhaired, or short-haired. All Chihuahua are brachycephalic, which makes them more sensitive to dropping temperatures. To keep warm in the house, Chihuahuas will burrow under towels and blankets.

Always be careful next time you jump on your bed or sitting on your couch not to hurt your Chihuahua. Here are various reasons why the breed cannot live outside in the cold.

Physically Fragile

Chihuahuas are fragile, requiring more attention and monitoring, especially in cold or wet weather. During cold weather, their bodies lose heat quickly, causing them to tremble or shiver if left outside in the cold. Their short or long coats offer no protection to freezing, making the breed an indoor dog. They also develop cold flu and breathing complications due to elongated soft palate.

A healthy Chihuahua

Sometimes the temperatures are too low in the house, but Chihuahuas are expressive by developing common symptoms. If you observe some of the following behaviors on a cold day, take action in keeping your Chi warmer.

  • Trembling and shivering
  • Tuck under towels or blankets. Some will make nests with clothes, sheets, or towels
  • Lift their paws due to snow or wet ground
  • Whining or barking
  • Refusing to step outside

Leaving your Chihuahua in the cold can turn into a deadly condition known as hypothermia or frostbite. They are conditions that limit blood circulation, stiff muscles, slowed heartbeat, or to some extent, kidney failure. All these conditions could mean a death sentence to your pet.

4 Degrees Celsius (40 Degrees Fahrenheit)

Wondering how cold is too cold for your Chihuahuas? The lowest temperature Chihuahuas can withstand is an average of 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). Cold winters can lower temperatures when combined with a rainy day. That increases the risk of suffering from cold for your young puppy or older Chihuahuas. 

At some point, when it is too cold for a pet walk, Chihuahuas will lift their legs off the ground. It gives you a sign that the land is cold for its paws. Therefore, drying off their paws and keeping them warm will save them from deteriorating health conditions. 

When Chihuahuas are exposed to lower than 4 degrees Celsius, maintaining or restoring their normal body temperatures is compromised. Chihuahua breeders will need to make special attention or clothing to keep them warm. 

Shivering Chihuahua

Body Sizes

Chihuahuas come in various sizes. The Teacups are the tiniest of all Chihuahuas. They accommodate more significant risks on health matters. However, leaving your Chihuahua outside in the cold can lead to difficulty in regulating their blood sugars.

You might have left your pet outside healthy and playful before heading to bed. But on waking up the following day, you find them inexplicably dead at your doorstep. The leading cause of such deaths is hypoglycemic shock. It is a condition that makes their internal organs cease functioning mainly because of cold temperatures or lack of eating for long.

Tips for Keeping Chihuahuas’ Warm Outside

Chihuahuas require a similar dressing as warm as you dress up when walking out on a cold day. You should consider preparing warm clothing and bedding for your pets during cold or wet weather. Given that Chihuahuas are naturally warm dog breeds, the harsh, cold, and wet seasons can be challenging. Here are few tips to keep your Chi warm and toasty on a day out in the cold.

1: Perform a Health Check with Your Vet

Cold weather temperatures are less dangerous to older Chis. Nonetheless, existing illnesses may expose your more senior pet to suffer during cold weather. It is advisable to visit your vets early enough before the cold weather begins. They will diagnose any disease that can get worse during the days in the cold.

2: Supply the Kennel with Warmer Beddings

During the day, temperatures may be favorable for your Chi. But during the night, temperatures drop and can be so cold for your Chihuahua. Adding more warmer bedding or moving the kennel to a more generous position will provide your Chi with a warm nest through a cold night. Ensure there is enough ventilation to keep the nest at moderate temperatures.


3: Avoid an Outdoor Bathe

When it is freezing, ensure your Chi gets a warm bath indoors. Doing an outdoor bath has low chances of their coat getting dry on a cold day. Outdoor bathe can lead to shivering within the first few minutes after bathe. Always make sure the fur is dry before letting your pet outside in the cold.

4: Schedule Short Time Walks

Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, and daily training is vital to them. To ensure a proper fit Chi, make your pet walks shorter. If you spent 30 minutes walks you can split them into three rounds in a day. Each walk will take 10 minutes which favors pet paws to withstand cold ground. You can also opt to minimize to three or four days in a week instead of a daily walk.  Fortunately, there are numerous indoor games you can play with your Chi to keep her fit and healthy.

5: Purchase a Winter Jacket

Whether online or physical pet accessories stores, you will find full winter combat for your Chi. The essential clothing like winter jacket that comes in variety and sizes. Although some Chis may not feel comfortable in a winter jacket, choose optional clothing to make it comfortable.

6: Opt to Use Collar and Chip

During cold weather, dogs wander more, looking for warmer avenues. In the process, some get lost. It is advisable to have your Chihuahua a collar and chip. That will enable easy tracing when it sneaks out of your sight during cold day walks.


Bottom Line

Chihuahuas are delicate dog breeds during cold weather. They require more warmth and stay indoors during colder temperatures. The species has low chances of surviving when left outside in the cold, especially at their tender age. However, older Chihuahuas can tolerate cold weather to certain degrees. They need more attention to shallow temperatures with the help of keeping them warmer.

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