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Thinking About Adopting a Chihuahua? 2 Things to Consider When You Take Them Outdoors

If you're adopting a Chihuahua soon, there are things you should know beforehand in order to keep the dog safe. Chihuahua, or Chi, are some of the smallest toy dog breeds today. It's important to keep your adopted Chi safe from birds of prey and extreme weather changes if you decide to take your dog for walks or allow it to play outside. Here are things to keep in mind when adopting and caring for a Chihuahua.

Don't Allow Your Dog to Be Outdoors Unsupervised

While it may tempt you to allow your pet to run, play, or exercise unsupervised outdoors after you adopt it, it's not a good idea that you do. Chihuahuas are mainly indoor dogs that require supervision when allowed outdoors. A Chi's small size can be dangerous when it comes to fighting off much larger animals, including dogs, raccoons, and feral cats. Some animals may see the dog as prey, including hawks. 

Chihuahuas can weigh anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds. Hawks can attack and carry off animals weighing up to 15 pounds. The birds of prey will generally follow their prey to places with the most favorable weather conditions, such as spring and summer. If you still want to allow your adopted dog outdoors, you may want to research your area to see if hawks live in the area. If there are hawks in the area, keep your dog close to you when you take it outside the home. 

Don't Take Your Dog For Walks in Extreme Heat or Cold Conditions

There are other things you might consider if you decide to take your adopted Chi outdoors, including the weather. Though chihuahuas don't require extensive exercise to be healthy, they do still need to walk daily to stay within a good weight. But like many other dog breeds, your pet's tender paws are vulnerable to soft tissue damage when exposed to excessive heat and cold conditions, such as a blazing hot sidewalk or an icy patch of grass.

Your pet's paws are comprised of connective tissues, blood vessels and ligaments that can be harmed by cuts, abrasions and even heat. Although all dogs have three different types of pads covering their delicate tissues, small breeds like Chihuahuas require special attention when venturing outdoors in the heat. One of the things you might do to protect your Chi's feet is place small booties on them during walks. You can find booties online, or you might as a veterinarian for guidance on the best footwear for the dog. Also, avoid allowing your dog to walk on hot, dark asphalt, which may be hotter in the summer than lighter-colored pavement.

During cold weather, be sure to protect your Chi's entire body when you take it on walks. Chihuahuas can shiver when its too cold for them and experience a number of ailments, including frostbite on the tail, feet and ears. As such, it's a good idea that you purchase a thick doggy sweater and booties for your adopted pet. The sweater should have a hoodie attached to it, which protects the dog's ears and head from icy wind gusts. Be aware that if the temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit or below, you should keep your Chi indoors until the temperature warms up outdoors.

If you need additional tips on how to keep your Chi safe outdoors after you adopt them, contact a veterinarian today and have a peek here for more information. They will likely have a lot of resources and advice you need to know how to better take care of your chihuahua no matter the time of year.